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Who is Shelley Michelle?

Febbraio 2013
Lei è Julia Roberts, ma anche Madonna, Sandra Bullock e molte altre! No, non ci siamo bevuti il cervello: ad Hollywood, Shelley Michelle (l’intervista completa è sul numero in edicola) è la controfigura per eccellenza...

di Talitha Linehan

File audio:

Shelley Michelle as Marilyn Monroe
Shelley Michelle as Marilyn Monroe
Shelley Michelle doubling Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman
Shelley Michelle doubling Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

Speaker: Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

Body double Shelley Michelle had more to say about her work in the film industry. We asked what were the most typical scenes that she appeared in:

Shelley Michelle (Standard American accent)

Definitely love scenes. When I doubled Anne Archer in a movie with Dennis Hopper, I mean that was like kind of scary for her, and she did not want to do the love scene. So, she actually comes in and he puts it (sic) on the bed. She’s in a robe, and he starts to kiss her. He goes for the kiss and they’re like, “Cut! Put in the body double.“ And they put me in and I literally had to do the love scene and, for some reason, the director said, “Oh Dennis, you go ahead and direct the scene!” Well, in body doubling, if it feels good, it really doesn’t look good. It’s very mechanical. It’s like, “OK, you’re on top of me for four. Now let’s roll for four. Now I’m on top of you for four.” You know, my head has to be up and out of it. And so, you know, he was like making... trying to make it look real. And so I could see how she didn’t really want to be in that scene. And it kind of scared me, too. And afterwards he followed me to my trailer and...

The film in question was Nails, which was released in 1992. Most actresses feel uncomfortable being filmed in the nude, but Shelley Michelle says she doesn’t. Why is that?

Shelley Michelle

Well, I think I got to be so comfortable with my body in all these crazy scenes that I do because I’m a ballerina and I’ve, you know, been dancing for years and years. In fact I still do ballet to this day. And it just, you know, builds your body and so I think, you know, you become more kinesthetic, like you... which means you’re moving through your body. So if, in the body doubling, you have to be passionate or sad or angry or happy or scared, that has to come through your body. There’s more to it than people think and I think, because your head’s out of it, you know, it makes you like, “Hey, they don’t really know it’s me!

But isn’t that an illusion?

Shelley Michelle

Well, movies are an illusion. Movies are an illusion. If you think movies are, you know... and there’s been stunt people around forever and ever, jumping off those buildings. You think that’s, you know, Bruce Willis or...? No, there’s lots of stunt people and a lot of times my job will, you know, require a stunt as well. But I think, like, with Anne Archer, she said, after I did the love scene with Dennis Hopper, she said I put 10 years on her career because I made her look great and she loved it!

In conclusion we asked Shelley Michelle whether body doubles were ever asked to sign confidentiality agreements:

Shelley Michelle

You know, the only one I’ve ever heard that made a confidentiality agreement for her double was Jamie Lee Curtis. I never had to sign a confidentiality agreement, ever. They came after me. They found me. And I think nowadays, because I brought this all out, it’s a little, you know, stickier. Although, nowadays the actress wants to say, “I didn’t do the nudity. That’s my body double!” Because nudity is such a, you know, hush-hush. It’s got such a, you know, kind of a mystique around it that “Ooh, if she did the nudity, oh, my gosh, she’s going to be blackballed out of Hollywood!” And, with the Internet, I’ve seen it change that because nudity is so, you know, available at your fingertips. It’s such a double standard, you know. It’s like the script wants to be hot and it requires nudity, but the actress can’t do it because it’s going to ruin her career. It’s just interesting. So use a body double. Get around it: “It wasn’t me. It was my body double!” Let them know that!

(Shelley Michelle was talking to Talitha Linehan)

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