In his new memoir, “Baby Don’t Hurt Me: Stories and Scars from Saturday Night Live,” former SNL star Chris Kattan alleges that show producer Lorne Michaels pressured him when he was 27 years old to have sex with a director in order to keep her committed to a project, a claim an SNL spokesperson unequivocally denied.
The passage, highlighted by Page Six, describes a moment in which Michaels allegedly urged Kattan to sleep with a successful female director, who was 16 years his senior, to keep her attached to the Kattan and Will Ferrell-starring, SNL sketch-based film “A Night At The Roxbury” (1998).
The director, Amy Heckerling, then 43, rose to fame in the 1980s after directing a series of famous films, including “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982), “National Lampoons European Vacation” (1985), and “Look Who’s Talking” (1989). A few years before Kattan’s “Roxbury” project, Heckerling directed the hit film “Clueless” (1995).
Kattan claims in his memoir that Heckerling was initially slated to direct “Roxbury” and came onto him during that time. The actor says that while he was attracted to her, he turned her down at first, fearing “the power she and Lorne wielded over my career.”
The actor claims that the day after he shut her down, Michaels called him “furious” because Heckerling was now thinking about walking away from the film. Kattan says Michaels insisted that Paramount would only do the film if she was attached “as a director, not as a producer.” If “he wanted to make sure the movie happened, then [he] had to keep Amy happy,” writes Kattan, Page Six notes.
“Chris, I’m not saying you have to f*** her, but it wouldn’t hurt,” Michaels told him, according to Kattan.
Kattan claims he eventually did hook up with Heckerling, who he says “thought it would be fun to have sex on Lorne’s desk,” but he convinced her to head over to her office instead, where they ended up “having sex on … yep, you guessed it, the ‘casting couch.'”
In a statement to Page Six, an SNL spokesperson flatly denied the allegation. “This did not happen,” the spokesperson said.
“Show reps also said that the publisher never contacted them to verify the claims from the book,” Page Six reports. “Heckerling could not be reached for comment. The publisher didn’t immediately return a request for comment.”
Heckerling did end up staying attached to project, but as a producer rather than the director. John Fortenberry ended up directing the movie, which has earned a lowly 11% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Anyone who is more than momentarily diverted by this motion picture has such a radically different idea from me of what constitutes ‘entertainment’ that we may never agree on anything,” wrote ReelViews’ James Bernardinelli.
“A Night at the Roxbury probably never had a shot at being funny anyway, but I don’t think it planned to be pathetic,” Roger Ebert wrote. “It’s the first comedy I’ve attended where you feel that to laugh would be cruel to the characters.”