Of the many famous moments from 1990's Total Recall, few have stuck in audiences minds as strongly as the sex worker who had three breasts, but director Paul Verhoeven recently detailed that he originally planned for the character to actually have four breasts, with special effects artist Rob Bottin ultimately finding the right balance between cartoonish, bizarre, and realistic to cement the character in sci-fi history. Part of what makes the sequence in which Arnold Schwarzenegger's character encounters the character so memorable is how absurd she looks, with the director noting that his original intention was to make the character more realistic.
“Rob Bottin made that,” Verhoeven revealed to The Ringer. “I know that some women had, let’s say, not two nipples, but they have four nipples. Like a dog, whatever. That’s what they have. They exist, basically, and I’ve seen the medical photos when I was at university. And I knew that. I wanted four nipples and breasts, with big breasts and smaller breasts underneath. And Rob Bottin, I think, felt that it was too realistic for the film. And basically that three breasts would be more, let’s say, in the style of the whole movie.”
As far as Bottin's executive decision, the director confirmed, "He was right.”
Lycia Naff played the character in the film and previously recalled those original plans for the character, noting that she would have looked too much like a cow with that initial concept.
"They originally were going to give me four breasts, but the feedback was that I looked too bovine, like a cow ready to be milked, and that wasn’t sexy," the actress shared with Vulture in 2012.
The actress also recalled that, while she was initially embarrassed to be known as the "three-breasted hooker from Mars," she wishes that she had embraced the absurdity of it more.
"At the time, I had the trots [from eating bad food], and I was crying!" Naff noted. "And I was embarrassed. I was so petrified when all the reality of it sunk in. Entertainment Tonight wanted to me to come on the show, me and the guy with the one eye, so they could do a piece on the prosthetics, and I said no. Johnny Carson wanted me to come and sit on his couch, and I said no. I was stupid, embarrassed, and young. Now, looking back, why not? Why not make a goof of it?"
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