In 2005, the documentary "Inside Deep Throat" took a look at the movie that brought skin-flicks into the mainstream. But the film failed to probe one of "Deep Throat"'s most provocative side stories: Linda Lovelace, its star, claimed her on-screen fellatio was in fact real-life rape. A new biopic "Lovelace" will now bring her version of events to the big screen, with the help of Amanda Seyfried, Sharon Stone, James Franco as Hugh Hefner, and Demi Moore as the chic black-clad icon of second wave feminism, Gloria Steinem.
Feminist activists are rarely given the Hollywood treatment, and Demi Moore is, in some ways, an unlikely woman for the job. While Steinem spent the last almost 40 years trying to break down stereotypes about women, Moore certified herself as the ultimate bad girl stereotype, the druggie, promiscuous antidote to fellow Brat Packer Molly Ringwald. Steinem went undercover as a bunny at a Playboy Club and exposed its horrendous working conditions. Moore played a single-mom-turned-erotic-dancer in the 1996 film "Striptease." The actress then took a six-year sabbatical to be a real, full-time smalltown mom, and with her marriage to Ashton Kutcher in 2005, Moore gave the not-necessarily-good-for-womankind archetype of The Cougar a very recognizable face.
But Moore has also done her part for women. When Annie Leibovitz photographed her naked and seven-months pregnant for the August 1991 cover of Vanity Fair, Moore transformed late-term pregnancy from moo moo-shrouded frump into something one could proudly and sexily display. Because of her fierce demands for fair compensation, studio executives dubbed her "Gimme Moore," a type of slander familiar to many ambitious females. And after Moore returned to acting and eluded what is known for actresses in Hollywood as the post-40 curse, she began tweeting furiously about sex slavery, on behalf of her anti-trafficking foundation.
In many ways, Moore was a fitting choice to play the lone female in the Wall Street inner circle in 2011's "Margin Call." Hollywood may be the one climate more toxic to middle-aged women than the testosterone-heavy high rises of lower Manhattan, and Moore has survived the former with tenacity. After @MrsKutcher filed for divorce, some speculated that her brand might be the better for it. The boy candy kept her image young, but too young perhaps for some of the grittier parts now doled out to actresses at the edge of 50.
For Moore, the role of Steinem might be that part. It's not a leading role, but playing Steinem in a biopic would take a lot more energy and finesse than one likely has after a massive public humiliation. You can see how Moore could play the outward Steinem with relative ease -- always entering battle glamorous and poised and taking sensationally unpopular positions (her defense of Linda Lovelace among her most controversial).
This could be another case of Moore playing at feminism (see "G.I. Jane") or it could be the perfect role for Moore to come back into her own -- a more sophisticated version of it.
Follow Claire Gordon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/clairedon