Uma Thurman, Who Made ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. I’ Worth Watching, Joins Lars von Trier’s Serial Killer Drama


One of the best (/only) memorable scenes in Lars von Trier’s otherwise bloated Nymphomaniac films belonged to Uma Thurman. In a masterful one-act drama planted right in the middle of the first film, Thurman stormed onscreen and began giving her children a tour of the apartment of the women with whom her husband was cheating — showing them the likes of the “whoring bed” and declaring with performative nonchalance, “my first thought was never to let either of you see the children, but then I changed my mind: I thought it only right their father be confronted by the little people whose lives he’s destroyed.” This is all a lead-up to some exciting news about Lars von Trier’s next film: Uma Thurman has joined the cast of the serial killer drama you’ve likely (at least, if you’ve been reading Flavorwire), been hearing bits and pieces about for quite a while.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, Thurman’s character is among “the ranks of unfortunate women who encounter serial killer Jack” in the upcoming The House that Jack Built (a plot line that’s sure to revive the “is Lars von Trier misogynist?” debate that recurs every time art-house cinema’s most gleefully morose, talented troll releases a movie.) As Variety points out, Von Trier himself said about the film that he seeks to underscore “the idea that life is evil and soulless, which is sadly proven by the recent rise of the Homo trumpus – the rat king.”

From the way it’s described in statement by Zentropa producer Louise Vesth, it seems Thurman and Siobhan Fallon Hogan (who played the empathic prison guard in von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark) will be the victims of the film’s central serial killer, Jack, played by Matt Dillon. Riley Keough, Sofie Grabol and Bruno Ganz are also in the film; and may thus also be his victims. Like Nymphomaniac, the film takes place over a long period of time; while the former film focused on individual sexual encounters, this one will move through time by focusing on five of the central character’s killings, tracing his “development as a serial killer” who views his murders as works of art.

Vesth said:

With these two fantastic actresses, the main cast is now in place, and we are ready to shoot – and kill. Uma and Lars first worked together on Nymphomaniac and complemented each other in an exceptional way; I can’t wait to see which character they’ll create together this time. Lars has had Siobhan in mind from a very early stage for one of the female parts, and it is an honor for us to welcome her back on set since her appearance in Dogville and Dancer in the Dark.

Revisit (part of) her Nymphomaniac scene: