Sylvia Kristel

  1. Isabelle Adjani, Le Locataire (UK/US: The Tenant), France, 1975.  How  lucky Sylvia was to be sacked after a day’s work on Roman Polanski’s worst film. “Stella”  was then adjusted for  Isabelle Adjani, already hanging about in the wings for him to start Pirates with her and Jack Nicholson.  Instead, they became Charlotte Lewis and Walter Matthau. In 1985. Neither one deserved that one, ether.   
  2. Jenny Agutter, Logan’s Run, 1976.   But nearly everyone else (Peter Ustinov, Michael York) were Brits!  Three years later, Jenny was a surprise rival to Kristel for Agent 34 in the (terribleGet Smart movie, The  Nude Bomb, 1979.
  3. Jessica Lange, King Kong, 1976.  Europe’s Emmanuelle siren was aghast at  being asked to  play…  “a monkey’s fiancee!”

  4. Susan Sarandon, Pretty Baby, 1977.  
    Emmanuelle up for the same character as Meryl Streep…!!!    And  the plot sickens. A  prostitute allows her 12-year-old  daughter’s virginity to be auctioned off in a brothel in the red-light Storyville district of  New Orleans, circa 1917. Elegant French director Louis Malle saw 29 possible pretty Violets – and another 19 actresses for her mother: Candice Bergen, Cher, Julie Christie, Glenn Close (passed), Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Farrah Fawcett (passed), Jane Fonda (with Jodie Foster as her daughter), Goldie Hawn (preferred Foul Play), Anjelica Huston, Diane Keaton, Sylvia Kristel (Emmanuelle, herself),   Liza Minnelli, Cybil Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver. Plus Joan Collins, who suggested Jasmine Maimone,  her screen daughter in that year’s Magnum Cop,  would  make a fine Violet. Louis  Malle and Sarandon became lovers and also made Atlantic City, 1980… the year he married Bergen until his 1995 death.

  5. Lois Chiles, Moonraker, 1979.
  6. Isabelle Huppert, Loulou, France, 1980.   Most actresses wish to escape typecasting, but Sylvia thumbed down joining Gérard Depardieu in another wannabe-Cassavetes slice of the obnoxious realisateur Maurice Pialat’s life drama as being too much against her Emmanuelle image. She made the René La Cane WWII comedy with Depardieu in 1976.  And she was translator when I interviewed him on their set in  Mulhouse, close to the Swiss and German borders in  eastern France,
  7. Kathleen Turner, Body Heat, 1981.   Only in Hollywood could a femme fatale lose a femme fatale.  Then again, Emmanuelle was rather too obvious for the sexually surprising Matty Walker.   Turner knew Matty was “the best part written for a woman in so many years. I tried to get an audition but I had no film experience and was unable to get one.” Until four months later. She read for auteur Lawrence Kasdan, tested with Wiliam Hurt and Kasdan was agog – she sounded exactly the way he had heard Matty in his head when writing the script. And so Turner became LA’s latest wet dream.  For the usual 15 minutes.  OK, 25… Lauren Bacall’s comment to me in Paris about Turner being The New Bacall was, er, choice.
  8. Isabelle Huppert, Madame Bovary, France, 1991.   Planned by her then writer-director husband Hugo Claus in l976 as the first Emma since, ironically, another sex-siren:  Italy’s Edwige Fenech, in 1969. 
  (Clic to enlarge)  

* The Dutch Emmanuelle star and  her then novelist-turned-director husband Hugo Claus were first  to plan a new (serious) look at the Flaubert novel since Jennifer Jones in 1949. Instead, Sylvia  made a film with French realisateur Claude Chabrol  – who,  preferred  Isabelle Huppert as his Emma Bovary in 1991.



 9. Sigourney Weaver, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, 1991. Director Ridley Scott naturally wanted Sigourney for Queen Isabella I. However, she was a victim of their Alien success, being delayed by re-shoots for Alien 3 at England’s Pinewood Studios.   She finally broke t free – worried, perhaps, by the news of negotiations beginning with  Glenn Close, Anjelica Huston, Lena Olin and  Kathleen Turner… while  the film’s star, Gérard Depardieu, was voting for his 1976 René la canne co-star Sylvia Kristel. 



 Birth year: 1952Death year: 2012Other name: Casting Calls:  9