Ever since snagging her supporting actress Oscar for 1992's My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei along with the likes of Mira Sorvino and Tatum O'Neal has been held up as an example of the "Supporting Actress Curse." Popular lore says her past victory precludes any chance of achieving commercial success or lead actor status again. But almost a decade later, with a slew of films slated for next year, Tomei doesn't feel she's under any sinister spell.
"My Cousin Vinny was my second movie!" she tells TV Guide Online. "[I wasn't on] the usual path, where you're working and you've done a whole bunch of movies, and you win an Oscar and a whole bunch more open up. I wasn't doing any movies, and then this happened. But I think [the Oscar] is something that keeps me working."
Recent supporting roles in movies like Slums of Beverly Hills and What Women Want have earned her a bit of attention. But it should be noted that director Brad Anderson's Happy Accidents (opening Friday) is Tomei's first starring role since 1995's The Perez Family.
Indeed, the perky Brooklynite admits her career isn't exactly where she wants it to be: "I feel really lucky that I get to do what I want to do, but I don't have the choices that I wish I had. There are things that I can't do..." Here Tomei pauses, then adds: "I shouldn't say what they are, because then I'm going to put a curse on myself."If having an Oscar under her belt isn't enough, what would it take for Tomei to really know she's made it? "Instead of picking the best of what's not so good," she explains, "success is being able to... have all these great choices and choose what really speaks to me. I'd like to do a musical. I want to dance and sing. I want to do Chicago! But you have to have a big hit [movie], like a Bridget Jones's Diary, to be able to do that."