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The scene where Isabelle's hair catches fire happened unplanned. Eva Green was supposed to lean forward and kiss Matthew goodnight but accidentally caught her hair on fire on the candle on the table. She didn't let it worry her and acted so natural that Bernardo Bertolucci decided to leave it in as he felt it perfectly anticipated the theme that things are about to get a bit crazy.
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Leonardo DiCaprio was offered the role of Matthew, but turned it down because he was in pre-production with The Aviator (2004). Michael Pitt, who bears considerable resemblance to DiCaprio, was cast in his place.
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To make the actors feel comfortable and natural in the film's nude scenes, the director Bernardo Bertolucci would encourage them to be totally nude long before the actual shot so they could get used to be naked around each other. Source: Director's commentary on DVD
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There were scenes in the script depicting much more blatant sexual relations between the characters of Matthew and Theo, but they were not filmed. Director Bernardo Bertolucci said, "The gay sex was in the first script, but I had a feeling that it was just too much stuff. It became redundant." Actor Michael Pitt said in an interview, "It was in the script and it's what I'd signed to do. But they said we weren't going to do that."
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Eva Green's film debut.
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Jake Gyllenhaal was initially considered for the role of Matthew but turned it down because of the explicit nature of the nude scenes.
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Director Bernardo Bertolucci was so impressed how the actors so naturally acted naked, he penned an uncredited lengthy extra scene in the script where all three main actors are overtly nude. It ended up on the cutting room floor.
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First film since Orgazmo (1997) that was released theatrically in the US with a NC-17 rating. Even with its NC-17 rating, major theater circuits like Regal and AMC agreed to show this film.
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Some of the film clips shown in this film are from Breathless, Queen Christine, A Band of Outsiders, Freaks, Scarface (1932) and Blonde Venus.
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Anna Chancellor later plays Eva Green's mother yet again in the Showtime Series "Penny Dreadful".
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The film was made carbon-neutral by offsetting its emissions - the Carbon Neutral logo is visible on the poster and DVD cover. It is probably the first carbon-neutral film to have been made.
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In order to prevent himself from getting "too excited," Michael Pitt has said he would dip "himself" into a glass of ice water before his graphic love scenes with Eva Green.
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Dominic Cooper was considered for the role of Matthew.
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When in the film Godard Mon Amour Godard meets the filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, there is the curious circumstance that the actor who plays the first of them (Louis Garrel) obtained his first cinematographic success under the orders of the Italian director in "The Dreamers" (2003).
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Under the title Jimi Pitt and the Twins of Evil, Pitt performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" with the Twins of Evil for The Dreamers soundtrack.
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Official selection - Out of competition Venice film festival 2003.
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