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Charlize Theron Dodged The Career-Killing Bullet That Was 'Showgirls'

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | October 20, 2015 |

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | October 20, 2015 |

Sure, now it’s a cult classic, adored as much for its trashiness and laughable dialogue as for its edited-for-TV cut with MS Paint bras. Yet for much of the past twenty years, Showgirls was chiefly known as a critical and financial flop that torpedoed the career of Saved By The Bell star Jessie Spano Elizabeth Berkley.

But did you know Charlize Theron was thisclose to scoring that career-devastating role?


In an interview with New York Daily News, Showgirls director Paul Verhoeven revealed, “Charlize also auditioned, and I don’t recall her having any problem with the nudity at all. She was good and wanted the part, but basically she was not well known enough at the time and just did not fit the part, so we said no.”

Having spent a chunk of the interview reflecting on how the flop hurt Berkley’s prospects far more than Verhoeven’s—though he takes the blame for all its failures now—he admits, “I have full respect for Charlize, but if she had been offered the part then she would probably have been chewed up in the same way they treated Elizabeth. She was very lucky that she did not get the part. I wish Charlize congratulations for that because it would have have been a miserable 20 years for her!”

It’s hard to imagine the South African ingenue pivoting out of Showgirls to become the feminist action icon Furiosa. So…thanks, Verhoeven?

Kristy Puchko lives in perpetual fear that ice cream will become self-aware New York City.

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.