Television Career Part 1

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Movieline

With no previous TV experience, Rebecca Romijn emerged as a talk show host's dream. She was genuinely funny, game and sweet-spirited, and everybody takes notice when a ridiculously beautiful girl can be ridiculous. Though she couldn't afford to stop modeling yet, she followed in the footsteps of Cindy Crawford and Daisy Fuentes and in 1998 became host of MTV's "House of Style," despite having given what she calls a "disastrous" audition. She wanted the job so much she phoned the producer from a Caribbean airport en route to a modeling shoot and begged for it. "I said, I know I can do this well and I really think you should hire me." And they did. "Now I rewrite the scripts with my husband and comedian friends. "The show made her exponentially more famous and won her the devotion of 15-year-old girls everywhere.

She won devotion, too, from moviemakers, but the first film roles they offered she didn't take. "The failure rate of being just another model-turned-actress is so high," she observes. "I remember turning down a movie costarring Joshua Jackson that I don't even know if they're still going to make. I was supposed to be playing a supermodel and I was like, "No, thanks." They also kept asking me to audition for the new James Bond movie, but I didn't want to put myself out there as if I were saying, "Now I'm ready to star in a movie." I did a little cameo as a drunken bearded lady in Norm Macdonald's "Dirty Work" just because John and I know Norm and it souded silly. I did "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" for similar reasons and we wound up becoming friends with Mike Myers and his wife. Mostly, I was completely fighting the actress thing, especially if it meant only playing a supermodel. That was my rule: no supermodel parts."

Why then, after she'd made her acting debut in a 1998 "Friends" episode playing what one character called "the most beautiful girl in the world," did she jump into playing a supermodel on NBC's hit sitcom "Just Shoot Me"? They kept asking me to come on the show, and they finally sat me down and said, "We know you haven't had any acting experience and we're willing to make this as comfortable for you as possible. If you want to be funny, we'll give you those chances. If you don't, we'll write around you. We want you to marry David Spade's character and do a few episodes. Are you willing?' How many opportunities am I going to get like this? The show has amazing writing, a talented cast - I mean, Wendie Malick is the funniest woman on TV - and I just
wanted to let that stuff rub off on me. They've had a number of models on that show trying to act. The cast calls them "the fake actresses." At first with me, they were like, "The fake actress is here," and then they were like, "She got the joke out - yea for the fake actress!" I think they ended up genuinely liking me and now they say, "You're a real actress now, but can we still call you the fake actress?" It's gotten more and more comfortable for me on the set, so I'm getting loose and having much more fun with it."

And that brings us to "X-Men", her first substantial foray into film. The movie version of the comic book sensation "X-Men" is being directed by "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer for something like $100 million, and features Academy Award nominee Sir Ian McKellen and winner Anna Paquin, as well as Halle Berry, James Marsden and new Australian sizzler Hugh Jackman. So does this make her an even more real actress? "Well, I'm going to have my own action figure, so that does put me in another league, doesn't it?" she observes, laughing. "Actually my part is pretty small and I don't say that much."

Original article: Movieline 2/2000

Details

Rebecca's quest to talk brought her to MTV where she could continue to wear bikinis at work. In addition to hosting House of Style, she has interviewed stars at the network's awards shows. She specializes in nosy, teasing questions - a welcome break from MTV's reverent bows to celebrity. "How much did your outfit cost?" she demanded at the Movie Awards. (Jeff Goldblum: "That's a rude question.") At the Video Music Awards, wearing a horsehair dress, she asked "How much do you weigh?" or "Have you ever stolen clothes?" For the next awards show, she plans to ask "When was the last time you had sex?"

You quickly get the sense that Romijn craves a steady supply of entertainment. "She's irreverent, a lot of fun - she's one of the guys. And I talk like a filthy bastard, so she liked me right away," testifies former Full House comic Bob Saget. "She's very accessible; she and I constantly have sex."

Romijn and Stamos have other weird friends - the barbecues they regularly host at ther Malibu Canyon house often in jam sessions with Stamos, Bret Michaels of Poison, and various members of Quiet Riot and Guns N' Roses, as though the music room were a shelter for '80s hair-metal dudes. Romijn, who now, like her mom, prefers show tunes, likes to join in on tambourine. One morning, she showed up on the set of a Victoria's Secret shoot with a huge thigh bruise and told the people there that she'd been playing the tambourine the night before. "They were like, 'Yeah, sure ya were.' "

In the culture of fashion, you see, Romijn is a square. She sees the disparity between show tunes and toe rings, karaoke and horsehair dresses. To explain it, she cites her favorite movie, Grease, and calls herself "a perfect combination" of Sandy's two identities: "Sandy's a wholesome little prissypants, and then to get the guy, she sluts herself up, puts on hot pants and a lot of makeup, makes her hair all big, and starts smoking cigarettes." For photos, Romijn won't get too slutty: "I'll show the very top or bottom of my backside. I won't show nipple, I won't show hair, I won't show crack."

The photo session that found her posing in a negligee for this story, she says, "made me feel a little naughty, a little nasty. A little bit dirty." When pressed, she finally clarifies: "Dirty" is a good thing. Except in the sandbox.

Bob Saget describes Rebecca Romijn in one sentence: "She really digs me."

The Live Show before the MTV Video Music Awards this year was "the longest hour and a half of my life," Romijn jokes. She was afraid a director would suddenly instruct her to interview, say, Master P, whom she doesn't know much about. One guest she was prepared for: Rose McGowan, whose dress revealed her ass and her breasts. Here is what Romijn would have asked, on live TV: "Don't you wish it was cold, so your nipples would be erect?"

Romijn laughs. "I mean, if you wear a dress like that, you kinda want your nipples to be a little erect, 'cause it gives you a nicer shape. These, "she says sagely, "are the things you know when you model lingerie and bathing suits."

Original article: Details 1/1999

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