Jamie Bell, Connie Nielsen Join Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'

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COLOGNE, Germany -- British actor Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) and Danish star Connie Nielsen (Boss) have joined the cast of Lars von Trier's pornographic drama Nymphomaniac.

The controversial and highly anticipated feature starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard and Shia LaBeouf begins its 11-week shoot Tuesday in Germany.

Other joining the Nymphomaniac cast include Danish actors Nicolas Bro (Warhorse), Jesper Christensen (Quantum of Solace) and Jens Albinus (Idiots); Sweden's Shanti Roney (Together); and German actor Severin von Hoensbroech (Ruhm). Nicole Kidman and Willem Dafoe also have been linked to Nymphomaniac, but the producers could not confirm whether they would have roles in the film.

Gainsbourg will star as Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac. Skarsgard will play Seligman, an old, charming bachelor who finds Joe beaten up in an alley. He takes her home to care for her, and Joe recounts to him the story of her erotic life, from birth to the age of 50.

Von Trier will shoot Nymphomaniac as a two-part feature and plans to release the films in both hard-core and soft-core versions in 2013.

While LaBeouf confirmed in a recent interview that the sex in the film "will be real," Nymphomaniac's producers said all sex scenes will be performed "with the help of body doubles and visual effects."

Louise Vesth is producing for von Trier's Zentropa Entertainments in co-production with Bettina Brokemper of Zentropa International in Cologne, Marianne Slot of production house Slot Machine and Bert Hamelinck of Caviar productions.

The film is backed by European regional funds including the Filmstifftung NRW, the Danish Film Institute, the Nordic Film & TV Fund, Germany's DFFF and the Belgian tax shelter. TrustNordisk is handling international sales.

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