Harold Perrineau Jr

Woman On Top

Interviewed by Jane Crowther

You play a glamorous cross-dresser in "Woman On Top" - how did you prepare for the role?

It's really hard to have a great friendship on-screen if the actors don't have that off-screen, or if they don't have things to share. So Penelope Cruz and I would just hang out, walk down the street, and hold hands because that translated to the screen. We could sit and take a bath in the film and neither of us would think anything of it. Except there is a little bit of work you still have to do there because she's a good-looking girl.

Do you think you made a good-looking woman?

There's a moment when my character Monica is talking about Brazil and I thought "yeah, that chick's hot - I'd go for it, I'd give it a whirl."

So were you forever shaving?

More than I care to! Sometimes twice a day but you had to be careful not to go too far and start going for hormone shots or something!

How did you get cast?

It's not because of "Romeo and Juliet"! But ever since then people have said "oh, yeah, you're the drag queen in 'Romeo and Juliet' " so when this came up I just thought 'no' because I'll be cast as a drag queen for the rest of my life. But a friend convinced me to meet the director and I went and thought she was brilliant. She said "Okay, I think you are great, let's go," but the producers said they had other people to see. She answered "Why? I want him!"

So what did you like about being a woman?

You look in the mirror and say "I look pretty, I feel really pretty," and you go out and someone says "Hey, pretty girl!" and you think, yeah!

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