Rebecca Romijn-Stamos Overcomes Fear Of Stripteases

Model/actress has to take it off for starring role in 'Femme Fatale.'

Walking runways, posing for the cover of Maxim, wearing little more than blue body paint (again) for "X-Men 2" and marrying "Full House" star John Stamos? Piece o' cake for Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. But making out with another girl, doing a striptease for a biker and prancing around in lingerie in an erotic thriller? "Terrifying."

"It was just a huge responsibility," the model/actress said of taking on the starring role in "Femme Fatale." "Being handed a movie like this, it's like you can't help but think [of] the entire thing as this big, daunting edifice, this huge mountain to climb. And to think of it on the whole is just suicide. You have to just break it down into scenes and then into moments in order to take it all in, 'cause I was so scared." (Click for photos from "Femme Fatal.")

For one such moment — the lengthy striptease scene — Rebecca worked with a choreographer and did a little bit of homework at "The Crazy Horse Show" in Paris.

"It's this old cabaret show that started in '39, I think," she explained. "It's actually this really beautiful, funny topless review — it's really classy. I would take my mom to see it. And I must have gone to that show 10 or 15 times. Like every time I had houseguests coming to visit me, I would take them to see the show. ... [I also] rehearsed for my husband."

Co-starring Antonio Banderas, "Femme Fatale" is about a diamond thief who steals the identity of a French widow, marries a diplomat, then frames a paparazzi photographer for her kidnapping when it all starts to unravel. Filled with doublecrosses, jumps in time and a plot twist that may even be supernatural, it's the first flick that Brian De Palma ("Scarface," "Mission: Impossible") has directed and written since 1992.

"I was intimidated by Brian," Romijn-Stamos admitted. "[But he] ended up being a dream. It was my first chance to sort of step up to the plate and see if I could carry something like this, so I didn't want to screw it up. ... I'm really happy with the way the movie turned out. I had no choice but to just put all my trust into Brian and hope that he wouldn't steer me wrong."

With "Femme Fatale" hitting theaters this week, Romijn-Stamos is focusing her attention on finishing work on next year's "X-Men" sequel (see " 'X2' Set Visit Uncovers Secrets: X-Mansion Attack, Better Hair For Halle"). "We have more than an hour of the movie cut together and it looks amazing," she said.

Romijn-Stamos emphasized that she's eager to be seen as a legitimate actress and not just another pretty face trying to make the jump.

"When I started getting offers it was really important to me that I actually be challenged and interested in the characters," she said. "I was offered several supermodel, pretty-girl roles, the trophy girlfriend role — those characters are boring. I'm not interested in playing the boring, pretty girl. I'm more interested in taking on the slightly broken girl."