No, the Movie Paul Verhoeven Can't Defend Isn’t the One About a Vengeful Stripper

By
Photo: Desiree Navarro/WireImage/Getty Images

While Paul Verhoeven's 1995 film Showgirls starring Jessie Spano — sorry Elizabeth Berkley — as the stripper Nomi Malone put him, as he says, in "Hollywood prison," it's not the film that he can't defend. "I've never done a movie that in retrospect I cannot defend," the 78-year-old director tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I can defend Showgirls, but not Hollow Man." That is, the adaptation of H.G. Wells's Invisible Man starring Kevin Bacon from 2000 that the reporter says Verhoeven "clearly abhors." It was after all, the last Hollywood film the director has made. "I felt like I was doing the bidding of the studio. I couldn’t even put a personal touch to it. I fell into that trap," he told IndieWire last year. "I decided I wasn’t going to do that anymore. If there is a good science-fiction story, I’ll do it, if it’s original. But in this case, I felt that I did Hollow Man without making it personal. The studio wanted it this way. The freedom was gone." It sounds like Verhoeven had a come-to-Nomi-Malone moment.