This article originally appeared on eightieskids.com
Released in 1986, the controversial erotic drama 9½ Weeks got people talking all over the world, and it made its lead stars Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke two of the most sought-after actors around even if, in Rourke’s case, that wasn’t to last. It also helped set the stage for more such explicit and provocative adult dramas which followed in the years ahead. Here are some facts about the film which you might not have known.
20. The source novel is much darker
9½ Weeks is based on a novel entitled Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair. First published in 1978, it was written by Ingeborg Day, though initially published under the pen name Elizabeth McNeill. Day’s book was semi-autobiographical and shocked many readers and critics with its graphic content.
As well as featuring detailed descriptions of sexual acts, the novel also features violent, criminal behaviour, and ultimately sees its female protagonist descend into a nervous breakdown. In adapting the story for the screen, director Adrian Lyne and screenwriters Sarah Kernochan, Zalman King and Patricia Louisianna Knop toned things down significantly. The violent content is removed almost entirely, and the emotional impact on central character Elizabeth (Kim Basinger) is less severe.
19. Kathleen Turner and Isabella Rossellini auditioned for Kim Basinger’s role
For the demanding lead role of Elizabeth McGraw, there was no shortage of big-name actresses in queuing to enter the audition room. Kathleen Turner and Teri Garr were both interested, and took meetings with the filmmakers. Jacqueline Bissett was also offered the part but declined, as she was uncomfortable with the subject matter.
Isabella Rossellini came close to landing the role, filming a screen test alongside leading man Mickey Rourke. However, when Kim Basinger came in to audition for the movie, director Adrian Lyne and company knew they’d found their leading lady. Demi Moore is also said to have campaigned for the role but was deemed too young, being aged just 21 at the time.