Why Dario Argento agreed to play in Gaspar Noe’s Vortex

Italian filmmaker Dario Argento has agreed to star in Gaspar Noe’s new film, Vortex, under a somewhat odd condition regarding his character.

The latest film by Argentinian filmmaker Gaspar Noé Vortex is a thematic departure from his other films, and the unexpected addition of legendary Italian filmmaker Dario Argento in an acting role came with a strange caveat. Noé is known to be a transgressive artist, making controversial films like Irreversible, Step into the voidand Climax. His next movie Vortex revolves around an elderly couple grappling with the overwhelming reality of dementia, told in an appropriately stylized split-screen presentation. The reasons for Argento’s involvement are somewhat surprising, however.

Italian filmmaker Dario Argento is best known for his directorial efforts, blazing the trail in the 60s and 70s in the Giallo subgenre of horror films. His filmography includes Dark red, Suspiriaand dark, and it solidified its unique cinematic imprint with dynamic camera movements, memorable soundtracks, and copious amounts of blood and gore. Dario Argento’s influential work still inspires filmmakers like James Wan and Edgar Wright today. However, Argento rarely acts; his credited acting roles are limited to bit parts and voice-over narration.

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Argento agreed to play in Gaspar Noé’s new film, Vortex, on one specific condition: his character had to have a mistress by his side. In addition to casting veteran French actress Françoise Lebrun as Elle, Noé sought out the perfect candidate for the male lead of Vortex, Lui, who was age appropriate and able to improvise freely in French. When Argento expressed interest in playing in this condition, Noé had no problem reworking the character into an Italian film critic living in France who has a mistress much younger than him.



Argento’s surprising decision to act in Vortex could open the door to an endgame resurgence for the Italian filmmaker. His most recent films mother of tears, Gailloand Dracula 3D were not well received by critics or fans, indicating that it may have passed its prime. However, if Vortex is a hit, Argento might be open to more acting roles that showcase his hidden talent as a performer. Working with a filmmaker as intense as Gaspar Noé could also inform his future work and reinvigorate his passion for cinema, which will prove true or false in Argento’s next film. Black glassesscheduled for release in 2022.


At Gaspar Noe Vortex features its signature experimental visual flair filmed and presented in a split-screen format, and Argento’s stunt casting is the only shocking factor. This film marks an unexpected turning point in the careers of the two filmmakers; Noé is known for his thought-provoking and viscerally intense films, while Argento is known for his directorial endeavors, not his acting roles. Noah’s movie 2015 Love was a slight departure from his other films, but it featured long scenes of graphic sexuality and 3D gimmickry that matched the rest of his filmography. Noé has matured personally and as a filmmaker, making Vortex a one-of-a-kind project for him that’s powered by the unexpected casting of a beloved horror filmmaker.


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