Joan Allen talks filth

Joan Allen has achieved plenty in her 25-year film career, including three Oscar nominations, a Tony Award and roles in films including Nixon, The Ice Storm, The Contender and The Bourne Ultimatum.

The 52-year-old has a new accolade.

Allen arguably holds the distinction of saying the most disgusting, X-rated line of filth spoken in the history of Hollywood film.

The line from her new action film, Death Race, is so foul-mouthed, it is impossible to print.

"It was so fun to say," Allen sheepishly admits.

"It was one of the reasons why I wanted to do the movie.

"I wanted to say THAT line."

Death Race is the new movie by English director Paul W. S. Anderson, a specialist in action films including Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil and AVP: Alien versus Predator.

Anderson also penned the Death Race script and wrote the part of power hungry prison warden, known only as Hennessy, with Allen in mind.

Hennessy is in charge of Terminal Island, a prison facility and the site of a pay-per-view TV car race to the death, involving inmates in tricked out vehicles.

The death races are so popular with the public, they score bigger ratings than the Superbowl TV broadcast.

Anderson was nervous when he first approached Allen to take on the role.

"I thought I was going to have to do a big song and dance," Anderson recalled.

"She's a three-time Oscar nominee, I'm making a movie called Death Race, I was expecting it to be a tough sell, but we had a cup of tea and by the time we drank it, she said she would do it."

Anderson said the film crew were left with shocked looks on their faces when Allen, dressed in a Dolce and Gabbana power suit, screamed the line of filth.

The first time she said it, the camera operators dropped their cameras.

"The camera men all looked up and were like `Oh my God!'," Anderson said.

"If you look at the footage, it is all out of focus."

But, Anderson could not resist hearing the line over and over again.

"I got Joan to say it a lot," he said.

"We got it after three takes, but I just said 'I want to hear it again. Lets' say it again'."

For Allen, she is happy to be part of film infamy.

"It's a great scene, because my character is composed throughout the entire film and then she loses it in epic proportion," Allen said.

"I think that shock value is something that we really wanted."

• Death Race opens in theatres on Thursday.


- Peter Mitchell

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