A legendary filmmaker and an actress on the rise visit Josh Horowitz for this week’s episode of “Happy Sad Confused.” In the ’80s and ’90s, Paul Verhoeven’s name was synonymous with Hollywood spectacle and, at times, controversy. He directed a trio of acclaimed sci-fi films, RoboCop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers. But he also pushed buttons with sex, violence, and, occasionally, sheer high camp with Basic Instinct and Showgirls. But for many years, Verhoeven has been making smaller films in Europe, often barely getting any attention in the States.
He’s back in a big way with Elle (opening November 11), a tale of — yes — sex and violence, which earned a standing ovation at Cannes and widespread critical praise ever since. The filmmaker joins Josh to talk about his new film, why he refuses to censor himself, and what’s been missing in the many subpar remakes of his films.
Later in the show, Josh is joined by a true chameleon of an actor in Naomie Harris. She’s perhaps best known for her roles in 28 Days Later and two giant franchises: the James Bond series and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. But it’s her acclaimed performance in the small but powerful film Moonlight that may prove to be the most important of her career. Harris talks about playing a crack-addicted mother in the course of just three days on set and why she didn’t want the part at all at first.