Were body doubles originally intended to be used before casting the female lead?
In Flashdance, three separate body doubles were used for lead actress Jennifer Beals during the dance scenes:
Jennifer Beals' dancing in the film was performed by a body double. Her main dance double is the French actress Marine Jahan, while the breakdancing that Alex performs in the audition sequence at the end of the film was doubled by the male dancer Crazy Legs. The shot of Alex diving through the air in slow motion during the audition sequence was performed by Sharon Shapiro, who was a professional gymnast.
Jennifer Beals admits to not ever being a dancer and even turned down appearing on Dancing With the Stars.
Beals turned down an offer to appear on Dancing with the Stars, saying: "I am not a dancer. They asked me and I said 'no.' You could back up a truck to my door filled with cash and I wouldn't do it."
Is there any evidence that filmmakers were intending on using body doubles for all of the dance scenes in the film before the lead female role was cast? If not, why not just cast another actress for the female lead who actually could dance?
The movie's Wikipedia entry says this regarding her casting:
Three candidates, Jennifer Beals, Demi Moore, and Leslie Wing, were the finalists for the role of Alex Owens. Two different stories exist regarding how Beals was chosen. One states that then-Paramount president Michael Eisner asked women secretaries at the studio to select their favorite after viewing screen tests. The other: the film's scriptwriter Joe Eszterhas claims that Eisner asked "two hundred of the most macho men on the [Paramount] lot, Teamsters and gaffers and grips ... 'I want to know which of these three young women you’d most want to f---'".
Most likely the makers of the movie didn't mind her lack of dancing capabilities, figuring they could "solve" this by using stand-ins. Most important were her looks and (to a lesser degree) her acting capabilities.
Catherine Mary Stewart of "The Last Starfighter" fame auditioned for the role: she is a trained (classically) dancer and singer. It was cheaper to hire Beals and the three others (and not give them credit) then it would be to hire her.
Pictures about "Were body doubles originally intended to be used before casting the female lead?"
What is the purpose of a body double?In some productions, a scene calls for two characters in the same shot who are portrayed by a single actor. A body double can portray one of the characters, while the credited actor plays the other, thus enabling both characters to appear simultaneously on camera.
Was the body double in Flashdance a man?ONE of the professional dancers who doubled for Jennifer Beals during the iconic audition scene at the end of Flashdance was actually a man. Richard \u201cCrazy Legs\u201d Col\xf3n was drafted in to perform the breakdancing elements of the routine which were too difficult for Jennifer's two regular body doubles.
Does Jennifer Beals know how do you dance?Still, Jennifer was quick to point out that she did do some of her own dancing because she can also cut a rug, OK? "I mean, I probably was a better field hockey player, but I could dance. I was relatively coordinated and I took dance classes, but I never would have thought of myself as a dancer. But I love to dance."
How do you become a body double?Becoming a body double requires a combination of luck, having the right physical attributes, and aggressive marketing ability. Body doubles stand in for actors who are unwilling or unable to film certain TV or movie scenes due to dangerous conditions, reluctance to do nude scenes, or to save production time and costs.
WebTeach: ENGL 104--Butler, \
Sources: Stack Exchange - This article follows the attribution requirements of Stack Exchange and is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Images: Andrea Piacquadio, Ketut Subiyanto, Karolina Grabowska, Andrea Piacquadio