03-31-2006: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC)

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Jay Leno: Welcome back. My first guest, a talented actress, a lot of fun. Her new show is called "Pepper Dennis." I like that. It sounds like a steak you get at one of those -- let me have the pepper dennis. It premieres on the WB on April 4th. She can also be seen in "X-Men 3," which comes out May 26th. Please welcome the lovely Rebecca Romijn.

[Cheers and applause]

Jay Leno: Can I offer you some bitch balm?

[Laughter]

Rebecca Romijn: Don't mind if I do.

Jay Leno: There you go. How you been?

Rebecca Romijn: Been great, thank you.

Jay Leno: I should give you this as a wedding gift because I heard you got engaged.

Rebecca Romijn: Yes. I'm engaged. Thank you.

[Cheers and applause]

Jay Leno: It's Jerry O'Donnell -- O'Connell.

Rebecca Romijn: Jerry O'Connell.

Jay Leno: Did I say Donnell? Jerry O'Connell, he's on "Crossing Jordan."

Rebecca Romijn: That's right, correct.

Jay Leno: How did you kids get together? I want to hear about this.

Rebecca Romijn: We met years ago at a party, and then we re-met when I was in Las Vegas, about to start working on a documentary with a friend of mine. My friend and I had this fantasy of choreographing the giant fountains at the Bellagio hotel.

Jay Leno: Ok.

Rebecca Romijn: We were about to do this documentary of the whole process. We did "the fountain show," by the way. It's in permanent rotation at the Bellagio. It plays four times a day. Enjoy it, if you are ever there. But, anyway, Jerry overheard us talking about it when we were in Vegas. He was like, "I'm sorry, what are you talking about? You sound crazy." We told him what it was, and he said, "can I be your boom operator on the movie? I would love to boom for you. I've boomed before. I boomed my friend's student films." Which means the sound guy that holds the mike up above. We were like, "yeah, you can boom for us anytime." So he came back with us a week later, and he was with us for ten days when we worked on this documentary. That's how we met.

Jay Leno: So how long until you guys actually boomed?

[Laughter]

Jay Leno: At the time he was booming, did you go, "ooh, this guy. I like this." Or was it all professional?

Rebecca Romijn: We knew he was going to be in the background of almost all of our shots, so we made him wear a half shirt so that every time he was holding the mike up like this, it would come up like that, and he was so game, I was like, "you're cool."

Jay Leno: Really?

Rebecca Romijn: Yeah, it was pretty funny.

Jay Leno: So have you set a date? Do you know when you're getting married?

Rebecca Romijn: No, I've been very busy with my show, he's been very busy with his show. We've been having a great time together.

Jay Leno: Booming.

Rebecca Romijn: Booming. We don't have a date. It will probably be something very spontaneous.

Jay Leno: You're not having the --

Rebecca Romijn: I don't think so, that's not really us.

Jay Leno: How about the future in-laws? Have you met them?

Rebecca Romijn: Yes, they are fantastic. Jerry is from New York. I'm a real California girl. New York City. And I've got this show coming up, "Pepper Dennis," and there are billboards and posters everywhere here in Los Angeles.

Jay Leno: I see 'em. Buses go by. What is that? Oh, "Pepper Dennis."

Rebecca Romijn: And the show takes place in Chicago, and apparently Chicago is wallpapered. By the way, my apologies to the people of Chicago if they are sick of looking at my face. I'm sure it's getting boring at this point. In New York they're everywhere also, and his mother called literally three times a day, going, "I just saw four more buses, all of them traveling east, with Rebecca all over the sides of 'em." And then she called last night and goes "hey, Rebecca, you think you can get me a a billboard or a poster or something. I'd love to have one of those." What is she gonna do with a a billboard?

Jay Leno: Wait a minute -- Jerry's mother is Rosie O'Donnell?

[Laughter]

Wow, that's amazing. -- About you, 'cause I know you like to do these type of things. You like the show dog show, right?

Rebecca Romijn: I am not snobby about television. I love reality shows and my favorite one was a show last season called Show Dog Mom's and Dads and I don't know if anyone here ever saw it but it was fantastic. It's kind of like that movie, "best in show," but it's even better -- like these very overzealous dog owners.

Jay Leno: They see the dog as like their child, don't they?

Rebecca Romijn: Yeah, and they're really a little over the top with their dogs. There was one couple in particular that we were inspired by, and so Jerry and I decided to dress up like them and go to Wal-Mart portrait studio and have our portrait taken.

Jay Leno: Now, this is the couple you were inspired by?

