Profile Marisa Tomei: Don't Get Mad, Get Even; ANGER MANAGEMENT STAR MARISA TOMEI ON THE RAGE THAT DRIVES HER CAREER
Byline: ANNA DAY
With her sparkling eyes and tiny waist, Marisa Tomei could easily be an eager starlet new to the Hollywood game. But look a little closer and you can see that the bright smile is surrounded by tell-tale lines. In fact, Tomei is no beginner, with more than 30 films and an Oscar under her belt.
At the end of next year she will turn 40, a watershed age for an actress after which she can no longer play the young ingenue roles that have been Tomei's speciality for so long. However, this milestone isn't worrying her and her career is currently on the up after almost a decade in the doldrums.
"I've never worried about my age," says Brooklyn-born Marisa. "I worry about how I look and act, but not how old I am. Better film parts seem to be coming my way and I've broken out of always doing comedy."
However, her new offering, Anger Management, is a comedy. It's the latest vehicle for American comic Adam Sandler, in which he plays a character diagnosed as being full of rage after a series of misunderstandings. He is sent to an anger therapist played by Jack Nicholson, while Tomei is Linda, Sandler's girlfriend.
Although Anger Management has done well at the US box office, America's most respected film critic, Roger Ebert, was scathing in his dismissal of it. But Tomei has played more serious parts recently. Last year, she won her second Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her traumatic role in the moving emotional drama, In the Bedroom. It's a shame Marisa didn't win because it might have wiped out the tarnished memories of her Oscar win in 1992.
She had been nominated for her supporting actress role in the superb comedy My Cousin Vinny in which she stole the limelight from the lead, Joe Pesci. At the Academy Awards, she was up against heavyweight opposition in Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave, and, when her name was read out as the winner, there was a pregnant pause of disbelief before the clapping started.
"People said that Jack Palance, who was presenting the award, read out the name at the top of the nomination list instead of the winner," says Tomei. "That was very hurtful for me. I was a young actress and it was really exciting, but there was a cloud over it.
"I asked the Academy to clear it up, but they just said it would be giving it more credence than if we ignored it."
The likely explanation for her unexpected win was that the panel had been split between the more established names, so the outsider won through. …