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Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth nonplussed by sex scenes in their latest film (16039)

16039Entertainment News2005-05-14

Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth nonplussed by sex scenes in their latest film

A thriller set in the 1950s about two oversexed Hollywood celebrities may run into problems with contemporary American film censors even though the director and its star, Kevin Bacon, cannot understand the fuss. Bacon, costar Colin Firth, and director Atom Egoyan said on Friday that they were surprised by the media focus on sex and orgy scenes in Where the Truth Lies, about two stars whose careers fade after a beautiful woman is found dead in their hotel suite. "One of the things about this film is that when we're having sex, we're naked, and that's what kind of flips people out," Bacon told a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival after its world premiere, when asked about fears of U.S. censors. "Personally, I leave some of my clothes on, but I don't know about the rest of you," Bacon added, to laughter. "It's unfortunate that people find [two male nudes] so disturbing. To me, the sex in this film is extremely appropriate."

Egoyan, a Cannes favorite with five films here in the last 11 years, said there are no graphic sex scenes in the fictional drama about men whose appetite for drugs, alcohol, and women is insatiable. "I wanted to create this world that was intoxicating," the 44-year-old Canadian director said. "They could take any amount of drugs they wanted and have as much sex as they wanted. It was an unbridled atmosphere." But when asked about fears that censors, like the Motion Picture Association of America's Classification and Ratings Board, would give his film a commercially unfavorable rating that would restrict anyone under 18 from seeing it, he said: "I never think about censors. We probably will have issues. But we're pretty firm with what we want the film to do. I'm surprised by the focus on sex rather than violence. It seems people are obsessed by the sex. I do think it's essential to the story."

Bacon and Firth play two fun-loving entertainers whose antics on telethons and onstage, set in 1959, vaguely recall a Dean Martin or Jerry Lewis style of singing, dancing, and comedy. But after the dead beauty is found submerged in the bathtub of their hotel suite following a steamy menage-a-trois, their reputations are shattered and their career together ends even though neither is charged. The story then jumps forward 15 years to the early 1970s, when a young female journalist probing the reason for their breakup uncovers the surprising truth about the murder. Bacon and Firth play the roles as faded celebrities with great aplomb.

"I don't dare look into my future after doing a film like this," said Firth, a British actor who has become best known opposite Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones's clumsy love interest. "I was famous 15 years ago, and I'm still famous now," Bacon added. "I'll just keep my fingers crossed." When asked what it was like to play a "pill-popping, oversexed bisexual" in the film, Firth replied, "It's a role that is not usually a stretch for most actors. To play 'Lord of the Manor of Derbyshire' requires more research. I feel comfortable in this sort of a drama." (Erik Kirschbaum, via Reuters)

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