Rebecca Romijn: That is the couple we were inspired by.
Jay Leno: Okay, there they are, there. So you guys dressed up. And this -- look at all of the work you went to. I love this. Look at this. That's you two.

[Laughter]

Rebecca Romijn: That's our idea of fun.

Jay Leno: Now this is not the first time you've done this, 'cause you have other ones here, right?

Rebecca Romijn: We're not night club people. Our idea of fun is getting dressed up.

Jay Leno: Who is this?

Rebecca Romijn: My friend Steve and I.

[Laughter]

Rebecca Romijn: And there is plenty more where those came from. And they all have back stories.

Jay Leno: This is you, apparently as Loni Anderson.

Rebecca Romijn: Yeah.

[Laughter]

Jay Leno: Seems I struck a nerve on that one. Is that a big part -- a lot of role playing going on?

Rebecca Romijn: You know what? I do have a costume closet at my house.

Jay Leno: Really?

Rebecca Romijn: Who doesn't?

Jay Leno: Do you like to dress? Is that a big thing?

Rebecca Romijn: Part of it is daring each other to go out in public, dressed like that.

Jay Leno: Oh, in public? It's not at home?

Rebecca Romijn: No, we do it at home, too.

Jay Leno: But I mean, do you dress up like, "oh, today we're having sex as Annie Oakley" -- I mean is it one of those deals?

Rebecca Romijn: Why does it have to be a sex thing, Jay?

Jay Leno: I don't know, I can't think of any other reason to get dressed up.

[Laughter]

Jay Leno: Okay.

Rebecca Romijn: Speaking of.

Jay Leno: Okay, it's pirate and the slave girl day. I mean, that would make sense to me.

Rebecca Romijn: All right, okay. Well, if we're gonna talk about people who go out in public looking like a doofus, let's talk about how many times I've seen you wearing goggles, driving around in your little racecars, nearby where I live.

Jay Leno: Well, there's no windshield on my car.

Rebecca Romijn: What do you have against windshields?

Jay Leno: I'm just not a big windshield guy.

[Laughter]

Jay Leno: What do you do -- do you just stand out in the street and watch cars go by?

[Laughter]

Rebecca Romijn: I wait for you.

Jay Leno: You know, I'll go by maybe on a Sunday morning, and then I come back, like, at 5:00. What, do you just stand out in the street?

Rebecca Romijn: Always in a car that requires a crank.

[Laughter]

Jay Leno: I know. My cars are old. Some of them are 80 or 90 years old.

Rebecca Romijn: Anyone who watches this show knows that you love old cars.

Jay Leno: I like the idea that you just stand on the street. The chance of me passing by as you are looking out the window are like, a million to one, unless you just stare out the window.

Rebecca Romijn: It's almost every weekend, I have to say.

Jay Leno: Really?

Rebecca Romijn: I mean, don't you go out there every weekend and drive your car around?

Jay Leno: I do go out every weekend. But the idea that your weekends consist of waiting for me to.

[Laughter]

Jay Leno: We'll take break. More with Rebecca right after this.

[Cheers and applause]

Jay Leno: Welcome back. Talking with Rebecca Romijn. "Pepper Dennis" is the show. I didn't know your dad was from Holland. Isn't that correct?

Rebecca Romijn: Yes, my dad is from Holland. My mom is Dutch American. My dad comes from a little town in Holland called Barneveld, which is the chicken capital of Holland.

Jay Leno: Chicken capital of Holland. That's pretty impressive.

Rebecca Romijn: Yes, it is.

Jay Leno: So, you are you were obviously raised in a a poultry-like environment?

Rebecca Romijn: When I was a kid, somebody gave my dad a stuffed, like, a stuffed -- a real chicken that had been -- like a taxidermied chicken, basically. And it was sitting in the rafters of my house the whole time I was growing up, and his new wife didn't care for it much. So, he gave it to me last year.

Jay Leno: What a loving gesture.

Rebecca Romijn: Well, it's from my childhood.

Jay Leno: My new wife doesn't like this. It's for you now.

[Laughter]

Jay Leno: So it's a stuffed chicke is it ratty looking or does it look nice?

Rebecca Romijn: No, it looks great.

Jay Leno: It's a beautiful chicken.

Rebecca Romijn: And it's up in the rafters of my house now.

Jay Leno: Oh, okay. But didn't you -- I read once you worked in a poultry place?

Rebecca Romijn: At my very first job, yes. I used to work in a poultry shop in Berkeley, which is where I'm from. And it was this gourmet poultry shop, and I learned how to bone a breast in under --

Jay Leno: What? Oh, I'm sorry.

