SPY KIDS star Carla Gugino is fascinated by theatregoers' reactions when she bares all on the New York stage.

The 33-year-old actress was initially terrified to remove her clothes in her Broadway debut in playwright Arthur Miller's After The Fall, in which she plays a character based on Marilyn Monroe.

She says, "It was terrifying for the first two rehearsals and then it was fine.

"There's one point where I sort of get down to a bra and underwear in a very 1950s sort of striptease way and then there's a brief moment upstage where I'm naked, which has been interesting.

"Marilyn Monroe was known for never wearing any undergarments and it's very much in the context of the play, so it works."

But Gugino is often amused by the reactions her nudity causes in the front rows of the theatre.

She adds, "There's a point at which (co-star) Peter Krause's character says 'You're so beautiful, I can't even look at you,' and I say, 'You haven't even seen me. Why don't you just stand there and I'll come out naked...' And I run off stage.

"Someone in the audience clapped when I said I'll come out butt naked, and then the entire audience burst into laughter and I have a line to deliver offstage but I couldn't deliver it because they were laughing so loud.

"It's always like, 'Oh no, is she going to..? Oh no. Oh my God, she is.' You can see the thought process going."

06/09/2004 09:02