Why Kelly LeBrock Initially Turned Down John Hughes' Weird Science

John Hughes' 1985 sci-fi sex comedy is, true to its title, something of an oddity. The premise of the movie is clearly cut from the adolescent sex fantasies of a teenage boy: Using a super-advanced computer system, a power source stolen from the government, and other common everyday objects around the house, a pair of high school horndogs (Ilan Mitchell-Smith and Anthony Michael Hall) manage to electrically manifest The Ultimate Woman to serve their every desire. Their creation, Lisa (Kelly LeBrock), in addition to being a tall, gorgeous adult, also possesses bizarre magical powers, and she is able to conjure cars out of thin air. Later in the film, she will also erase people's memories. As far as depraved teenage sex fantasies go, this all sounds pretty standard. 

The weird part occurs when Lisa, rather than succumbing to the two nerds' advances, begins subtly mothering them, teaching them, perhaps in a roundabout way, to be more confident and well-rounded. The film will ultimately climax with Mitchell-Smith and Hall confronting a gang of bikers to rescue a pair of classmates they were previously smitten with. The film ends with teenage couples forming, and Lisa dematerializing. In an epilogue, Lisa reappears as a gym teacher. "Weird Science" begins as something prurient, but ends in an odd place where said prurience is rejected for maturity. 

Acting. Or Not.

Regardless of its themes, many teenagers recall seeing "Weird Science" at a young age and developing a crush on Kelly LeBrock, leading tabloids to continuously refer to her as a sex symbol of the '80s. Don't hate her because she's beautiful

Prior to "Weird Science," LeBrock worked as a model, starting in high school, eventually appearing in Vogue at age 19. She became the face for both Christian Dior and Pantene and playfully entered the world of feature films in the mid-1980s, appearing in both "Weird Science" and "The Woman in Red." This is all to say that LaBrock, at least in the '80s, only pursued acting as a side gig. She spent more time traveling the world for modeling gigs and hanging out with celebrities. 

Indeed, it was an opportunity to bum about with a famous rock star that initially had her turning down her role in "Weird Science." In an interview with Hollywood Life, LeBrock reveals she would rather have spent her time on a beach with Sting:

"The funny thing is, is I turned it down initially. I was in the South of France doing a film with Sting. I was having a great time and my agent called and said, 'Do you want to work?' and I'm like, 'Work or hang out with Sting?' Well, f*** work, I'm gonna hang out with Sting! Then, three weeks into filming, they fired the lead lady because it wasn't working out and I literally went from France to the set (in the U.S.) within a day."

Hasty costume alteration

The leading lady Kelly LeBrock refers to was Sports Illustrated model Kelly Emberg, who was fired over "creative differences." Emberg was only on set for two days before she left and LeBrock was hired as her replacement. She explained in the Hollywood Life interview that the turnaround was so quick, the production didn't have a chance to make LeBrock her own costumes, fitting her hastily into Emberg's wardrobe: 

"They literally cut the back of the dresses because I had bigger boobies and there was no way I was going to fit in them so they just slit everything up the back."

LeBrock also understood the appeal of "Weird Science" as a tale of ordinary heroism, rather than a mere sex farce. She knew John Hughes' strengths as a filmmaker typically involved fantasies wherein "geek" teens were permitted to triumph:

"John was a genius at comic relief, family situations, and geeks getting the girl. And it allows all of us humans who are insecure — and most of us are — to feel like a hero. That's the beauty of the fantasy of the film, it's that these boys who didn't stand a chance with the girls, actually get to be heroes and everyone loves to see the fallen person land on their feet."

It was announced in 2013 that Universal was interested in remaking "Weird Science,"  but since the announcement there has been no additional news. The original, meanwhile, is available for rent on various video rental platforms.