Fiona Apple, the elusive chanteuse, has not seen Hustlers. This wouldn’t be notable–Apple famously doesn’t love going outside or interacting with the public–except for the fact that Hustlers is the first film to ever successfully license “Criminal,” her 1997 megahit. It’s utilized in an already-iconic scene, the film’s intro to Jennifer Lopez’s character Ramona, who slides down a poll to the strains of “I’ve been a bad, bad girl.” Incredible.
“Listen, I just want to say: I would give my song to Jennifer Lopez to dance to for free, any day, any time,” Apple told Vulture. “I really want to see the movie. If I were a person who actually left my house, I’d go.”
The fact that Fiona Apple hasn’t seen that scene is criminal in itself. Can’t someone send her a screener?
Apple rarely gives interviews at all, but she chose to speak to Vulture’s Rachel Handler in the wake of a strange, Hustlers-related mini-scandal. In a video Variety posted to Twitter, director Lorene Scafaria spoke about Apple’s decision to donate two years of royalties from “Criminal” to While They Wait, an organization that provides legal aid to refugees in the United States. Except the video is overdubbed, so it sounds like Scafaria is saying “movie” instead of “refugees,” implying that Apple donated the royalties from the song back to Hustlers.
“I can only guess they [the studio, STK] don’t want to alienate any viewers, any ticket buyers, who may be more on the other side of things [politically],” said Apple. “The only reason I can think of is money. But I don’t know.”
The entire interview is full of treasures, including talk about Apple’s famed VMAs speech, in which she said “this world is bullshit” (she thinks it’s even worse now). She also said the Panic! At the Disco’s Brandon Urie called her a bitch when she refused to give him a sample from her album The Idler Wheel. And she relayed this glorious anecdote about Lopez:
“I was in NY at a pre-Grammy party (because I used to go to shit like that),” Apple wrote Handler in a text post-interview. “And my sister Maude was with me, but she was on the other side of this big room filled with little tables and mingling celebrities and executives… So J-Lo’s album hadn’t come out yet, and nobody had started talking about her ass yet — and I swear I saw her (J-Lo), and ran to get my sister JUST to show her how beautiful that ass was — and the moment I pointed her out to my sister, J-Lo turned to speak to someone and her butt was just above table-level, and her butt knocked over someone’s glass of champagne and she didn’t even notice. It was glorious.”