If there's anyone in the celebrity world who knows the ins and outs of body painting, it's Rebecca Romijn, which makes her perfect to host GSN's new competition show, "Skin Wars," premiering on Wednesday night.
"I have a lot of experience in the subject," Rebecca laughed.
The actress and model has famously been coated in blue to play Mystique in several "X-Men" films, and she believes that acting job stemmed from another of her body painting gigs as a Sports Illustrated model.
"['X-Men'] was a 9-hour makeup job, two hours to take it off, and I believe that part of the reason I was initially cast as Mystique is because I was the first model ever painted for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue," she told AccessHollywood.com. "The very first time they painted me for that was a 12-hour makeup job, and when I told them that on my first meeting with casting for 'X-Men,' I'm pretty sure they hired me there on the spot just because of that. They're like, 'That's the girl with the patience to handle this situation!'"
On "Skin Wars," Rebecca isn't just the host, watching over things as artists from different fields compete to transform models into works of art. She looks after the models too.
"I really felt like I had a lot to offer on the subject. And the amazing thing about being painted is that once you're completely painted you don't feel nude," Rebecca said. "You do not feel nude. And you'll see it in the body language."
Speaking from experience, Rebecca said the models need to stay nourished to get through the long body painting day.
"You sort of have to go into a very Zen place. You've got several people working on you. I mean, in this case it was just one person working on each model, but you sort of have to like, just go somewhere else just to get through it," she said. "You have to watch your sugar intake, because you go on like a glucose roller coaster, and we had some really long days on 'Skin Wars,' where normally, on a competition show like this, for example on a 'Project Runway,' when you do the final challenge, they split up the days of the final challenge from the day of the final reveal. … But on this, because the painting takes so long, they can't do it over again the next day, so it was one long, long, long day and you'd see the models up there on the stage starting to wobble and you're like, 'Oh my God! Get that girl some juice!'
"I was constantly checking in with them," she continued. "You know, you're cold one minute, you're sweating the next and it's intense."
With so much of body painting experience in her past, Access had to ask if the paint really does get everywhere.
"It really gets everywhere. I left a lot of blue toilet seats behind. It's highly embarrassing," Rebecca said, referencing her "X-Men" days.
"When I was in production, I wouldn't even bother getting it out from underneath my fingernails, or in my heels, or in my ears. I remember flying home on the weekends sometimes with blue ears, and the person sitting in the seat next to me like craning to see… 'Do you know that you've got blue inside your ears?'" she recounted. "I couldn't see it. Places where I couldn't see it, it wasn't coming out."
As fans of the "X-Men" franchise know, Rebecca made a cameo in "X-Men: First Class," but would she have an interest in coming back if producers reached out again?
"I feel like they've got a great Mystique right now. Jennifer Lawrence, you couldn't ask for a better Mystique. She's cool, she's gorgeous, she's a great actress, she's an Academy Award winner. I'm thrilled to sharing that role with her," Rebecca said. "I signed on for three, she signed on for three, how many people do they need playing a metamorph… you know what I mean? I don’t think they have any need for me to come back, but you know, you never know," she said.
Catch "Skin Wars" Wednesday night at 9/8c on GSN.
-- Jolie Lash