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Trivia / Dancer in the Dark

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  • California Doubling: Set in Washington State, but most of the filming was done in Europe.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Björk wore glasses with real prescription lenses and had to simultaneously wear equally strong contact lenses of the opposite prescription in order to neutralize the effect and see properly.
  • Enforced Method Acting: By all accounts, Björk's emotional performance was not acting.
  • Fake Nationality: Icelandic Björk plays Selma, who is Czech.
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  • Hostility on the Set: Björk and Lars von Trier didn't get along with each other at all, especially that it proved to be very frustrating enough that the former ruled out any possibility on doing more acting roles, though she did star in her then-domestic partner Matthew Barney's Drawing Resistant 9 five years later. She also stated at one point that she would like to do acting again, just not with von Trier.
  • Old Shame: Björk hated working on this film so much that she supposedly ate part of her costume after filming was completed. She also attacked a reporter when they asked her about her experience working with Trier. Two songs from this film eventually appeared in her Greatest Hits compilation, however.
  • Troubled Production: To put in perspective, Björk described the process of making this film as so emotionally taxing that she would not appear in any film ever again. Lars von Trier was no better, he stated that working with her felt like working with a terrorist.
    • During shooting, Björk left the set for three days without any contact, which was documented in the documentary Lars Von Trier's 100 Eyes. She was also known to say "Mr. von Trier, I despise you" and spitting on him each morning before shooting.
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    • It took Trier a year to convince Björk to play the lead role.
    • Björk delayed the filming of a pivotal scene for days, saying that she wasn't ready. When she finally arrived on set, she found it to be empty and was told that Lars von Trier wasn't ready. The crew admit that although it was an extremely expensive prank, it was worth the time and money because everyone wanted to get back at Björk for her disruptive behavior.
  • Unexplained Accent: Kathy (Catherine Deneuve) and Jeff (Peter Stormare) both have their actors' native accents (French and Swedish respectively), but unlike Selma the film never explains whether their characters are supposed to also be emmigrants or if its a case of Fake American. The film itself seems to lean towards the latter, in which case it's an example of this trope.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Björk's role in this film was supposed to be composing only. Trier eventually decided that the lead role must be the composer and this was changed.
    • The part of the angry moviegoer that argues with Selma was supposed to be played by him. However, due to the contentious relationship between him and Björk, he recast that role, fearing that he might end up overreacting.


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