Why strippers can be great actresses:

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It was a commercial for a new, diamond encrusted watch from Pierre Cardin, called Ice.

The media boffins linked it to flight on the TV series ‘Sex and the City’, so you can work out the psychographic on this one.

Which is why I had this idea, of a male hand, with a block of ice, and a female wearing, well, nothing – except possibly her watch.

So, to the casting session. Every director’s dream, right? Not.

By now, I had cast all sorts of people with all sorts of requirements, for all sorts of roles.

One thing I learned. Don’t cast on what you think is mm.

Cast on what the concept thinks is mm.

The ladies arrived in their costumes, and there were some stunning ones ( all were, in fact) but there was one. Here was the 10. Showed the client a shortlist selection, and it was the 10 the whole way.

I briefed her in detail that it was a semi-nude shoot, and what she would be required to do.

My Director of Photography, the late, and great, Desmond Burmeister, lit the set perfectly.

It was at about this time that I noticed some of the crew were very friendly with the 10, and seemed to know her.

One of them duly informed me that she was a stripper from Teazers.

Okay, but she had cast through a known casting agency, and I wondered if it would be a problem. Moseyed over to the client, and he seemed to think it might be an advantage.

So we shot the commercial, the two lovers’ hands clasping in the end, both wearing their Ice watches and um nothing else.

There was a point, when the ice perambulates about her body, when her eyes

widen significantly. We had a glass ice cube made, so it didn’t melt take during each take, and always looked the same.

But her eyes weren’t reacting enough.

I had standby real ice. For the next take, I used that. We got the look.

The pic in this blog is a frame grab from the commercial.

I spoke with her about stripping. This was a bright, beautiful girl. She told me she did it because she loved it. Now that I can relate to. Don’t do it if you don’t love it.

I put her through her paces in a few other commercials over the next year or two, and

her acting skills improved amazingly. Because she already knew the basics from being on the stage, and doing what she knew the watchers wanted.

I could see she had real potential, and the last I heard, she was casting for a feature film.

Hope she gets it. She knows how to act, after all.

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