Demi Moore discusses full-frontal nudity with Margaret Qualley in new movie

Demi Moore has opened up about stripping off alongside co-star Margaret Qualley in her new horror movie, The Substance.

The gory feminist film has become one of the most talked-about movies at Cannes where it premiered on Sunday (19 May). It received an 11-minute standing ovation – the longest of any film to air at the film festival so far.

Directed by French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat, it follows faded Hollywood star, Elizabeth Sparkle (played by 61-year-old Moore), as she effectively births an alternate youthful version of herself called Sue (Margaret Qualley).

The two inspect one other’s bodies as the birth takes place, with no detail left to the imagination.

Asked whether she had any concerns about the film’s shots of full-frontal nudity in the age of the internet, the Indecent Proposal star explained how she processed the challenge.

“Going into it, it was really spelt out – the level of vulnerability and rawness that was really required to tell the story,” Moore said at a Cannes press conference.

“And it was a very vulnerable experience and just required a lot of sensitivity and a lot of conversation about what we were trying to accomplish.”

Moore plays ageing Hollywood star Elizabeth Sparkle in new movie ‘The Substance’ (Getty Images)
Moore plays ageing Hollywood star Elizabeth Sparkle in new movie ‘The Substance’ (Getty Images)

The Ghost actor credited her co-star and Maid actor Qualley, 29, with making the experience a smooth one. Qualley was unable to be present at Cannes due to prior work commitments.

“I had someone who was a great partner who I felt very safe with. We obviously were quite close – naked – and we also got a lot of levity in those moments at how absurd those certain situations were,” she said.

“But ultimately, it’s just about really directing your communication and mutual trust.”

Moore gore: Moore in ‘The Substance' (Mubi)
Moore gore: Moore in ‘The Substance' (Mubi)

Her performance in The Substance has led some critics to suggest that she could win her first Oscar for the role, with predictions that she could win Best Actress at Cannes already.

Meanwhile, Dennis Quaid shared that he had dedicated his performance in the movie to late actor and Goodfellas star Ray Liotta, who was due to play Harvey in the movie before he passed away in May 2022 due to heart and respiratory system issues. Quaid eventually replaced him in the role.

“In my heart, I dedicated this role to Ray Liotta, who was set to play it,” Quaid said. “It was this week, two years ago that he passed, so I’d like to remember him. He was such an incredible actor.”

The Substance will be released later this year, with an exact date yet to be confirmed.