Wilkinson recalls 'Full Monty' experience

Sept. 19, 2005 at 7:22 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- British actor Tom Wilkinson says getting naked in his hit 1997 comedy, "The Full Monty," helped him become a fearless actor.

The 57-year-old star of "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and "Separate Lies" confessed that working on "The Full Monty" helped him see each subsequent acting challenge as easy by comparison.

In the film, Wilkinson, Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy and several other actors play unemployed men putting on a strip show to earn some cash.

Although the men are filmed from behind, Wilkinson noted they still had to dance nude in front of the crew and scores of extras in a club.

"There were 200 of the scariest women you've ever seen in your life -- from Sheffield!" the actor told reporters in New York. "And they were there for a good time! ... Their reactions to what they saw was the pay-off for that shot...

"It was one of the few occasions when the producers said, 'We're going to give you some alcohol,'" he said, admitting he felt like a "rock star" after the women "went crazy" for the dance.

"You felt somehow liberated and you thought, 'No (acting problem) will ever frighten me again,'" he added.

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