Question: You play a sultry jewel thief in Femme Fatale. Should we keep our hands on our, er, valuables during this interview?
Rebecca: I'd be a terrible jewel thief in real life. The only thing I can compare it to - because I have no actual experience in the world of jewel theft - is shoplifting or making crank calls. And I'm no good at either of those. I can't keep a straight face; I just laugh.
Question: You do seem to be having a pretty good time in the movie.
Rebecca: I love my character because she's so unapologetically bad. She's totally in charge of her sexuality. She has attributes that, traditionally, a lot of male movie characters have. She doesn't care about being openly sexual or pissing people off - she just does what she needs to do to get the job done.
Question: So can you describe Fatale's plot to us in 10 words or less?
Rebecca: Actually, I can't - it would take me longer to explain than it would take to see the movie. It's not a typical big Hollywood movie. It's a twisted, sexy psychological thriller. When you start watching the movie, at first you might be, like, "Oh, this is going to be La Femme Nikita," and then it moves on and you're, like, "Oh, it's Mission: Impossible." I think you have to let go of all
that. Once you go with the flow, it's really bizarre and cool. It's not a boring, formulaic movie. People will walk out going, "This Brian De Palma guy really f**ks with your head."
Question: Is De Palma as much of a freakazoid as flicks like Dressed to Kill and Scarface suggest he is?
Rebecca: Yeah. [laughs] But he's not strange in a way that's bad or good; he's just different. And I dig strange people! Thing is, you never knew which Brian you were going to get on a given day. Sometimes he'd be in the greatest mood and I could ask him tons of questions, and other times he was, like, "Don't bother me today! I don't want to be talking to you!" But it was great to work with him. He's a genius storyteller.
Question: Well, he does come up with one of the most ... inspired jewel thefts we've ever seen
Rebecca: Yes! I knew it! How long did it take Maxim to ask me about the lesbo scene? Four minutes?
Question: C'mon, Rebecca, we've just never seen a gem heist that involves two gorgeous women going at each other in a public rest room.
Rebecca: [laughs] I haven't seen it either, because I cover my eyes during that scene and my sex scene with Antonio and my striptease scene. Actually, I kinda have watched the jewel theft scene since the other girl, Rie Rasmussen, is a friend of mine. I got her the audition.
Question: If you say the words casting couch, what little is left of our brains might melt.
Rebecca: Rie is a great girl with a strong personality, and I knew Brian would like her. He let me in on the auditions, and they kept bringing in these models who were very young and pretty and sweet. But that character needed to have an edge, and Rie was perfect for that. What else do you want me to say? She's a really good kisser. It's easier to do that with a friend than a stranger.
Question: Which was harder, doing that scene or the striptease?
Rebecca: Being sexy on command without a partner to play off is really hard. It was a nine-minute dance, and I had to do it eight or nine times. It was a closed set, which means there were only, like, oh, 20 people there. Brian was, like, "We're going to start the music, and we'll see if you can turn on all 12 guys in this room!" [laughs] I needed a few shots of tequila to get me through!
Original article: Maxim 11/2002