The stunning turnarounds just won’t quit. Elizabeth Berklev was once known as Saved by the Bell’s Jessie Spano and then as the actor who ran her career into the ground and thrashed around while she was down there via her feral performance in Paul Verhoeven’s notorious NC-17 rated 1995 flop Showgirls. Despite perpetual cackling from those who saw Showgirls for the masterpiece it is (regardless of intent), Berkley has never quite embraced the film in the way that her co-star Gina Gershon ultimately did, for example. Berkley called the response to the movie “cruel,” the experience “humiliating,” and said she quit dancing for a while as a result of it.
In her 2011 advice book, Ask Elizabeth, she wouldn’t so much as mention Showgirls’s name, though she did “address the extreme criticism she received following the release of what was supposed to be her star-making movie” according to Entertainment Weekly’s Maggie Pehanick. “Though it is obvious what film she’s referring to, she never names it, leaving me to believe there is somewhat of a Lord Voldemort-type situation in the Berkley household,” wrote Pehanick. That’s colder than the ice on Nomi’s tits.
All this ostensibly changed last night in Los Angeles, though, when Berkley appeared onstage in front of the 4,000 people who’d attend Cinespia’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery outdoor movie screening of Showgirls. “Tonight is like this magical full-circle moment where I actually didn’t get to experience the sweetness of the screening with a crowd that embraced it,” she told the attendees. “I wanted to thank you guys for giving me this gift of truly getting a full-circle moment of experiencing the joy with you because you guys and the love you have for this movie have made this the cult film that it is.”
She also told the crowd, “I truly can’t think of a better night to have come to the first screening of Showgirls in 20 years a night after a day we got to witness in this lifetime,” in reference to the SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision.
Such a special full circle moment tonight at a very special screening for 4,000 #showgirlsfans!#hollywoodforever When it first came out years ago, the sweetness of a premiere eluded me since it had been met with such disdain and controversy. Amazing how life works in mysterious ways. Thank you for the love you showed me tonight...I’m#grateful it has served you as your guilty pleasure and as your anthem to go after your dreams. Thank you for writing a new chapter to this story....🙏🙌💃
This is all just beautiful, though I would like to state for the record that there is nothing guilty about the pleasure many of us derive from Showgirls. Showgirls is 131 minutes of uninterrupted, unadulterated pleasure.
Still, wow. Nomi Malone is finally OK with being Nomi Malone. The world is truly changing right before our eyes.
[Image via Getty]