Jena Malone talked with USA Today about filming Johanna Mason’s nearly-iconic naked elevator scene–who knew it would depend so much on timing!
“It was a really fast elevator,” she says. “At first, we’d get to the door opening, and I’d still be halfway dressed and falling out of the elevator.
“I realized I was going to need some time. I had to choreograph, because I had these bracelets and the whole zipper down the side of the outfit and then taking off the shoes,” she adds. “It was literally like a six-second striptease. I became a really good burlesque dancer.”
By the end of the day of shooting and countless takes, Malone had finally nailed the routine, which took her down to little more than pasties as personal protection. But the film assistant in charge of the elevator sent it to the wrong floor, where an unsuspecting hotel guest was waiting.
“I finally got all of the timing bits down,” Malone says. “And as I turned to go, the elevator doors opened. And there was a guy holding two cups of coffee from Starbucks trying to get onto the elevator. I just walked out. I was like, ‘OK, keep going!’ And he was totally unfazed. It’s like me, naked in all of Joanna’s glory, and then Woody Harrelson, Jen (Lawrence) and Josh (Hutcherson) and the camera operator behind me.”
“It was the best moment of my life,” she adds.