Paz de la Huerta launches crowdfunding site to complete new film

The star filmed a number of key scenes while suffering from real emotional and physical pain.

Actress Paz de la Huerta has turned to crowdfunding in the hopes of completing her directorial debut based on Hans Christian Andersen's tragic story The Red Shoes.

The Boardwalk Empire star has launched a campaign on Indiegogo to help her raise $500,000 (£372,500) to finish her film Valley of Tears, which she has been working on for 12 years.

De La Huerta explains she has just one scene left to shoot, before she begins the editing process.

The original plot centres on a young ballerina forced to dance in her red shoes until she begs an executioner to amputate her feet, but in her version, the actress decided to take the sad storyline further, with her protagonist character being raped by a butcher who proceeds to cut off her feet.

The 33-year-old, who hit headlines in November (17) after accusing disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in 2010, claims the violent nature of her Valley of Tears project is not related to her own alleged rape, but she wanted to use the project to depict the harrowing incident from the perspective of the victim.

"I wanted to show the rape scene from the point of view of a woman that had actually been raped," she told The Associated Press.

She did, however, tap into the feelings of emotional trauma she reportedly suffered at the hands of Weinstein for the role, which was partly filmed while she was still hurting from a spinal fracture she sustained in 2011, when she was struck by an ambulance on the set of her horror movie Nurse 3D.

"I shot while I was in horrific pain, and you can see it on my face - those scenes (where her character is forced to dance) I'm in tremendous pain myself," she said. "They really reflect where I was at the time."

But de la Huerta, who subsequently underwent surgery to treat the tailbone injury, insists Valley of Tears isn't all tragedy.

"I really believe this film is about the end of suffering," she added.

De la Huerta is hoping to have Valley of Tears, which she also wrote and is producing, released in July, 2019.

The Red Shoes was previously adapted for the big screen in 1948, when Moira Shearer tackled the lead role in a British film of the same name.

Weinstein, who has faced multiple allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct since the publication of exposes in The New York Times and The New Yorker in October (17), has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.

Police officials in New York are still investigating de la Huerta's rape claims.

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