You’re nobody in Hollywood until somebody eye raped you. Yoga studios and Starbucks in this town have turned into brainstorming sessions on which story of long ago sexual harassment to take public. We’re into week five. It’s time to dig deep.
Jenny McCarthy suddenly remembers that time Steven Seagal asked her to take off her clothes during an audition for “Unnamed Hot Chick” in Under Siege 2 in 1995. Back then, McCarthy was well known for being a blonde with big fake breasts on the pages of Playboy Magazine. Also for pretending she had a college degree. McCarthy recalls wishing the casting session had gone far more professional:
“I purposely wore a muumuu to the audition so the casting people would actually look at my face and watch my work,” she said. “I walk in and I shake his hand with a firm grip just to show him how professional I am. No soft lady shake, this is a serious actress handshake.”
Nevertheless, Seagal was the only one in the room, promptly asked McCarthy to sit next to him on a couch near a fireplace, then explained to her that the role called for nudity “off-camera” and asked her to take her clothes off.
“I paused, I looked up at him, went from shocked to sadness. My eyes filled with water and I yelled, ‘Go buy my Playboy video — it’s on sale for $19.99’ and [I] just took off.”
Realistically, that last part didn’t happen. Though almost certainly the part where the firm handshake didn’t dissuade Seagal from taking a shot on the casting couch did. A couple other women have already accused Seagal of doing pretty much what you imagined Seagal did when casting young women for his martial arts action pics. Likely he wasn’t even tasked formally with casting, he merely invited women back to his place to see if he could put a good word in for them. Everybody assumes Seagal is a sleaze. This provide safe entry for McCarthy to share her Under Siege tale.
A woman who caught her break in the business from her naked body has to work that much harder to find her sympathetic #MeToo story. Imagine most of the 90’s stories where some fat important dude asked McCarthy to take her clothes off resulted in her taking her clothes off and smiling. And receiving a check. Whatever actually happened with Seagal, the muumuu and fireplace bit is the closest she’ll come to a Sophie’s Choice.
Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News / Backgrid USA