Debra Messing‘s first big Hollywood movie wasn’t exactly a dream come true.
In fact, the Will & Grace star recalled being “mortified” on set after being harassed and humiliated by the film’s director!
Speaking at the MAKERS Conference in California this week, the actress recounted the painful experience filming the 1995 romantic drama A Walk in the Clouds under the direction of “ass-hat” Alfonso Arau.
Messing was 25 years old when she costarred with Keanu Reeves in the film, but claims the shoot went downhill after the director ambushed her with a nude scene that wasn’t a part of the deal when she took the job.
When she asked for an explanation, Arau allegedly said:
“Your job is to get naked and to say the lines. That’s it.”
Shooting the scene was even worse, as the filmmaker insisted he needed to “set” the sheet covering her body. She remembered:
“He lifts it, scans my naked body, then drops the sheet on top of me like a used Kleenex. He walks away without a word├óΓé¼┬ª The whole thing was a power play, a game. And the goal, to demean me, to strip me of my power and make me feel on a cellular level his dominance over me.”
But the most humiliating experience came when Arau criticized Debra’s nose during her kissing scene with Keanu, which made her simultaneously feel “frozen, horrified, mortified.”
She remembered him saying to the entire crew:
“How quickly can we get a plastic surgeon in here? Her nose is ruining my movie.”
Messing explained the harrowing incident made her feel “deep shame” for her Jewish heritage when the director asked her to “hide her nose from the camera,” adding:
“I went into my trailer and cried. I felt ugly. I felt like garbage.”
Thankfully, Debra overcame the awful experience and went on to starring in one of the most successful sitcoms ever — while Arau’s IMDB page looks appropriately sparse.
Click HERE to watch Messing’s lively retelling of the awful tale.
[Image via Patricia Schlein/WENN.]