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Tom Wilkinson / Actor

July 26, 1998|Steve Hochman

Thought you saw all of Tom Wilkinson when he played the office manager/choreographer in "The Full Monty"? In "The Governess," Sandra Goldbacher's muted Victorian piece, he really goes the full monty. And at 50, the actor is figuratively showing more in a blossoming film career. He will also re-team with Ang Lee, for whom he did "Sense and Sensibility," in the upcoming Civil War saga "Ride With the Devil."

NAKED TRUTH: "The [nude scene] in 'The Full Monty' was slightly scarier than the one in 'The Governess.' Although the camera didn't get the full frontal, the 300 women from Sheffield certainly did--times six."

LATE BLOOMER: "With the good things happening in my career, you think, 'Better late than never.' But I must admit I'd be happier if I was 35 or 30 and this whole thing was starting. Nevertheless, it's very gratifying."

BRITISH INVASION: "All the big studios are opening their offices in London, a rich market for inexpensive films. Certainly American prejudices about English movies are breaking down--'Full Monty,' 'Trainspotting,' both of which you'd never say in a month of Sundays are typical American hits. But they're latching on to it."

COMING ATTRACTION: "Recently did 'Shakespeare in Love,' which we did in London for Miramax, with Gwyneth Paltrow. Was going to be two or three years ago with Julia Roberts, but that didn't work out. A lot of nice stuff in it, but it's a Tom Stoppard thing, and he's not everybody's cup of tea."

NEW FACES: "Sandra Goldbacher, this is the first feature she's done and I think she's on her way. She's working on 'Nana,' an adaptation from Zola, but changing it quite a lot. I could be involved. We got on very well."

ROLLING: "Ang Lee is particularly striking as a director, just because of the diffident demeanor he has. But you know there is a really tremendously well-developed intellect and intuition at work. When you get something from him, it is invariably right and you don't feel inclined to question it."

SPOILS OF SUCCESS: "A few weeks ago I was having a meal in Kansas City and suddenly a glass of wine appeared in front of me. I said, 'I didn't order this.' It had been sent by some people in the restaurant. Getting recognized in Kansas City and sent a glass of wine--that wouldn't have happened before ["The Full Monty"]."

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