Untold Tales of Hollywood #29

Eventually, our British accountant deviously sought to undermine Yugoslavia as our shooting location. He owned a house in Spain, which was clearly the reason he conspired to move the Conan the Barbarian production to Spain.

Somehow, through lies and deception, he convinced the producers we would be better off making our movie in Spain.

After that decision was made, I was given a choice:
1) I could move with the production to Madrid, Spain. It would take a while for them to generate work for me as they settled us into our new quarters, nevertheless, I would still be kept on salary and per diem.
2) While most of the rest of the company moved to Spain, I could live in Rome, Italy until they were ready for me. No salary, though, and no per diem.

Having never been to Rome, I chose Number 2.

I couldn’t believe my bus ride from the Rome airport to the center of town. The streets into town seemed to be lined with many of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. It seemed like I was in an entire city peopled with incredibly stunning Catholic school girls. Could this really be true, or was it an Italian Chamber of Commerce trick? On the bus I met a beautiful Thai stewardess. We were instantly attracted to each other. We would tour Rome during the day, and then I’d take her to dinner each evening. She would always order the same thing: a pork chop.

I ended up living in Rome for a few months. Every day the daughter of our set decorator (Giorgio Postiglione) would pick me up on her Vesna and take me to a museum I wanted to see. Around noon, we would go back to her family’s apartment where her mom would make me lunch. In the evenings, if I wasn’t chasing women, I would watch TV with the family.

Italian TV revealed just how uptight Americans are when it comes to sex — and how different we are from the rest of the world. One of the popular family (and I stress…family) variety shows was hosted by a transvestite. He introduced the next act, which was the popular disco singer Cicciolina (Ilona Staller). She was in a huge, shallow glass cup, covered in chocolate. Several nearly nude, well-muscled gay men carried in buckets of milk. As she sang her disco song, the men began pouring milk all over her until the chocolate was washed away, revealing her completely nude body. I can’t imagine this happening on an American network equivalent, something like the Ed Sullivan Show. Cicciolina later ran for a seat in the Italian Parliament — and won. Later, she became artist Jeff Koons‘ muse. Together they modeled for and produced several pornographic sculptures.

Sexual rules are very different in Italy (and the rest of Europe) than they are in the United States. In Rome, I was frequently encouraged by parents to date and have sex with their fourteen-year-old daughters. No one thought this was improper or unusual.

Giorgio told me a story about when he was working on a project out in the country. At noon each day he would have sex with a local girl in a beautiful forested spot. One day, while they were in the middle of making love, Giorgio heard muffled laughter. He looked up to see his daughter watching him from behind a bush, a big smile on her face. Then, Giorgio’s wife popped up. She laughed; Giorgio laughed, his daughter laughed and the girl laughed. Then, they all had a nice picnic lunch together.

I asked Giorgio’s wife if this was true. She confirmed Giorgio’s story.

“You weren’t jealous?” I asked.

“No,” she replied and smiled. “I know Giorgio is mine.”

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