Do any of you remember The Toxic Avenger (1984)? It was a b-movie that involved a nerdy health club janitor becoming a disfigured, super-heroic hulk through toxic waste. One of the things you probably won’t remember from that film was one of the girls in the health club. She looked like a nice Italian girl with cute smile, does that ring a bell? Well, what about My Cousin Vinny (1992), do you remember a girl fitting that description who was in that film too and even took home the best supporting actress Oscar for it. Her name is Marisa Tomei, and she’s one of Hollywood’s most gifted and prolific actresses.
She’s been a fan-favorite of mine for more than 20 years now and has shown versatility across genres. She starred opposite of Adam Sandler in the 2003 comedy Anger Management and then took on a challenging (but eye-opening) role as a New Jersey stripper with a heart of gold in The Wrestler (2008). Her most recent head-turning role has been due to her inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Last year, when I saw Captain America: Civil War, I knew Spider-Man would be part of the cast of characters, but not his beloved Aunt May. Usually, that character is an elderly senior citizen in the books and screen adaptations. But then Marisa Tomei surprised us all with a portrayal of Aunt May in Captain America: Civil War that shifted the character into a soulful maternal cougar. If I had a friend while growing up who was being raised by a mother or aunt who looked like Ms. Tomei, then my impetus for becoming friends with this person in the first place would’ve been because of his goodly female caregiver. Her appearance in the recently-released Spider-Man: Homecoming left me wanting more.
Marisa Tomei, we are proud to have you as our honoree for this week’s Woman CRUSH! Wednesday! Please click the pictures for full resolution.