Why: What’s not to love about Marisa Tomei? Since the early 90’s she has entertained us with her charm, talent, and beauty. There is no denying that the mere mention of her name casts interest among viewers. Although, Tomei’s career started in the mid 80’s she didn’t make breakout until the 90’s. Born in Brooklyn Tomei represents the classic New York girl with a tough exterior. A trait such as this made her perfect for her role in My Cousins Vinny (1992). It seemed that Tomei had so much in common with her character Lisa Vito that all she had to do was tap into that classic Brooklyn accent and attitude. As great as Joe Pesci was in that film Tomei was equally as good. She was so outstanding that she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Tomei would then go on to star in other films with other talented actors and actresses such as: Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr., 1992), Untamed Heart (Christian Slater, 1992), The Paper (Michael Keaton, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, 1994), and several other films. What I’ve always liked best about Marisa Tomei is her versatility. She never sticks to one type of genre or character, which for some actors doesn’t work. For example, she wasn’t scared to star in the slasher flick The Watcher (2000). Furthermore, Tomei doesn’t have an issue with being a team player and taking a smaller role as in the romantic comedy Someone Like You (2001).
In the last three years Tomei starred in three films which I consider the front runners of her career next to My Cousin Vinny: Before the Devil Knows Your Dead (2007), The Wrestler (2008), and Cyrus (2010). Each of these films wonderfully illustrates her range. What’s particularly interesting is that in Before the Devil... and The Wrestler she decided to do nude scenes. This is something she has never done before in her career and it’s weird that she decided to go that route this late. By no means am I complaining because viewers got to fully appreciate the beauty of her body but I do wonder what made finally say, “Screw it.”
Since the 90’s people have always said Julia Roberts was America’s Sweetheart. While I can’t disagree with that statement I also can’t agree fully. Marisa Tomei has blessed us with her talents for so many years that I believe she is worthy of such as title. For reasons such as this I award Marisa Tomei July’s Actor of the Month!