Hollywood is a mysterious place, and behind the scenes of the filming of the '90s thriller The Pelican Brief is a story of intrigue and unintended consequences. Directed by the brilliant Alan J. Pakula, this riveting cinematic masterpiece starred Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts in a thrilling story of conspiracy, law, and danger.
A passionate scene was written further to develop the characters' feelings for one another as their on-screen chemistry sparked romance. On the big screen, however, fans witnessed a story that had been meticulously crafted to elicit both praise and criticism.
When released in 1993, The Pelican Brief quickly became a box office smash, grossing over $195 million worldwide. The film's plot, the acting, and especially the chemistry between Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts won over audiences.
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Denzel Washington, a veteran actor with an innate understanding of his audience, made a deliberate choice in the midst of the thrill and suspense that would determine the outcome of The Pelican Brief.
Washington, who was respected for his honesty and thoughtful approach to his roles, was aware of the impact he could have on the way underrepresented groups were portrayed in movies. A negative reaction to his film The Mighty Quinn made him realize the importance of being careful when depicting romantic relationships on screen.
Denzel Washington's character had a passionate kiss with Mimi Rogers in the film The Mighty Quinn. There was an outpouring of criticism for the scene, mostly from Black women who felt they were not adequately represented and were objectified.
Washington quickly acted on the feedback from the test screenings and had the scene cut from the film. The actor realized he needed to be more careful in his future romantic portrayals after this defining experience.
Julia Roberts was caught in the crossfire of audience expectations as Denzel Washington took a thoughtful stance on the film's portrayal of romance. Many viewers complained that the film's lack of a compelling on-screen romance ruined their experience.
Despite popular belief, Washington consciously cut out the passionate scenes between Julia Roberts and Washington.
"I have taken so much s–t over the years about not kissing Denzel in that film. Don't I have a pulse? Of course, I wanted to kiss Denzel. It was his idea to take the damn scenes out."
The beautiful and talented actress was upset by the criticism she had received for the movie's lack of romance. The actress clarified that she was available and eager to shoot romantic scenes with Denzel Washington. It was Washington who suggested cutting out those parts.
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Denzel Washington may have had good intentions when he decided to cut the intimate scenes, but he ended up having the opposite effect. Some viewers were unhappy because there wasn't a romantic subplot, but they didn't realize that wasn't the actor's intention.
The Pelican Brief is a classic thriller that has stood the test of time and continues to fascinate viewers worldwide, despite lacking any romantic interludes. Its legacy is evidence of the complexity of filmmaking, in which every decision, no matter how seemingly insignificant, contributes to the final product.
Source: The Digital Fix