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Jim Belushi gives us the skinny on sex in the cinema

Jim Belushi | Phoby MariPonce for Sun-Times

Jim Belushi | Photo by Maria Ponce for Sun-Times

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Updated: December 10, 2012 6:17AM



I had my first sex scene in a movie called “Traces of Red.” Not just one sex scene, like, three. It was a sexual thriller and everyone I slept with got murdered. The line in the script was: “If you didn’t know they were making love, you would think it was murder.” So not just sex; violent, crazy sex.

I was so excited: legal sex. I’m not going to get in trouble with the wife. “Hey baby, this is my job!” So once we made it over that hurdle, a whole new hurdle came up: Oh my God, I’m going to be naked on camera!

Boom. Narcissism kicks in. I am training with a trainer every day. Running six miles a day. Doing push-ups. I’m eating salads and chicken. I am panicked. I mean, I played defensive and offensive tackle in high school and was a heavyweight wrestler. I’m the big chunky guy from “About Last Night.” And I’m in search of a six-pack!

The movie also stars Tony Goldwyn and Lorraine Bracco. Now, Tony has to sleep with two other girls in the movie. He’s already got the body of a Greek god. But he’s doing the same thing: running, weights, eating like a mouse. So a week before production, we’re in Florida with the director, visiting all the locations we’ll be shooting in, mentally prepping and discussing staging. We break for lunch. A waiter takes our order, and I say, “I’ll have a salad with … oil and vinegar, I guess.” Tony says, “I’ll have a salad with a lemon wedge.” I’m thinking, “That son of a bitch just upped me.” I mean, we’re not shooting the swimsuit cover of Sports Illustrated, for Christ’s sake! Then he goes to Lorraine. And Lorraine says, “Uh … your chili dog. Is that fresh chili?” “Yes,” says the waiter. “What kind of fries come with it? I like those thick steak fries. Do you have those? I don’t like the skinny ones. I like the fat ones.” Tony and I look at each other and go, “Man, this chick has some confidence about her can!”

Cut to three, four weeks later. We’re in the midst of shooting. And my scenes are lined up: I’ve got three days where I’m literally walking around from the trailer to the set to lunch in a robe. I feel like John Holmes. So I’m sitting in my trailer and the director and the producer knock on the door. They bring in this girl in her 20s. Gorgeous. Her eyes are so beautiful that I have to avert mine. The director says, “We want you to meet Lilly.” So we sit down, have a very nice conversation about nothing. She’s smiling and giggling at everything I say. And then they leave. I’m thinking, “Yeah, I like being a movie star. The director brings in beautiful girls for me to meet! Yes, I AM Sean Connery! I am James Bond!”

I’m getting excited, wondering, “Should I get divorced now?” Later in the afternoon I go up to the director and I say, “What’s with the chick? Are you guys setting me up for a date or something? You know I’m married.” He goes, “No, that’s Lorraine’s body double. We wanted you to meet her before you ‘slept’ with her.” I was FLOORED. My illusions of stardom drained.

Then I said to myself, “No wonder Lorraine was eating those chili dogs and those FAT steak fries!”

Jim Belushi donated his fee for writing this column to the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center, 911rape.org.



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