Mimi Rogers: The Full Mimi

Whether she's taking off in big studio fare or just taking off her clothes in indie flicks, Mimi Rogers is always E Ticket entertainment.

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Mimi Rogers has had her share of success, both commercial (_Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery_) and critical (_The Rapture_). She's also been splashed across tabloid covers aplenty (for being Mrs. Tom Cruise, for posing in Playboy, etc.). But she's never been such a focus of attention that people have labeled her "hot" or "cold." Her career just chugs along nicely. She does whatever she likes, whether it's showing off her comedic side (her vain sister of Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces was a hoot) or all her sides (her fully nude scenes in 1995's Showtime film Full Body Massage have to be seen to be believed). Ether way, she's compulsively watchable. Now Rogers is heading into a new stratosphere--sci-fi land--with the movie version of TV's Lost in Space.

DENNIS HENSLEY: What did you think when you first read the script to Lost in Space?

MIMI ROGERS: I was a bit dubious, but I thought, "Well, I guess a big commercial movie would be useful for my career, blah, blah, blah." And then I read it and went, "Hey, this is pretty great."

Q: How is the movie different from the TV series?

A: There's no camp in the movie. Humor, but no camp. William Hurt plays John Robinson, and you can't make a movie with him without making it real, because he will not go there [camp] at all.

Q: Real or not, you know there's going to be a porn spin-off called Lust in Space.

A: We joked that we should be shooting it concurrently so that we could beat out the competition.

Q: You play Maureen, the June Lockhart role. She's foxy.

A: She's definitely some kind of sex fantasy for a lot of guys out there.

Q: Were you apprehensive about playing the mother of Judy Robinson, who is 19?

A: Listen, it's only about how you look. In Hollywood, age is always an issue because it's made an issue. You know, I think I'm a babe, so I don't worry about age too much. Realistically, I don't think there are many opportunities [to play a babe], which is ridiculous. When you have Gwyneth Paltrow being cast as Michael Douglas's wife in the remake of Dial M for Murder, it's like "Why not just go with Liv Tyler and get it over with?" Or, why should the girl even be 18? I have a three-year-old daughter. That should work.

Q: If you could do a movie where you were paired with some young stud, who would you choose?

A: A lot of them are just too little. Hmmm ... let me think. Who's that guy? Skeeter? Skoot?

Q: Skeet Ulrich.

A: Yeah, although he looks too little. I'm real particular. Oh, Leonardo DiCaprio. He's very hot. And he's just so damn brilliant.

Q: Well, you did get to have a three-way with David Duchovny in The Rapture. That couldn't have been too rough.

A: You're so jealous of me aren't you? Actually, that scene was absolutely horrifying. We all felt very queasy because suddenly it feels like, "Oh God, are we on a porno set?"

Q: Speaking of skin flicks, I recently caught a rerun of Showtime's Full Body Massage, in which you spent most of the movie with your clothes off, getting a rubdown from costar Bryan Brown. Did it feel great?

A: I thought it would, but nothing I did felt good. I was either straining my neck or laying on a cold metal table.

Q: Why did you do it?

A: I thought it was a fascinating script with interesting dialogue. Sort of like My Dinner With Andre with a massage table. Also, it was an opportunity to work with [director] Nicolas Roeg. He waited for me to have my baby so we shot four-and-a-half months after I gave birth. My body was not what it usually is.

Q: I still loved that you did it. Many actresses wouldn't go near it.

A: That's me, the brave one.

Q: You seem to be able to do whatever you want, like Full Body Massage, and still get roles in big films like Lost in Space.

A: I guess the reason for that is if you pull these things off, then people have no choice but to accept it. I think people recognize interesting material and appreciate it if you show a willingness to not make it all about being a movie star.

Q: Has your mouth ever gotten you in trouble?

A: I have created some unintentional furors, like the Playboy interview I did where I was making jokes about why Tom [Cruise] and I split up. I went into this whole thing about monks and celibacy. I was joking. USA Today, never one to miss an opportunity, picked it up and ran with it as if I had said it straight. Then it became, like, a thing.

Q: Do you still talk to Tom?

A: Very rarely. Only if we run into each other.

Q: Do you ever see his movies?

A: Some. I'm not going to see a movie because he's in it.

Q: When Tom said, "You've never seen me very upset" in Mission: Impossible, did you stand up in the theater and say, "I have"?

A: [Laughs] No. I didn't care for that movie.

Q: Have you ever regretted something you've said?

A: No. I mean, come on. You can't take all this shit too seriously.

Q: What made you want to pose nude for Playboy in '93?

A: The nude in art is one of my favorite elements. I love the pictures. They're not soft porn, look-at-my cooter shots.

Q: After that did producers simply assume you'd do nudity?

A: No, but it was after The Rapture so they already thought I was a slut.

Q: Do you get irritated when people typecast you?

A: Yes. After I made Someone to Watch Over Me I'd go up for other parts and hear, "Oh, she's too patrician," when that wasn't my upbringing at all. For fuck's sake, I was acting!

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Dennis Hensley is the author of Misadventures in the 213, which will be published in June.