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Actor Vincent Gallo accused of sexual harassment during casting of his latest film

"I can ask you to get naked at any time, and I need an actress to do it, because that's what the victim would have done to stay alive.

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Actor Vincent Gallo accused of sexual harassment during casting of his latest film

"I can ask you to get naked at any time, and I need an actress to do it, because that's what the victim would have done to stay alive." According to one of the two complaints filed with the Screen Actors Guild (American actors' union), these remarks were made by Vincent Gallo towards an actress who was cast for the film The Policeman, to play one of the female victims of the serial killer Joseph James DeAngelo.

Directed by Jordan Gertner, The Policeman features the infamous Golden State Killer. Joseph DeAngelo, real name, is a former American police officer and serial killer who was active in the 1970s and 1980s in California. A role that suited Vincent Gallo perfectly, known for his controversial and daring projects. His film The Brown Bunny (2004) was criticized after its 2003 debut at the Cannes Film Festival due to an unsimulated sex scene between him and Chloë Sévigny.

According to the testimonies of two actresses, who wish to remain anonymous, the 62-year-old American would have taken his new character a little too much to heart. “If I tell you to suck my cock or I'll kill you, I want you the person, not you the character, not you the actor, but you, who truly believes you will die if you don't do what I say,” Vincent Gallo would have said during the auditions in November 2023. In a second complaint filed with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), a second actress claims to have paid the costs of the actor and director’s fantasies.

Both women claim Gallo's comments influenced them not to accept roles on The Policeman. SAG then told Rolling Stone that an investigation was underway into allegations of inappropriate comments and the film's casting process. According to the SAG spokesperson: “The casting director told the actors before their callback meetings and auditions that a SAG-AFTRA intimacy coordinator was being hired for the film and that she would be involved in all scenes in which nudity or sexuality was to occur.” For its part, the film production company, Pacific Media Productions, affirms that “the production of the film took place in a safe, protective and respectful environment”.

However, the two artists who filed the complaint claim the opposite by providing details of their conversations with Vincent Gallo. One of them, who applied to play a female victim violently raped and psychologically tortured by DeAngelo's character, denounces “pornographic torture fantasies” on the part of the actor. “He then told me that the filming environment he wanted to create was entirely improvised.” He then insisted that the actress should “be at the mercy of whatever her character decides to do to me at any time.”

Obviously very attached to respecting the finer traits of DeAngelo's character, Vincent Gallo would have explained that the serial killer was “excited by the fear of his victim (...), he constantly created an environment of terror and vulnerability for inspire his character's actions on and off the set. Although he assured the actress that she would be "physically safe" and that there would be no "actual penetration, fluid exchange, or fellatio" during filming, the complaint states that the actress would have “no negotiation” over what was done to him on set. She had to give her “general consent” before the film was filmed. “In order to truly tell the story accurately, he needed actresses willing to have their minds and bodies 100% dominated by him from the moment they arrived on set,” she says in her complaint. . After sending the film production a letter indicating her limits of “two or three very specific sexual acts”, the latter was refused the role.

When interviewed by Rolling Stone, a representative for Gertner and Pacific Media Productions said that allegations about inappropriate remarks were taken "very seriously" and that an intimacy coordinator from Sag-Aftra was ultimately hired for the production .

For its part, the company in charge of casting claims to have “fought hard behind the scenes for the performers and the results of these efforts can be attested to by the positive reports from filming. We thank the actresses for their courage in coming forward and express our most sincere apologies for their experience, which was indeed a first for us too. Finally, the participation of James Franco in the writing of the film does not go unnoticed. The actor and director was accused of sexual assault in 2018 on several women.

With filming of The Policeman now complete, the two women say they filed the lawsuit "to talk about their experiences with Gallo because they were worried about other women working with him in the future." The actresses also regret that no member of the production, nor even the director who was present, came to their defense during the casting. SAG says it has “worked closely with production regarding the complaints and, although filming has ended, we continue to monitor and investigate.”

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