Jennifer Connelly says she panhandled in NYC for 'Shelter' role

Karen Butler
Jennifer Connelly says her panhandling was real in her upcoming film Shelter. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Jennifer Connelly says her panhandling was real in her upcoming film "Shelter." Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly says she tried her hand at panhandling in New York City while playing a homeless woman in the film Shelter.

Connelly, 44, spoke about her experiences during a recent visit to Late Show with Stephen Colbert.


"There is a sequence at the beginning of the film where I am in Astor Place," Connelly recalled.

"We got there very early in the morning and I kind of set up my thing. The crew was across the street with a long lens and I just sort of did my thing there and people were... I don't know if I am allowed to say this. I'm not sure if we were allowed to do this, actually, but that's what we did. So, I was out there with a sign and, yeah, people were coming up."

The story prompted Colbert to ask if any of the people she encountered recognized her -- a beautiful actress whose career has spanned more than 30 years -- despite her disheveled appearance.

"Some people, after a while, but not for a long time," Connelly replied.


She then revealed how moved she was when one woman saw her sign, which said, "I used to be someone," and assured her, "You're still someone."

"It was lovely and I felt like a creep because... Do I take the money? Do I say...?" Connelly cringed.

"Did you feel like you were lying?" Colbert wanted to know.

"Yeah," Connelly confessed.

"But acting is all lying," Colbert playfully reminded the actress, who was smiling. "You're going to take her 12 bucks this weekend when she goes to see [the movie!]"

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