'Showgirls': Here's what the actors and director are up to now, ahead of film's docu 'You Don't Nomi'
Starring Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon and Kyle MacLachlan, Paul Verhoeven's 1995 erotica 'Showgirls' was vehemently bashed at first and then greeted to massive popularity
Almost 25 years after the phenomenon that waste 1995 cult classic 'Showgirls', director Jeffrey McHale is finally giving us what people deserved in 2011 when 'Showgirls 2' was released. A vapidly loose plot was met with gross overacting and with sex scenes that would either have you on the floor laughing or wondering if the cast are possessed. In short, 'Showgirls' tried to do everything that 'Black Swan' achieved years later, only to fail devastatingly. But while there's not much cinema to watch out for, neither is there practically anything to keep one on their toes, 'Showgirls' became enough of a possible masterpiece to be still relevant on its silver jubilee. And as McHale reunites Paul Verhoeven's original cast of 'Showgirls' for his own 92-minute documentary, titled 'You Don't Nomi', surrounding the epic fall and rise of his '95 erotica, one can't help but imagine what these people have been up to... or where they are now. Worry not, we've got you sorted on that front.
Elizabeth Berkley as Nomi Malone
Berkley's protagonist Nomi wanted to be the titular 'Showgirl'. From barely getting by as a stripper to climbing the ladder of the highly esteemed Stardust nude-dance troupe, toppling over reigning showstopping dancer Cristal Connors, Nomi's arc is stereotypical as far as stories like these go. The fierce newbie replaces the veteran only to meet with her own imminent downfall. Sprinkle gratuitous nudity all over and Berkley's rise to stardom, or dreams of the same with this role, also dimmed out as quickly as her character was in the film. She reportedly expected to get her big breakthrough with this role; McHale's venture was supposed to turn her into a star, but it was met with such cruel and harsh criticism, that she recoiled back to smaller roles. When she was finally ready to accept her 'Showgirls' fame and began indulging in its publicity in the later years, her career saw her detached from that image and more about appearances in dramas like 'Saved by the Bell', 'First Wives Club', 'NYPD Blue' and 'CSI: Miami'. She also became a 2013 finalist in 'Dancing with the Stars'. She is currently married and has a son.
Gina Gershon as Cristal Connors
Gershon's Cristal is the star dancer at the Stardust nude-dance troupe. She is the reigning diva and has been there for a while when Nomi begins climbing the ranks. There's an innate sexual tension between the two as rivalry and jealousy get the better of their possible romance and Nomi pushes Cristal down the stairs to claim her throne. Gershon had already starred in 'Cocktail' and 'The Player' when she did 'Showgirls'. Since then, she has been seen in the Wachowskis debut film 'Bound', 'Face/Off', 'Driven', 'P.S. I Love You', 'Love Ranch' and 'Killer Joe' with Matthew McConaughey. Her guest and recurring roles include credits like 'Rescue Me', 'How to Make It in America', 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'Eastbound and Down', and more recently, 'Maron' and 'Community.' Her film credits include 'LOL', 'Dealin' with Idiots,' and the Eliza Dushku-starring thriller, 'The Scribbler'. For those of you who can't seem to pinpoint where you've seen her, she's our darling Jughead's mother from The CW drama 'Riverdale'.
Kyle MacLachlan as Zack Carey
As the entertainment director of the Stardust, MacLachlan's Zach is charismatic and a signature a**hole. Even though dating Cristal, he ropes Nomi in with his sexually charged advances and favors, and basically encourages her to replace Cristal, only to reject her chances of making it to the top until she acts on her inner darkness. Previously known for his role in 'Twin Peaks', and these days for starring in its 2017 revival, MacLachlan's credits have seen him appear in films like 'The Trigger Effect', 'One Night Stand', 'Me Without You', and 'The Smell of Success'. He played the recurring character of Charlotte's first husband Trey in the HBO drama 'Sex and the City' and as Orson Hodge in ABC's 'Desperate Housewives'. His other appearances can be seen in 'How I Met Your Mother', 'Portlandia', 'Believe' and 'The Good Wife'.
Robert Davi as Al Torres
Al was Nomi's boss at the strip club she used to work at before getting her big break with Stardust. Davi, who had already appeared in some big projects like 'Die Hard' and 'Predator 2', now has over 130 credits to his name. Some of them include 'Stargate: Atlantis', 'Nip/Tuck' and 'Criminal Minds'. His supporting roles have seen him in 'The Hot Chick', 'Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss', 'Kill the Irishman' and 'The Iceman.' His more recent works include 'Blood of Redemption' and 'The Expendables 3'.
Gina Ravera as Molly Abrams
Ravera's Molly was a costume designer for the Stardust Goddesses and goes through the most traumatic rape scene in the history of films. Not only was the infamous scene poorly shot, but the fact that Molly was the one who constantly watched Nomi's back, only to be met with such a tragic fate at a party in her honor was brutal. Ravera was known for her recurring role in 'Silk Stalkings', and went on to star in films like 'Soul Food' and 'Kiss the Girls', and recurring roles on shows like 'Time of Your Life', and 'The Fugitive'. Her guest appearances saw her take the screen in 'Charmed', 'Boston Legal' and 'Everwood'. Her more recent works have been in 'ER', 'The Closer', 'Private Practice', 'Lie to Me' and 'CSI'.
Rena Riffel as Penny/Hope
Hope is a novice at the stripper game when Nomi is taking off for Stardust; she hooks up with James - an early love interest of Nomi, and together they become the central couple of the sequel which frankly should have never been made. By Riffel, or anybody else for that matter. Riffel's career however saw her appear in 'Striptease', 'Candyman: Day of the Dead', 'Mulholland Drive', and even an uncredited role in 'National Lampoon's Gold Diggers.' Before she did the sequel, some of her work in B-films include 'Trasharella' and 'Exit to Hell'.
Director Paul Verhoeven
The Dutch director, screenwriter, and film producer active in both the Netherlands and Hollywood is still known for his auteurist work of mingling violence and sexually provocative content along with a dash of social satire as trademarks of his films that pan over both drama and sci-fi. After an illustrious career that saw 'Showgirls' rise from the ashes to a cult following, Verhoeven is now set to adapt 'Bel Ami' into French-language drama and his nun drama, 'Benedetta', is pending its 2020 release too!
'You Don't Nomi' premieres on June 9 only on Virtual Theatres. Original writer-director duo Joe Eszterhas and Verhoeven also appear alongside Adam Nayman, April Kidwell, David Schmader, Haley Mlotek and Joshua Grannell.