Christina Applegate: Un-"Married...with" Screen Roles

Christina Applegate, who thrilled and/or horrified couch potatoes for 10 years as the slatternly minx Kelly Bundy on Married ... with Children, started doing film roles well before the demise of her series last year, and she worked with interesting directors, too--Gregg Araki (Nowhere), Walter Hill (Wild Bill) and Tim Burton (Mars Attacks!).


Now liberated from the Married ... grind, she's made three movies back-to-back, and she's out to put Kelly behind her. In the new crime spoof Jane Austen's Mafia, Applegate shatters the Bundy blue-collar mold by playing, of all things, the president of the United States. In another comedy, The Big Hit, she goes even further a field, portraying a Jewish-American princess whose parents are Elliott Gould and Lainie Kazan. How could these two have possibly produced a daughter who looks like her? "I just figured my character must have had some plastic surgery," she laughs. On another upcoming film, Claudine's Return, Applegate returns to her sexpot image, but this is "a tragic love story," not a defiantly vulgar comedy, and besides, she set some limits: "There was some question about my nudity at the beginning, but I was able to sit down with the director and convince him it wasn't necessary." Such modesty may seem surprising, given all the naked photos of Applegate that remain available on the Internet.

"Those are fakes," she explains. What is it like to see one's head stuck onto someone else's body? "I think it's funny. My mom actually pulled those pictures up on the Internet and called me, cracking up. They're so poorly put together, so obviously not me, I had to laugh." Is there a director out there who could sway her from her no-nudity stance? Perhaps, Applegate concedes. "If Martin Scorsese came to me and said, I want you to be in this film, but it's imperative that you show your boobs,' I'd have to think about it. For a second."


Edward Margulies