The cast of Whit Stillman’sMetropolitan were photographed for Vanity Fair by Jonathan Becker for the films 25th anniversary. Mark Rozzo wrote about the reunion for Vanity Fair.
“People treated it like a documentary, with real people,” says Stillman, an eternal prepster at 63. But that sprawling ensemble cast in their gowns and tuxes were, in fact, a talented bunch of young actors channeling the “urban haute bourgeoisie”—or “U.H.B.’s,” in the movie’s parlance—with razor precision. On the rare occasion of a cast get-together, they slip right back into the rapport that made the shoot so successful. “It’s like a family reunion,” says Carolyn Farina, who played the dewy bookworm Audrey Rouget.
All auteurs have a distinct imprint on their films and something that ties all of their work together. Whit Stillman has many signatures, but one of his trademarks, is not as apparent as it might seem. The name Rick (or a variation on that name), used for villains (Dickie Taylor is thought to be a jerk at first, but is found out to be a nice guy) is one such trademark. Stillman has discussed this in interviews before, so it is not just a coincidence. Take a look at the list:
Nick Smith on Rick Von Sloneker: “Rick Von Sloneker is tall, rich, good-looking, stupid, dishonest, conceited, a bully, liar, drunk and thief, an egomaniac, and probably psychotic. In short, highly attractive to women.” (Oddly enough, Will Kempe played Nick Smith first, but was smartly recast).
Ted Boynton on Dickie Taylor: “I haven’t heard from Jack in ages and he’s put this terrible guy from marketing over us. Dickie Taylor. He’s this incredible jerk who…”
The Last Days of Disco:
Description of Rick from Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco novelization:
“The guardians of the red velvet rope had noticed this and started giving me a lot of static about it, especially the number-two guy, Rick, who had recently started throwing his weight around a lot, much to Des’ irritation.
The common parlance for nightclub gatekeepers in those days was “door-Nazi.”
Damsels in Distress:
Violet Wister on Rick DeWolfe: “Oh. You’ll see. He’s one of those I was talking about — tall, probably considering himself very smart and handsome — and a “journalist” — so you can just imagine the mind-boggling arrogance and conceit.”
Frédéric, “All I could to was…nothing.”
Chauvin is probably nothing like Frédéric so please give him a follow on twitter @_benOitCh
*IMDB has Will Kempe (Rick Von Sloneker) listed for an uncredited cameo in The Last Days of Disco.
Back in 1990 Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan played in New York City for seven straight months (as Stillman states in this Official Podcast episode). Here are some New York Times ads I found from that era. Get ready to turn back the clock: