Marisa Tomei wrestles with 'exotic' role
By Robert Levin
Special to amNewYork
Marisa Tomei will always be loved around these parts for her pitch-perfect, Oscar-winning performance as Brooklyn girl Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny.
Shes a native of the borough and a fixture in theater, so it comes as a surprise to learn that though she still has an NYC apartment, shes called Los Angeles home for the past four years.People get so outraged [at my move]. I have a right to sunshine and peace and quiet, Tomei says, laughing.
She spoke at the recent press day for The Wrestler, a New Jersey-set drama from director Darren Aronofsky that opens tomorrow.
The film follows aging wrestling legend Randy The Ram Robinson (Mickey Rourke) as he tries to get his life in order and come to terms with the fact that his body can no longer serve him as it once did.
Tomei plays Cassidy, an exotic dancer struggling with her affection for Randy, a client of hers. She credits her intimate rapport with Rourke in large part to the pared down production.
Everything was handheld and it was such a small crew, she says. Everything was on location. All those things add to intimacy and reality.
The Wrestler is the second film in just over a year, the other being Before the Devil Knows Youre Dead, to require significant nude scenes from the actress. Tomei says she found them more of a burden the first time around.
Once you cross a certain line in your life then youre kind of like, 'I dont mind it really,' youre just over that line, whatever it is," she says. I had already crossed that line in 'Before the Devil Knows Youre Dead,' so it was bigger then.