Cheryl Tiegs Recalls 'The Brown Bunny's' Infamous Sex Scene: "I Wish He Hadn't Included That"

"It might've hurt the film," the onetime supermodel and Cannes Critics' Week jury member said of the oral sex depiction featured in the Vincent Gallo-directed NC-17 film, which debuted at the festival 15 years ago.
Courtesy of Everett Collection; David Livingston/Getty Images
'The Brown Bunny' still (Inset: Cheryl Tiegs)

Vincent Gallo's NC-17 The Brown Bunny debuted 15 years ago in Cannes, shocking some with an oral sex scene featuring the filmmaker and 2018 Cannes Critics’ Week jury member Chloe Sevigny. In an interview to commemorate the anniversary, Cheryl Tiegs, 70, tells THR that she knew all about the graphic display but agreed to be in the movie anyway.

“I got a message that Vincent wanted to talk to me about a movie. I didn’t call him back right away because I didn’t know who he was,” explains the former supermodel. “But after a month, I called him back, and he told me, ‘If you don’t know who I am, watch Buffalo ’66.’ I was cavalier about it all, pretty much because I’m not an actress. But when I finally saw it, oh, my God, I loved the film so much. I couldn’t get to the phone fast enough.”

After she signed on, Gallo drove straight to her summer rental home in Minnesota, where they filmed her one and only scene at a highway rest stop. “Vincent walked up and we had a casual dialogue, like, ‘Hi, how are you doing?’ We filmed one take, and Vincent said he didn’t want to do that. He wanted to shoot in silence,” recalls Tiegs. “So, the next take, he comes in, sits down, and we start kissing. All we did all day was kiss. He’s a very good kisser.”

She says she’s seen Brown Bunny several times since but doesn’t always make it all the way through. “I feel comfortable [performing oral sex], just not watching someone else do it,” she says. “I wish he hadn’t included that scene because it might have hurt the film, but I know he doesn’t care. I run into Vincent every once in a while, but it’s been a couple of years. I wish I could talk to him again.”

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 12 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.