The Wrestler

This issue's Movie Corner is an unconventional choice but when you read the words of our very own Los Angeles S Instructor, Rie Katagiri, you'll see why we chose it. Four big hip circles for Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler":


As some of you know I was involved in the production of the film, "The Wrestler." I wanted to share some of my experiences working on this film with you. I love how this film is affecting women all over the country.

"The Wrestler" features the triumphant comeback of Mickey Rourke, in his Golden Globe winning performance directed by Darren Aronofsky. My involvement with this film began as a dance coach and choreographer for Marisa Tomei's exotic dancer scenes. If you're a student of mine you might recognize a song I recommended, an S move or two, and some of her clothes may look familiar too! Marisa is absolutely gorgeous in the film. She's a ray of sunshine in this dark-themed movie. I'm so proud of her and the hard work we did. Many of the scenes I worked with her on were cut but what was kept is beautiful.

 

I spent a total of one week working with Marisa in New York and New Jersey on set with her, and a month in Los Angeles training her at S Factor before that. We were friends from yoga and she was a massage client of mine so working with her was very comfortable and super fun. Her character on paper is an aging exotic dancer/single mom with a soft heart. But in the director's own perfect words, Marisa adds so much more complexity to the character.

 

Courtesy of Niko Tavernise/Fox Searchlight via Reuters

 

When Marisa did her first dance on set, on the stage of a real strip club, it was truly a beautiful moment. It's hard to explain but it was like being in an S Factor class. Although there were cameras, sound guys, producers and male extras -- after Marisa finished her dance, the place erupted in genuine awe, respect and appreciation. And let me tell you, this club was a real roadside Jersey trucker stop. The energy totally changed in there after that. All of those men were changed. Marisa had a real emotional connection to her movement and she said that in that moment, she truly felt and understood the power of living her body as a woman. I could see she had found her Erotic Creature.

 

I feel so honored and privileged to have worked on this film with such an amazing human being and actress like Marisa. Her recent Golden Globe nomination was totally amazing news. Marisa's best friend called me and congratulated me on her nomination! She said, one of the reasons Marisa was able to be so open and vulnerable enough to play this character was because of all the work we did together that allowed her to feel safe in her body. Yes, I cried... Though she did not win the Golden Globe, she achieved something magnificent. And now an Oscar nomination... Go, Marisa Go!

At the premiere, so many women came up to me and said they never imagined they'd want to try an erotic dance class until seeing "The Wrestler." And Marisa has had a positive response from women all over the country, during Q & A's at screenings and on talk shows, all wanting to know about how she prepared for this role.

 

So, with this little indie film, I'm hoping more women will allow themselves the gift of embracing their Erotic Creature! The journey of this project started at S Factor as Marisa and I warmed up in the beautiful studio space; dark, with all the red lights warming our skin allowing all the joy of sensuality to inspire each lap dance and pole trick. And it continues now in the hearts and curves of women who are seeing this film across the country.

 

Lots of love!
Rie

 

rie