As telepath Jean Grey in the $148 million grossing ”X-Men,” Famke Janssen battles a villainous slew of bile spewing, shape shifting, and metal moving mutants. And soon the Dutch born actress will be visiting other dark places: She’ll take it off for her role as a stripper in ”Made,” the forthcoming caper film written and directed by actor Jon Favreau, who also costars with Janssen in the romantic comedy ”Love & Sex” (opening nationwide on Sept. 8).
Favreau tells EW.com that after working with Janssen on ”Love,” he decided to write her role for her in ”Made,” a tale of two boxing hopefuls (Favreau and his ”Swinger”’s buddy Vince Vaughn) who get involved with a crime boss played by Sean ”Puffy” Combs. ”I asked her, ‘What kind of part would you like?”’ explains Favreau. ”And she said she wanted to play somebody really seedy and unsavory. So in the film she’s my stripper girlfriend, the source of all my anxiety.”
To prep for her turn as a G-string diva, the 34 year old actress first trolled the strip clubs of L.A., talking to dancers about the job. But then she decided that, in order to really be convincing in the role, she needed private tutoring. ”Somebody hooked me up with a stripper who came to my house and taught me how to lap dance,” Janssen tells EW.com, describing a scene ripe for an NC-17 rated edition of ”Inside the Actor’s Studio.” ”Because I didn’t want to just observe. I wanted her to lap dance on me. And I wanted to practice lap dancing on her.” All this practice made perfect — at least for director Favreau, who’s currently getting the modest $5 million film ready for next year’s festival circuit. ”She’s really good and really sexy in it,” he promises. (Dude, tell us something we don’t know.)
Now that her lap dancing days are behind her, Janssen, who’s been promoting ”X-Men” internationally since its U.S. release in July, is planning to kick back a bit before deciding on her next role. ”I’ve never been this tired in my whole life,” explains the actress, who’s been apartment hunting after a recent split from her husband, director Tod ”Kip” Williams (”The Adventures of Sebastian Cole”).
”We finished ‘X-Men’ so close to the release date that everybody is just taking a little break.” But like her costars in the ensemble comic book flick, she’s already signed on for a likely sequel, which promises the introduction of even more mutants (and no, we’re not talking about the rumor that Jean-Claude Van Damme might join the cast). ”I just hope somebody is gonna focus on my character and make it interesting,” she says. ”But I’ll be lucky if I get two lines.” And maybe a couple of lap dances, if we’re lucky.