Words by Diedre Johnson
Ever since Rebecca Romijn appeared in Sports Illustrated in the 1990s, her voluptuous shape has been admired and that image continued in her appearance in X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and X-Men: The Last Stand as the spray-painted Mystique. She has been featured on Most Beautiful Women lists in Maxim and FHM among others.
Along the way she has also played with that image, especially in her strait-laced portrayal of Alexis Meade on Ugly Betty in which she portrayed the brother turned sister of one the show’s main characters, Daniel.
After that she got into witchcraft, by playing the devilish Roxie in the US series Eastwick. And she came to X-Men: First Class in an unlisted cameo.
Later this year she’ll be playing opposite Noah Wyle in the upcoming The Librarian, an adventure series in which she plays a counter-terrorism agent with Noah Wyle (ER) and John Larroquette (Chuck).
Albeit briefly though, Romijn is once again playing with her image as she hosts an eight-episode show called Skin Wars. Skin Wars is a competition show where body painters compete against each other.
TV SOAP chatted with Romijn about why she decided to host such a show, plus, she updates us on those adorable twin girls, Dolly Rebecca and Charlie Tamara with hubby, actor Jerry O’Donnell, as well as how she keeps that beautiful body.
Why Skin Wars? And why now?
I’m a fan of competition shows. I was not looking to ever be involved with one but this subject matter happens to be one that I happen to have some personal experience in so I felt like I had something to offer and it really made sense
And I also — having been a fan of competition shows — wanted to know if I would be as invested like I am as an audience member, and I did become invested.
How was the schedule?
It’s three and a half weeks. It’s hard when you are doing it but it’s so fun, so fast paced and it’s really exciting.
I assume the three- week shoot allowed you to get home early to the twins?
Yes. Absolutely, except now I am in Portland shooting The Librarian. I’ve been there since April. By the way, both twins) are up there in Portland. I had to leave them in summer camp. I was on the plane this morning and I’m flying back this afternoon and I was on the plane (thinking), “What am I doing leaving my babies in Portland?”
How old are they?
They are five. They are going into kindergarten.
Do you look at body painting as an art a little differently now?
No. Body painting is an underground art movement that is becoming mainstream. I was the very first model painted for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which I believe is partially why I was cast as Mystique in the X-Men movies, so I feel like I have a lot of experience and history in this world. It will be new to other people watching this show.
What did you do when the contestants got stressed?
I was relating more to the models, their blood sugar levels and if they were freezing cold or sweating. Our hours were so long on this show, and usually, for example, on a Project Runway, the final challenge is usually shot over two days. On this, because the painting takes so long, we had to do it all in one day so the models had to keep it together for long periods of time.
So what does Jerry (O’Connell) think about you doing this show?
Well he loves watching these competition shows just as much as I do so he loved coming to set and meeting everybody and getting involved and seeing the inner working of the show, and the people that produced the show are the best of the best and he knew that. We’re fans of shows like that.
Do you do arts and crafts with the kids?
My kids are very artistic and Jerry and I both come from families of artists so it’s sort of in our blood.
To do the X-Men piece you had to stay in shape what are you doing these days to maintain that?
I still do yoga and Pilates when I have time. I am shooting and I am doing a lot of action scenes so I don’t have to at the moment! What kind? I like Bikram when I can go to class but I also believe in breathing deeply and getting oxygen going.