The woman to my left at the Paris Theater premiere of The Girlfriend Experience pulled a lipstick out of her Prada bag and applied the nude Bobbi Brown in one swift motion without a mirror. I do that with my way more risky Russian red MAC, I thought, feeling competitive, and contemplating the series sample I was about to see. Is close female scrutiny what "the girlfriend experience" is all about? Is it a series in spiritual kinship to Claudia Weill's "Girlfriends" from 1978? Or maybe HBO's "Girls"? Well no, in the two episodes screened, we saw a smart young law firm intern, played by Riley Keough, Elvis Presley's granddaughter, turn predator at a bar, have random sex (as in Erica Jong's famed "zipless fuck"), become a high-priced call girl, and couple with her woman friend. This sexy drama will play out on Starz starting on April 10, for old school viewing, and will also be available for binge watching. So this is what Steven Soderbergh has been doing since he renounced filmmaking!
The Paris crowd--including Ebon Moss Bachrach, Billy Magnussen, Lena Hall and many more-- spilled into Nobu 57 for a swank after party. Writer/ director Oren Moverman now editing his film of The Dinner, admired the show: TV is great, actually bringing filmmaking techniques and production values to the small screen. Steven Soderbergh who has not given up on film quite yet, was standing nearby, The Girlfriend Experience's Executive Producer. The series, directed by Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz, is based on a 2009 movie he made with the same title.
When I ask him about the film, he says, "This is better."
Me: This show certainly hits every male fantasy.
Steven Soderbergh: You think you know what will happen but wait. Things shift. I suggest you binge.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.