Willem Dafoe attended a criminal trial to prepare for his role. The trial was interrupted when several people in the courtroom, including the judge and many jurors, recognized him and wanted to talk to him.
Producer Dino De Laurentiis stated in interviews after this movie's release that he begged Madonna to delay the publication of her 'sex book' by a few months, so that the public would not think that this was just 'the sex book movie', but that she refused. De Laurentiis maintained that this contributed strongly to the film's poor box office performance.
In an interview on youtube, Michael Forest states that he initially turned down the role of Andrew Marsh, because it was presented to him as "they were doing him a big favor" because he would be filming sex scenes with Madonna. In order to dissuade the producers from trying to cast him, Forest had his agent make an outrageous financial demand. To Forest's surprise, they agreed to pay what he asked, and he was left with no choice but to accept the role.
The black briefs worn by Madonna in the 'hot wax and champagne' scene were on display for a number of years in a strip club in Aberdeen, Scotland, until the owner decided to sell them at an online auction.
During a televised interview in January 2015 when asked about her experience working on this movie, Julianne Moore responded that Madonna was 'method acting' throughout the production, and was so into her character that she refused to speak to Moore on the set, with the result that Moore was so nervous when required to slap Madonna during their scene together, that she came nowhere near to making contact.
In the original script, Rebecca was not supposed to pour the hot candle wax the third time. In the script, she merely used this as a way of taunting Frank, before blowing out the candle and performing a sex act on him. Despite the act being simulated, Madonna refused, because she believed it was not in keeping with her character. The script was changed so Rebecca poured the hot wax for a third time.
Although this movie is often castigated for its similarities to Basic Instinct (1992), shooting began only two weeks after that film was released, so the similarities are probably coincidental. But the gigantic success and media attention of Paul Verhoeven's film could still have influenced the direction and the editing. Certain dialogue lines and situations are definitely similar.
In an interview about this movie with UK Film Threat magazine in April 1993, director Uli Edel stated that while other actresses approached for the role of Rebecca Carlson balked at the explicit nature of the sex scenes, Madonna had her agent pursue the role for her, and Madonna told Edel that no matter how far the scenes would go, she would "always go a step further". Edel also confirmed in the same interview that Madonna refused to take direction for the sex scenes.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight promoting the film, when asked about performing the erotic scenes with Madonna, Willem Dafoe responded that "It's like an action scene with a twist. She is a great partner to do something like that with".
Joe Mantegna stated in an interview that filming the courtroom scenes was so tedious, that two of the extras playing jurors fell asleep during the filming of Willem Dafoe's closing statement. Mantegna yelled at them to wake them up.
At a showing of the film in Los Angeles, Madonna's former best friend Sandra Bernhard was reprimanded for talking too loudly while the movie was playing. One source said that Bernhard reacted to being shushed by proclaiming to all within earshot, "This is not a serious film." The source added that Bernhard did not bother to wait until the movie was over before walking out.
The two lines spoken by Madonna's character in the 'hot wax and champagne' scene ("My way", and "Are you scared?"), are also lyrics from two of her songs recorded around the time the film was released, 'Erotica' and 'Justify My Love'.
In Japan, this movie was released under the title 'Body'. Another film starring Madonna, 'Dangerous Game', released around the same time, was named 'Body 2' in Japan, even though the two films have no connection.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan in 1996, Madonna stated that two different endings were filmed for this movie, one in which her character lived, and one in which she died, and that they went with the 'misogynistic ending'. Of this movie, she said "Film is a director's medium. In other words: try not to work with a director who hates women. In my case, that means I'll be photographed badly and end up dead in the end."
In a 1994 interview with The Face magazine, Madonna confirmed that Rebecca got away in spite of her guilt in the original version of the film, and that the ending was changed in the last week of shooting. Madonna said, "I fought it every step of the way, but I had no control. Woman who has sex must die, that is the theme of that movie, but it wasn't that way to begin with." Madonna also said, "I'm disappointed in it, but I'm not sorry I did it. I think I did a good job. But I got the blame for everything. It was like I wrote it, produced it, directed it, and I was the only one acting in it." The journalist added that when they attended a preview screening of this movie, many of the male critics "shifted coats and bags onto their laps" during the sex scenes, but "they didn't write about that."