Lars von Trier has signed Duke University porn star Belle Knox to star in his upcoming film based on the life of 19th-Century poet Emily Dickinson.
Knox will portray the reclusive spinster in a film without nudity or sex of any kind. “I want to make a prim film, a repressed film,” says von Trier. “I want to explore the mind of a quiet genius.”
The film, whose working title is Lap the Miles, will explore “the intersection of yearning and reticence” says the director. He thought of Knox because her first name reminded him of a one-woman play about Dickinson called The Belle Of Amherst. “I watched many pornos of Belle Knox and saw in her an inwardness, an intelligence, which I knew would be right for the character of my dear Emily.”
The film, to be produced by Marie Cecilie Gade and Louise Vesth, who also produced Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, will be shot in Denmark.
Knox, who says she’s very excited and challenged by the idea of working in a serious dramatic film, was not familiar with Dickinson’s poetry until contacted by von Trier. “Then I read some of it and realized it was amazing. Quirky and funny and brilliant. I knew immediately I could relate to this woman and feel honored that I can help bring her story to a modern-day audience.”