This week, the classic film The Fifth Element from Luc Besson meets his first 20 yearsand without a doubt, one of the most striking elements of the film and that has been able to overcome the passage of time was its costume design, made exclusively by the French Jean Paul Gaultierwho created iconic looks that we still remember, as we reviewed a few weeks ago.
One of the most well-known stories about the film is that the original cast was going to be completely different: instead of Bruce Willis Y Jovovich mile was going to have Mel Gibson Y Julia Roberts (WTF?!), and before Chris Tucker will steal the show with the character of ruby rhodis that at that time the role had been offered to another celebrity: Prince.
And while it makes sense that the role of the androgynous sexual rocket was offered to the artist, in the end it could not be for greater reasons: he could not find free dates to film the role when he was in full tour. However, Pince had already taken a look at Gaultier’s proposed script and costumes, and in his opinion, Ruby Rhod was a bit “sissy” for him. These were the sketches that were presented to him:
This is the story of the meeting between Prince and the designer, told by Jean-Paul Gaultier himself:
“I showed him my drawings, but he didn’t say a word. She had had an idea for a really fun costume with very fine hairnet that her body hair would go through. So I explained to Prince in my broken English and heavy French accent, prince: ‘Here’s the fake hair, beaucoup, beaucoup of air, vraiment funny, and on the back you will have an ass faux, you know, very big’. And I smacked my buttocks to show him how the back of the costume would be designed.
Still not saying anything, Prince looked at me with a Charlie Chaplin expression. I could see that something had just happened, but he didn’t know what, only that he had indicated to his bodyguard that he wanted to leave now. I thought he was going to go see Luc. Later, Luc told me that Prince had been very surprised and amused by my performance, but that he found the costumes a bit sissy. And, most importantly, he had thought that he had said ‘Fuck you, fuck you!’ when he was saying in my terrible english accent ‘faux ass, faux ass‘!”
In a AMA of Reddit done last monthdirector Luc Besson confirmed that Prince’s casting story was absolutely true:
“Yes, the part was written for Prince. I met him, and he told me yes. But then he went on a world tour for 10 years! We couldn’t find time. Then I started casting and the two finalists were Chris Tucker Y Jamie Foxx. Jamie was amazing, but he was just as strong on screen as Bruce, and Chris looked like a shrimp, so she knew it would be more fun. But what a luxury to have to choose between these three talented people.”
So thanks to circumstance, we end up with the perfect Ruby Rhod:
And despite the fact that Prince considered him a bit effeminate, we can say that this is precisely the charm of Ruby Rhod. Her character is located in a future in which sexuality and gender ceased to be a social construction and became a personal expression.: a future where all different lifestyles are normal. 20 years later, many wonder what Ruby really is. gay? Bi? And the truth is that it doesn’t matter. Her sexuality is not meant to be discovered, it’s just who she is, and that makes her one of our favorite characters. Prince may very well have missed the opportunity of a lifetime for him.
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This is how Prince almost stole the show as Ruby Rhod in “The Fifth Element”
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