talks , , and iconic film

By – Bazaar – Feb 27, 2014

I was 35 and living at the Chateau Marmont while we filmed American Gigolo. I lived in New York, but when I was in L.A., it was always the Chateau. It was a great place. Nobody stayed there but rockers, actors, writers, directors. It was just private apartments for all odd folks. I was living with my boyfriend, who I’d met when I was 21, and I was going to Africa, Asia, and South America every year while I was making one or two movies. The very first scene that we did on American Gigolo was the hardest. We had this scene in the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where I meet Richard [Gere]’s character and proposition him. He’s pretending not to be a gigolo and he’s like, “I’m not what you think.” I was terrified because I had never acted in anything that serious, or that naked, where the character says exactly what she’s thinking. I had this big green Incredible Hulk toy sitting next to me at the Polo Lounge, and I was so nervous that I just tore at his arms. I tore him to pieces. Richard was great. There’s a reason stars are called stars. It’s this incandescent quality that surrounds them. Richard has that. There was a real trust between us on set, in the foxhole together. We’re still friends because of it. This photo is between takes—the gigolo looks awfully fine, doesn’t he? He’s in full Armani. I had about a million dollars’ worth of jewelry on me. I don’t know how they let me walk around. I’ll tell you something, though: We were absolutely acting, because Richard and I were jeans, T-shirt, and sneakers people, and to be done up in that heavy a drag was a rare thing for both of us. The film was a critical success, but it didn’t make a penny when it came out. I always thought it was a failure. It was sad because it was a labor of a lot of people’s lives, and certainly Paul Schrader, who was the writer and the director. I think it wasn’t a hit because you never get to see why he’s such a good gigolo. You never see how he makes love to a woman. I don’t think there’s a kiss in the whole movie! We tested one scene of making out on the bed, but it was cut. Little by little, though, the movie became a hit just because it was so brilliant. It was a stylish hit. But it’s sad because it was nice to see us kiss. We were good at it. We can kiss. It was very good. —Lauren Hutton