Sharing Steve :: New Stuff
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

"Ma! I got a job sitting on Steve's face! And they paid me to do it!"

Sunday Times (London)
January 16, 2005, Sunday
Features; Culture; 6
Woman on the verge
By Fiona Morrow

Emily Mortimer has never been known to shrink from the edgy.
Little wonder then that she was prepared to risk it all in Hollywood - and now she's come out winning. By FIONA MORROW

She says she found The Pink Panther even more daunting. "There's something just so potentially mortifying about trying to be funny, and failing. I've got very little pride about a lot of things -taking my clothes off being one of them. But if you're meant to be funny and you're not, that is excruciatingly embarrassing."

Steve Martin (who plays Inspector Clouseau) went out of his way to make her feel comfortable. "He was so kind and gentle and appreciative," she recalls. "All my scenes are with Steve, and I was just praying it'd be like playing tennis with someone who's a million times better than you: somehow you lift your game because you can't not." She plays Nicole, Clouseau's secretary. "She's very perky and French and does a lot of filing. But she's also completely physically inept in the same way he is. So whenever they're in a room together, inevitably they end up in a terribly rude compromising position, although it's completely innocent."

The irony wasn't lost on Mortimer. "I made Steve laugh one day," she says, pleased with herself. "I said, 'This is meant to be my clever Hollywood move, my escaping all those risque films where I've taken off my clothes and had custard smeared all over me. I've been to the dark side, and this was supposed to be a safe Hollywood comedy to balance it all out -and all I do with you is sit on your face and simulate sex.'"


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