"I wanted to feel comfortable," the actress says of being nearly nude in The Wrestler

By Charlotte Triggs
Updated December 20, 2008 01:25 PM
Credit: Revolutionpix/INF

Marisa Tomei has done her fair share of nude scenes, but even she was somewhat wary of dancing around in a G-string – and nothing else – in her role as a stripper opposite Micky Rourke, in The Wrestler.

“The script called for certain points where the [Rourke’s character] has to put money in my G-string, so I definitely had to be wearing a G-string – I couldn’t be wearing boy shorts,” the My Cousin Vinny Oscar winner, 44, confesses to Premiere.

“And I didn’t really want to be topless in every single dance number … but there were certain things called for in the plot, and then I wanted to feel comfortable as her and I wanted it to be flattering.”

So how did Tomei get into character? Research.

“I talked to a bunch of different girls and a bunch of different dancers. We just went out, had some drinks, went to a bunch of clubs, watched a lot of dances, got some dances,” she says.

“It’s like anything, any subculture. You get in there, and it’s all individuals. And the dancing itself is not tawdry to the dancer and there’s a lot more complexity there than you’d think.”

Plus, it’s a great workout. “It’s really physically hard! Don’t discount that. Really physically hard,” she notes. “That pole work is crazy hard; to be really good on that pole you have to be really strong.”