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Trivia / The Neon Demon

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  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • As Nicolas Winding Refn had not done a female-led film before, he had Elle Fanning revise the dialogue for the women to make it sound more authentic.
    • Abbey Lee doubled as an adviser for the modelling scenes - such as what the casting directors would have on the table at the audition. She also taught Elle Fanning how to do a catwalk like a professional model would do.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget: $7 million. Box office: $3.4 million.
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  • Nicolas Winding Refn's wife appears as a restaurant guest during the "beauty isn't everything" scene.
  • Doing It for the Art: Elle Fanning had to hold her eyes open for the opening shot for so long that her contact lenses got burned into them by the hot lights.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • The film was shot in chronological order to keep Jessie's growth consistent with Elle Fanning's.
    • Rather than calling "action", the director instead shouted "violence, motherfuckers!"
    • As Jena Malone, Abbey Lee and Bella Heathcoate would have to drink a lot of fake blood when killing Jessie, the crew made it taste like syrup so as to make it pleasing for them.
  • Fake American: Bella Heathcoate (Gigi) is Australian. Abbey Lee is too but she gets to keep her accent. Keanu Reeves is also Canadian.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: The mansion used at the end of the film was also used in Scream 3.
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  • Irony as She Is Cast: At one point early on in the film, Jesse says she can’t sing or dance. Not only is Elle Fanning a professionally trained ballerina, she's also quite a good singer.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Keanu Reeves as Hank although The Gift (2000) showed he could do these roles well.
    • Jena Malone plays a lesbian necrophiliac vampire who ends up bathing in the blood of and supposedly eating Jesse, one of the least attractive roles an actress could play and she does it brilliantly.
  • Production Posse: Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Alessandro Nivola had all worked on Ginger & Rosa.
  • Real-Life Relative: Nicolas Winding Refn's nephew Julian Winding contributes two songs to the soundtrack with his band Sweet Tempest.
  • Reality Subtext: Christina Hendricks plays the head of a prestigious modelling agency. She herself had been a model.
  • Throw It In!:
    • A crew member was going to break the mirror in the bathroom, but nothing happened when he threw a heavy vase at it. So Abbey Lee was told to throw the trash can at the mirror, which broke into pieces on the first take. It's used in the finished film.
    • Keanu Reeves ad-libbed the line "Room 214! Gotta be seen!"
    • Alessandro Nivola had grown his mustache for a play, and Nicolas Winding Refn had him keep it.
    • Ruby's boss is played by the owner of the morgue used as the location.
    • Abbey Lee accidentally punched Elle Fanning for real, and the take was used in the film.
    • Ruby was down in the script to only kiss the corpse. Jena Malone improvised her molesting the corpse.
    • Elle Fanning also improvised kissing her reflection in the mirror.
    • Cinematographer Natasha Braier created some lens flares during the party scene. Nicholas Winding Refn liked them so much, he had the VFX crew add more to other scenes.
  • Typecasting: Jena Malone played a lesbian character in Lovesong, released that same year.
  • Vacation, Dear Boy: Nicolas Winding Refn set the film in Los Angeles because his wife wanted to travel there.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Carey Mulligan was the original choice for Jessie. She dropped out and Elle Fanning replaced her. When Carey was attached, the title was originally "I Walk With the Dead". Additionally, Jessie was supposed to show more nudity in the opening scene when Jack covers her in gold paint. When Elle Fanning replaced Carey Mulligan, that had to be changed, as she was only sixteen at the time.
    • Alessandro Nivola was cast as Jack but had commitments to a play in London. Nicolas Winding Refn instead cast him as the fashion designer (which had originally been smaller, and written to be a woman) - which he was able to do with his schedule.
    • Evan Rachel Wood was the first choice for Sarah.


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