Flashdance cast: Then and now
Jennifer Beals played the iconic main character of Flashdance, Alex Owens.
This photo of Beals is perhaps the most well-known photo from the film, and existed as the film’s poster image.
Beals famously revealed during promotion for Flashdance that the sweatshirt she wears in the image was actually just a jumper she cut a hole in, because it had shrunk in the wash.
In the film, Beals’ character, Owens, is 18 and aspires to become a professional ballerina, but has no formal dance training.
She lives on her own (with her dog) in a converted warehouse and works at a steel mill by day, and as a cabaret dancer by night.
The film follows Owens’ journey in applying for a spot at a prestigious dance school, and the challenges that come along the way.
One of the greatest controversies that surrounds Beals and her performance in Flashdance is that much of her dance numbers don’t actually show her dancing.
During film promotion, it was revealed that any technical and complicated dance numbers in the film actually showed the French actress Marine Jahan, who was uncredited for her work.
That news majorly upset fans, who felt “lied to” that Beals wasn’t the actual one dancing. Some even deemed she was a “fake dancer”.
As well as French actress Marine Jahan, American professional gymnast Sharon Shapiro was employed for stunts for the character of Alex, as well as break dancer Richard Colón, who was better known by his stage name, Crazy Legs at the time.