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My Surprising Talk With a Naked Actor

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Well, he got naked an hour after we talked.

Long ago I purchased a matinee ticket for a well-reviewed drama, Indiscretions, brought across the pond from London to Broadway. The writing was intelligent, and Kathleen Turner was at her sexiest. Much was made of the adult, thought-provoking theme, and the full-frontal nudity.

My friends Judy and Stan were busy looking at the reviews on the posters at the front of the theater. The day was warm and bright as I walked into the sunshine. I spied a young man, maybe in his early 20s, smoking by the stage door in a grubby tee-shirt and jeans. He was short and slim, with delicate features.

"Got a ticket to the show?"

"Yes, I managed one last minute." I wasn't quite sure if he was an actor or a stagehand. "Are you in it?"

"In it down to me bum."

Aha. He was the guy who spends much of the last act letting it all hang out. "I guess you're the one who winds up nude!"

"Today and tonight. Think you can stand it?"

Since he was friendly and coy, I kidded him back. "I'll try hard not to laugh if you don't."

He smiled at me, and took it further. "I never laugh on stage. Too busy shivering. It's cold in there, so be kind."

We both chuckled at the implication. He explained that he was trained in England and that this was his first time on Broadway, and how excited he was to be in an American production.

"Oh I'm sure this will be the first of many plays here." I couldn't remember his name or the reviews about him, but figured a polite word of encouragement was appropriate.

"I hope you're right," he smiled. "New York's amazing."

We chatted a bit more, about New York and movies versus Broadway, and he admitted he wanted to do both. I admired his ambition, but had my doubts.

He finished his cigarette and turned to go back into the theater. "Well, you'll be seeing me soon. Onstage."

"All of you." I couldn't help it. He was so sweet and cute.

He grinned, and waved off. And sure enough, there he was less than an hour later, emoting and disrobing. I made a silent wish for his success.

I didn't have to worry. Jude Law did very well for himself, indeed.