"Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1," which hits theaters next week, isn't exactly the movie it has been made out to be in the myriad articles that preceded its release. None of the actors are actually having sex, and it's quite funny at times.
But there's still a lot of sex in it.
The first half of the two-parter from Lars Von Trier focuses on the younger version of the titular sex addict, Joe, played by Stacy Martin. Over the course of the initial two-hour installment, Martin bravely puts herself on display in a number of compromising situations, many of which involve Shia LaBeouf, who plays Jerôme, Joe's first lover.
When I spoke with Martin, and her co-star Christian Slater, she recalled filming her intense scenes with LaBeouf and what would go into preparing for such intimate moments.
"It was so great because we got to know each other before starting filming. That was very important because it is so intimate and you bare everything," she said. "What was great with Shia is that he was so determined and enthusiastic that there weren't any complications. There comes a point where you have to film the scene. You know it's going to come, so it's like 'Look, we trust each other. We're here to do this. We're here to work with Lars, and we believe in the film.' So you get on with it."
LaBeouf made his intentions for the project clear to MTV News back in 2012, before shooting even started. He might not have been clear on what would be asked of him, but he knew he'd do it.
"[Von Trier] is very dangerous," he said. "He's the most dangerous dude that I've ever showed up for. I'm terrified. I'm so terrified, which is why I have to go. We'll see what happens."
"Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1" is available for digital download now and hits theaters on March 21.