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The break-up of her own marriage helped American actor Rebecca Romijn get in character for her latest film role. Romijn worked on Man About Town 18 months after her high-profile split from fellow actor John Stamos after six years of marriage. Man About Town tells of a troubled showbusiness couple, played by Ben Affleck and Romijn, living in Hollywood.

"I worked on the movie shortly after the downfall of my own marriage which was a really painful experience and so of course you draw from your own personal experiences to an extent," Romijn told AAP from Los Angeles. "I definitely identified with that pain, any time a marriage falls apart it is a very very painful experience."

In Man About Town, Affleck plays Hollywood agent Jack Giamoro who discovers his model wife Nina is cheating on him with his top client. "It is meant to be a bit of a satire but it is not that far off base," explained Romijn, 33. "There are some characters out here (in Hollywood) that are just as nutty as any of the characters in the movie. It is a pretty insane world. You come across all kinds of characters out here, it is amazing."

Man About Town was written and directed by Mike Binder, who also stars in the film. The cast also features John Cleese, Amber Valletta, Bai Ling, Adam Goldberg and Jerry O'Connell - Romijn's real life fiance. "It was really funny being on set together," said Romijn, of working with O'Connell. "He was cast separately from me and completely coincidentally."

Romijn didn't have to audition for Man About Town and jumped at the chance to work with Binder, whose previous film The Upside of Anger was highly acclaimed. "I had known Mike for a number of years before and I really trusted him. None of the characters are perfect, sometimes you hate them and sometimes you love them and that is how real life is."

Playing Nina Giamoro was also a totally different role to
anything Romijn - who last worked on the X-Men movies - had explored before. Her X-Men character, Mystique, was a mutant bad-girl, and her costume was painted onto her body. "Variety is the spice of life, you never want to play the same character over and over again," she said. "Coming from the Mystique character in the X-Men movies, it is nice to play something completely different - and where I actually get to wear wardrobe."

Romijn, pronounced Romaine, was born and raised in California to a Dutch furniture-making father and American English teacher mother. She studied music at the University of California before dropping out to pursue a career in modelling. Romijn began at the top, moving to Paris to pose for the front cover of French Elle magazine, and going on to model for the likes of Sports Illustrated, Christian Dior and Victoria's Secret. She got her acting break with a guest spot on hit comedy series Friends, and her first lead film role was 2002's Femme Fatale with Antonio Banderas. Since then, she's starred in the X-Men series, as well as The Punisher, The Alibi and Godsend. She's also believed to be in discussions to star in a fourth X-Men film and is rumoured to be in the running to play Wonder Woman in a big budget feature.

"I look for different types of roles, mostly roles that are slightly flawed," said Romijn. "I am not really interested in playing pretty girl arm candy and I have gotten some nice little opportunities."

She's starred opposite some of Hollywood's hottest leading men, including Australian Hugh Jackman, and has been photographed on plenty of red carpets. But Romijn insists she leads a normal life. "I don't ever want to get swallowed up by the wrong parts of it (Hollywood)," she said. "That is why it is nice to date another actor, you get to bounce it off somebody else, you get a partner in crime."

She's also not too keen on talking about her private life, although she reads about it a lot on the internet and in magazines. For the record, her wedding to O'Connell will be low-key. "We are not going to have a big wedding, we will do something very impromptu," she said. "They report new wedding plans for us every couple of weeks it seems."

Romijn's not interested in leading a party life. "I like to try and keep it as real as possible because it is a bizarre world," she said. "There are the type of people that go and try to be photographed as much as possible and then there's another type of person that doesn't necessarily want that. "Nobody is right, it is just the way you choose to live in this bizarre world called Hollywood."

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