The Rules of Attraction is a fantastic film adaptation of the book of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. The plot focuses on a group of college students.
Recently I read something that reminded me of Victor’s trip in The Rules of Attraction which made me want to go watch that montage from the film. So instead of digging out my DVD I just hit up YouTube. I discovered something awesome for those of us who are fans. The director of the film, Roger Avary, has been posting clips from the film on his YouTube and Vimeo channels with behind the scenes stories about the film’s shoot. I’m choosing to showcase the Victor Takes a Trip and the George Michael scene with partial excerpts below.
Victor Takes a Trip
“…I no longer know who I am and I feel like the ghost of a total stranger”
“I directed Kip Pardue to remain in character as the vacant, vapid, and self absorbed Victor from the moment we stepped onto the plane to Europe until the moment we returned to Los Angeles. A blinding twelve cities in two weeks shooting every possible moment on a Sony PD-150….I told Kip that I would have 24/7 access no matter how intimate the situation. With no script, and the loosest of plans, I tracked Victor as he partied across Europe…”
“Five minutes into a conversation with, say, an heiress or a model, I would stop shooting, explain who we were, that Victor was actually the actor Kip Pardue, and that we were shooting a scene for my latest film…”
“Months later, Kip would receive calls from the various girls Victor had hooked up with who were confused as to what was real and what wasn’t. Who were we? Where is Victor? I cut the 70 hours of footage down to these 4 minutes which I cut into the film. Years later I decided to form the unused footage into a musical tone-film of all it’s own: Glitterati.”–Roger Avary (read the full breakdown on YouTube here).
“We shot all of the hotel room scenes at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey and we had finished our day early. Ian was in make up, and I was looking at Russell Sams, who plays Dick, wearing his aviator glasses, and I said you look like George Michael.”
“…I thought what the hell, let’s shoot something fun to watch in dailies tomorrow. Our sound man, Felipe Borrero, to quickly find a CD of George Michael’s Faith, which he happened to have in his car. I then told Russell, who was always game for anything, ‘okay, this is your first film, and as an initiation, I want you to do a striptease dance for the crew to Faith’. Russell stared at me for a second, in slight disbelief, and then said, ‘okay, sure’.”
“It was improv, and we only had time for one take, so I planted the camera with a wide lens at the foot of the bed, played Faith full blast, and let him loose…Midway through, I looked over and saw Ian Somerhalder in the hallway…looking into the room incredulously. I made a quick motion for him to ‘go for it’ and the next thing I knew he jumped into the shot, right on the beat.”
“It was, honestly, a completely spontaneous, magic moment, and it was such a funny scene that I simply had to include it in the movie. The only problem was that there was no way we could afford the music licensing rights to Faith, so I wrote a letter to George Michael, and sent him the scene, begging him to let me use it. George, being one of the coolest guys in the universe, gave us the song for a dime, and I will forever be grateful because it’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie.” –Roger Avary (read the full breakdown on YouTube here)