September 6, 1995
From Correspondent Bill Tush
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Patrick Swayze had young girls' hearts thumping with his moves in "Dirty Dancing." Wesley Snipes was the over-the-top bad guy in "Demolition Man." John Leguizamo played a macho "Super Mario Brother" in a film of the same name. But you've never seen these three guys like this.
In the new film, "To Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Julie
Newmar," Swayze plays the sophisticated "Vida Boheme."
Snipes is the hip "Noxeema Jackson," and Leguizamo takes on
the guise of "Chi Chi Rodriguez."
Movie trailer (1.62M MOV movie) - courtesy Universal Pictures
So what made these three tough guys want to play dress up?
"Challenge, that's what it was," says Swayze. "Could I pull
it off ... and touch people's hearts with a character that
was so far from me." Snipes had a different reasoning. "I
don't want to be associated with the martial arts action
personality," he says. "That's what I found myself in, but
I don't even think that's my strong point. I'm a theater-
trained actor." Leguizamo admits that it wasn't all fun and
games. "It was fun for a week and then the joy just went
right out the door."
Patrick Swayze describes an "on-the-road" incident - 187k AIFF sound)
But on they go, complete with a seemingly never-ending wardrobe, for a cross country journey that brings them to a little town where the three girls brighten some rather drab lives.
While Swayze found it a problem staying macho in high heels, the real challenge for each of the three very guy actors was trying to be a lady. "You have to keep it going before the next take so you don't lose the voice or the emotional state of the character," says Leguizamo. Snipes, however, found it more difficult to keep his girlish looks in tact. "On a day- to-day basis to try to look good like that," he remembers, "that became a little much."
You can bet Swayze, Snipes and Leguizamo all learned a good lesson in this picture: It's lovely to be a woman ... if you already are one.