04-22-2004: Happenings

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Supermodel-turned-actress Rebecca Romijn is the first to admit she has no specific strategy when it comes to her career. The one thing she is certain of, however, is that she does NOT want to play any vapid beauties.

"No, there's no plan," laughs the stunning 31-year-old blonde. "It's really just kind of based on the individual piece of material and whether I respond to it or not, or the character, for that matter. Most of the parts that come my way are boring, pretty-girl roles that are really uninteresting. I've gone out of my way to avoid those. I think, so far, I've done a pretty good job of it."

Best known for her performances in the sexy thriller "Femme Fatale" and the two "X-Men" blockbusters, Romijn has a supporting role in another big-screen comic-book adaptation, "The Punisher," in theaters now (April 2004, RRF). In that film, the actress plays Joan, a waitress hiding from her abusive ex-boyfriend in the tenement where the titular hero (played by Tom Jane) is also holed up, plotting to avenge the murders of his entire family. Joan and her geeky, well-meaning neighbors (played by Ben Foster and John Pinette), befriend the vigilante, but find themselves accidentally ensnared in his web of revenge.

Later this year (2004, RRF), the actress will be seen playing the grieving mother of an 8-year-old boy who dies, only to be cloned by a doctor.

"I've gone for the pretty-girl roles that are also broken and flawed, which are much more interesting", notes the former Victoria's Secret model, who credits Pilates and frequent hikes with her dog for her gorgeous figure. "Most of the parts I've taken have been the pretty girl, but then there's something wrong wit her. So, no, there's no huge plan. I'd like to do some comedy at some point. That would be fun."

Listing Wes Anderson, the Coen brothers and the Farrelly brothers among the filmmakers she would most like to work with on a comedy, the actress confesses she is also harboring the dream of starring in a musical some day.

"I did a lot of musical theater as I was growing up," she explains. "Since I was a little kid, I did a lot of Gilbert and Sullivan and I did a lot of singing and now that the movie musical is back, I'd definitely like to get more into music again and I'd love to come and do Broadway at some point. I love "Three Penny Opera," I'd love to do "The Music Man" but I'm probably too tall."

Asked if her background as a model means that she must work harder to hone her skills as an actress, Romijn replies: "I think any actor is trying to expand their craft; absolutely. I don't think the fact that I was model before makes me any different."

That said, she admits feeling a bit self-conscious about proving herself as a legitimate actress and acknowledges she is often "super-critical" of her own work.

"In modeling, it's just about the way you look and nothing else", she observes. "You're not being judged for your emotion and your life experiences, and as an actor you're sort of putting it all out there to be slammed or to be massaged, so it is scary."

The actress says she still gets nervous when she reads a script for the first time and wonders whether she can play the parts she is offered.

"As an actor, any time I look at a new script, my first thought is: "How am I ever going to do this? Where do I start? Oh, my God. I don't know what I'm doing. This is awful,"" she reveals with a laugh. "But then you start reading the script every day and you start finding layer after layer after layer, and you just figure it out, and you start rehearsing and give it a lot of thought."

Romijn says that after years in the modeling business, she is happy to have a job that requires more of her than just looking like, well, the pretty girl.

"Modeling is totally different (than acting,)" she declares. "A lot of it is just hours of hair and makeup and airbrushing. I was raised in Berkeley, California where there was no emphasis on looks. Nobody ever let me skate based on how I looked and so, going from Northern California into the modeling world was a huge wake-up call for me. All of a sudden, I was like: "Oh my God. They don't care about anything I have to say, except for the way I look. All of a sudden that's all anybody paid attention to. So, that was hard. That was bizarre. At least, now I'm in an industry where, yes, looks still count, but at least there's something else you get to work on also."

Original article: Happenings April 22, 2004

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