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Everything to Know About Demi Moore’s Shocking Body Horror Film ‘The Substance’: Cast, Plot and More

Everything to Know About Demi Moore The Substance

Demi Moore‘s The Substanceis causing quite a stir at the Cannes Film Festival.

The shocking, feminist body horror film premiered on Sunday, May 19 and garnered an 11-minute standing ovation despite being “disarmingly grotesque” per Variety.

Moore, 61, plays an aging Hollywood actress who takes a drug that transforms her into a younger version of herself (portrayed by Margaret Qualley), setting off a nerve-wracking plot that throwsand The Portrait of Dorian Grey into a grindhouse blender.. Along the way, the film lays both beauty standards around women and the lead actress bare. Moore got candid about the film’s nude scenes at Cannes.

“Going into it, it was really spelled out, the level of vulnerability and rawness that was really required to tell the story,” Moore explained earlier this month. “And it was a very vulnerable experience and just required, I think, kind of going into it with a sensitivity and a lot of conversation about what we were trying to accomplish, how we were going to approach it and, I think, finding that common ground of mutual trust.”


Related: Demi Moore’s Dating History: A Timeline of Her Marriages, Flings

The actress famously appeared nude on the cover of Vanity Fair while pregnant with her daughter Scout in 1991 .The film marks the first time Moore has appeared nude in a movie since 1995’s The Scarlet Letter.  Moore praised Qualley, 29, for being “a great partner who I felt very safe with,” adding, “We obviously were quite close in certain moments, naked, and it allowed us, also, a lot of levity in those moments at how absurd those certain situations were with us laying on the tile floor.”

Scroll down to read everything to know about The Substance:

Who is in the cast?

Moore, Qualley, Dennis Quaid and Hugo Diego Garcia.

What is the plot?

Everything to Know About Demi Moore The Substance

The film follows Elisabeth Sparkle (Moore), a 1980s Hollywood actress-turned-TV fitness instructor who discovers that her TV show’s producer, Harvey (Quaid, 70), is replacing her with a younger model. In her quest to stay relevant, Elisabeth decides to use a black market drug — a cell-replicating substance that temporarily creates a younger, prettier version of Sparkle. The stipulation: the newer version must be alive for only seven days. After Sue (Qualley) emerges, she arrives onto the Hollywood scene with a splash — soaring past ratings records on Harvey’s show — but breaks the seven-day rule due to an infatuation with her newfound fame. Before long, the two women find themselves locked in a fight that spells catastrophe.

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Who directed the film?

Coralie Fargeat, who previously directed 2017’s Revenge with Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz.

When was The Substance released?

The film premiered at Cannes on May 19. It is expected to hit theaters later in 2024.

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What are critics saying about The Substance?

Everything to Know About Demi Moore The Substance

The Substance, which received a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has been hailed as a modern-day horror masterpiece.

“Considering The Substance’s ending builds on the blood-soaked ending of Revenge, then God help us for what Fargeat has in store for us for her third feature,” wrote Caleb Hammond of Collider. The Substance ensures she’ll have a legion of new horror fans anxiously anticipating it.”

Tim Robey of the UK Daily Telegraph wrote, “It’s the casting of Moore, though, and her willingness to denude herself at 61 –emotionally, as well as physically– that gives The Substance a startling connection with its themes. Not for 30 years has she owned a film with anything like this certitude.”

Phil de Semlyen of  TimeOut saidSome will run screaming,” adding, “But if it’s your jam, this could just be your new favorite horror movie.”

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