Rebecca Romijn: I can bone a chicken breast in under seven seconds. I can still do it.

Jay Leno: That's a joke. I'm not even going to go there. But okay, under seven seconds.. wow.. so you mean, like, where you a filet it.

Rebecca Romijn: Yeah, yeah. And I use to cut myself. I still have scars. It was pretty disgusting, actually. But it was mostly raw chicken, but we had this amazing rotisserie chicken grill, and people would come and line up down the street for our rotisserie chicken. Working there, I didn't have any money. And the guy who was training me was like, "you know, you can take one of these, you know, every so often for lunch if you want to."
So I started taking a chicken every single day for lunch. And I would go out to my car and, like, turn on my radio and eat my chicken. And after, like, three or four months of this, the boss, comes and knocks on my car window like, "hello. And I turn down my music. I'm like, "yes?" She's like, you have been taking one of those chickens every single day and not paying for it." I'm like, "but they're delicious." She's like"you're fired."

Jay Leno: Oh, you got fired?

Rebecca Romijn: Ah, I got fired.

Jay Leno: So the male boss said you could have a chicken, but the female boss --

Rebecca Romijn: Well, he was just training me.

Jay Leno: I think I understand what was going on.

Rebecca Romijn: I got fired. But you've been -- haven't you ever been fired before?

Jay Leno: I have been fired. Not for boning a chicken, but I have been fired.

[Laughter]

Rebecca Romijn: I didn't get fired for boning chickens. I got fired for eating chickens without paying for them.

Jay Leno: Yeah, yeah. No, actually, I did get fired once.

Rebecca Romijn: Or what?

Jay Leno: I worked at Wilmington. I was carrying hubcaps. I had a stack of hubcaps. And the new boss came around and saw me with the hubcaps. And I got nervous and dropped them. He goes, "you don't drop our hubcaps." He fired me. so I run home and I wrote a letter to Henry Ford II and I said, "I'm 16 years old, my first job. My dad's got a Ford Galaxy. My mom's got a Falcon. We're a Ford family. I got fired. Blah, blah, blah. Two days not like three or four days later I get a call from my boss. "I don't know who you know in Detroit, but if you want your job back --"

[Cheers]

Rebecca Romijn: Wow, good story. You took it straight to the top.

Jay Leno: Oh, yeah. Hank the deuce saved my ass. That was Henry Ford II. That was pretty good. That's what you do. Now tell us about "Pepper Dennis." Was Angie Dickinson. So you're only the second pepper in television history.

Rebecca Romijn: Yeah. I know- it's this new show --

Jay Leno: It's a comedy, right?

Rebecca Romijn: It's a comedy. It's a romantic comedy.

Jay Leno: See, I always thought you -- 'cause you re always funny and stuff. I always thought you should by doing a comedy.

Rebecca Romijn: Well, thank you. I had never had an opportunity to play a character that was comedic like this and do physical comedy. And nothing like this was coming to me in the film world, so I just really responded to it.

Jay Leno: Now, tv versus film. It's different, isn't it?

Rebecca Romijn: It's different. I mean, my hours are, like 16 to 18-hour days. I'm there all day long. It's a lot of work. But, I mean, on a movie, like, sometimes it takes up to a week to get a scene out of the way. And on this we get five scenes a day done, and it's so satisfying. I mean, before lunchtime we've got five pages of the script done.

Jay Leno: Yeah, and lunchtime -- see, in a movie, they have the catered

[Clapping hands]

And the guy comes in and they're cooking.

Rebecca Romijn: The first day I was there they broke us for lunch, and I'm like, "okay, so which way to the catering tent?" You are gonna have to get your lunch over there." And they pointed at the commissary, which is a fancy word for cateria. And I go over there, and they're like, "where is your money?" So I had to go back to my trailer to get my wallet. Crowded. It was, like, all the crew members and the background artists, which is another fancy word for extras, like, jockeying for position in line." And I ended up in the jita line hoping that I would make it to front of the line before they ran out of the dried-up meat they were cooking.

[Light laughter]

Rebecca Romijn: And then I was still in my wardrobe with my ugg boots and a big, like, parka, and I had my little tray. It was like the first day of school, like, looking for a a place to sit. Like, wandering, you know, wandering around aimlessly looking for my friends. It was so uncomfortable.

Jay Leno: You think? You get beat up. It's a whole deal. It's a whole deal. Well, anyway, it's on April 4th at WB.

Rebecca Romijn: April 4th, 9:00 P.M. Right after "American Idol." Switch that channel.

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