The most stimulating thing about camp cinema is the ambiguity of intention: It's practically a game to figure out how aware the participants were in the creation of something so bad that it's good. Things can look so ridiculous that you'd assume any actors/directors/producers involved would have to realize it, and yet their perseverance in and clear commitment to an inevitable bomb suggests a glorious lack of awareness.
She said she auditioned for Showgirls-which she thought would be more serious, like director Paul Verhoeven's Dutch films, a modern-day retelling of All About Eve set in Las Vegas-for three months straight. She wore extra makeup in all of her meetings and lied that she was older to convince the studio she could handle the part of a weathered, diva bitch. When she got to the set, she realized she was making a different movie from the serious drama she had imagined. "I was hanging up by a rope looking down, going, Oh, my God, I've studied the classics. I want to do Greek theater. I want to do Chekov. What the fuck am I doing here?!"
Even though "I thought I was doing a Wagner concert" and "realized this is going to be a Britney Spears show," she said she had to make the best out of the situation. "I just thought, I'm going to camp it up and have a good time and still be good."
If Gershon's not just saving face and her words are true, Showgirls becomes slightly less fascinating (even if the movie will forever crush). I had always assumed that the movie was an out of control force that its participants viewed as serious cinema, so it stings a little bit to understand its absurdity as something that wasn't entirely accidental. The snickers that Nomi's reference to "Versayce" elicits onscreen are even more knowing than previously thought.