Trivia / Showgirls

  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $45 million. Box office, $20,350,754. And yet, it's still the highest grossing NC-17 film of all time.
  • Contractual Purity: Elizabeth Berkley was looking to avoid this by taking the role; instead, she fell headlong into it. I Am Not Spock probably also played a lot into it; she didn't want to be known as Jessie Spano the rest of her life. In that, she succeeded.
  • Creator Killer: Director Paul Verhoeven and screenwriter Joe Eszterhasnote :
    • Verhoeven's career recovered somewhat from this nadir, culminating in Starship Troopers (usually considered to be his return to form), before leaving America entirely to return to Europe. It does help that he proved he was a good sport by actually showing up at the Razzies, calling it more entertaining than reading the reviews.
    • Eszterhas, formerly the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood, took what little cachet he had left and made An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, which finished off both his career and the tradition of using Alan Smithee as a stand-in name for disowned works.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Paul Verhoeven encouraged tension between Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershon to better translate to their characters' rivalry on screen.
  • Genre-Killer: Its instant reputation as a trashy mess rapidly killed off any chance of the NC-17 rating succeeding in its goal of allowing non-porn films with harder-than-R content to get distribution into mainstream cinemas.note 
  • Jossed: Kyle MacLaghlan was rumoured to have stormed out of the premiere, but denied those reports - saying he "suffered through the whole two hours of it". Composer Toni Halliday however was the one who walked out after forty-five minutes.
  • Old Shame: For nearly everyone involved. Virtually everyone was revolted by the final product, although Paul Verhoeven claimed that critics missed the satire. A few of the cast and crew do poke fun at the movie these days, see below for Elizabeth Berkley.
  • Playing Against Type: Elizabeth Berkley could not have found a role more diametrically opposed to Jessie Spano if she tried.
  • Star-Derailing Role:
    • Poor Elizabeth Berkley. She did somewhat redeem herself when she appeared on the FOX sitcom Titus as Titus' sister, Shannon, but she wasn't in that many episodes and the show didn't stay on the air very long for her to make people forget that she was in this movie. She started to make a comeback in 2013, appearing on Dancing with the Stars and performing a dance inspired by her infamous scene from Saved by the Bell. She also seems to have embraced her Showgirls fame, by poking fun at herself and interacting with fans on Twitter.
    • We also started to see much less of Kyle MacLachlan following this movie on film, although he's had a healthy TV career since and provided a voice for Pixar's Masterpiece Inside Out 20 years later.
  • Stillborn Franchise: A sequel was envisioned while the movie was in production, this one with Nomi going to Hollywood and taking on the film industry. Needless to say, the disaster of the film put a kibosh on those plans.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Charlize Theron auditioned for the role of Nomi, but she was ultimately turned down because at the time she wasn't very well-known among the public. In retrospect, this was probably a stroke of good luck for Charlize, considering that Showgirls was the movie that killed Elizabeth Berkley's acting career.
    • Cristal was supposed to recreate the famous Sharon Stone leg scene from Basic Instinct, but Gina Gershon refused.

  • Showgirls managed to win the Worst Picture of 1995 Golden Raspberry Award. It also won the Worst Picture of the 90's Razzie a few years later. Verhoeven did become the first person to attend the Razzies and accept the award altogether.
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