The Cooler star Maria Bello overcame her crippling fear of snakes after she saw a python trapped in a fence in New York City. The actress grew up with a terrible phobia of snakes and even went to therapy sessions just in case she confronted her slithering nemesis on a trip to Africa. But it was the sight of a bleeding python that helped Bello come to terms with her fears, which is just as well because she had to kiss a snake in her new film FLICKA. Bello recalls, "When I was a kid I would literally pass out if I saw a snake. "I was going to Africa 10 years ago on my own so someone told me about this snake phobia therapist. I saw this woman in LA and I did snake therapy. I had to carry around a rubber snake with me and I had to take field trips to the zoo. "I did that for a couple of months and then I went to Africa and I didn't see one snake. The day I came back I was in Union Square in New York City and this crowd gathered around the fence and there was this albino Burmese python... caught in the fence. A man was doing a show with it and it got caught and it was bleeding. "I cried and I felt so much compassion in that moment for the snake and everything changed after that."