Rebecca Aile Romijn (November 6, 1972), aka Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, is one of the transcendent actresses of recent times. She transcends the film business, where she has established herself as a top working actress, she transcends celebrity gossip mags, which somehow have kept their hands off since her high profile marriage to John Stamos, and she transcends modelling, even though that was the source of her fame. Basically, Rebecca Romijn has become a template that other models wish they could copy, a successful working actress who no longer has to depend upon her (superb) looks.
Rebecca is from Berkeley, California. Her father was Dutch-born and worked as a custom-furniture maker, while her mother was American-born English teacher, with Dutch and English ancestry. At Berkeley High School, Rebecca gained the nickname "Jolly Blond Giant" for obvious reasons (she is 5' 10", or 170 cm).
Rebecca did some test pictures, and then was "discovered" by a talent scout. She began appearing on covers in her late teens, and her fame grew very quickly.
Below is a sample of Rebecca's many covers, simply to show that she was hardly a struggling model and continued snagging covers well into her modelling career:
US: 'Elle' - June 1992; 'Glamour' - June 1996; 'Esquire' - July 1996; 'GQ' - February 1997; 'Shape' - April & August 1997; 'Zest' - July/August 1997; 'Allure' - September 1998; 'Glamour' - May 1998; 'Shape' - May 1998; 'Cosmopolitan' - July 1999; 'Details' - January 1999; 'Glamour' - May 1999; 'Sports Illustrated' - February 1999; 'Cosmopolitan' - July 2000; 'Premiere' - July 2000; 'Cosmopolitan' - May 2001; 'Elle' - March 2001; 'Glamour' - September 2001; 'InStyle' (Supplement) - October 2001; 'Elle' - April 2002; 'FHM' - January/February 2002; 'Jane' - November 2002; 'Marie Claire' - March 2002; 'Maxim' - November 2002; 'Glamour' - May 2003; 'Premiere' - April 2004; 'Vegas' - April 2004; 'Elle' - May 2004; 'Self' - June 2006; 'Self' - August 2008; 'Page Six' - November 9 2008; 'InStyle' - June 2009.
Sweden: 'Elle' - June 2001
UK: 'Esquire' - July 1996; 'Maxim' - June 1998; 'FHM' - March 1999; 'Maxim' - October 2002; 'Night & Day' - May 26, 2002; 'Arena' - June 2003
Spain: 'Cosmopolitan' - August 1999; 'Mademoiselle' - December 1999; 'Cosmopolitan' - September 2000; 'Imagenes de Actualidad' - October 2000; 'Fotogramas' - October 2000; 'Cosmopolitan' - August 2001; 'Glamour' - October 2001; 'Elle' - April 2003; 'Man' - June 2003; 'DT' - October 2003
Germany: 'Joy' - September 1998; 'Cosmopolitan' - September 2001; 'Petra' - September 2001' Petra' - April 2002; 'Petra' - April 2003; 'Woman' - July 13 2004; 'Myself' - October 2007
|Rebecca Romijn on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1999 (Antoine Verglas/SI).|
Romijn was in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue by 1996, and appeared again in 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2006. They gave her the additional honor of including her in the 'Sports Illustrated Knockouts: Five Decades of Swimsuit Photography' book. She also walked in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001. All of this this increased her exposure, and, like many models before her, Rebecca soon was getting walk-on roles in popular television series such as "Friends."
Unlike many other models, Rebecca impressed people with her acting. Hollywood big shots noticed that Rebecca had real talent and began booking her for roles that involved more than portraying a model or herself. Among the people who noticed her was "Full House" star John Stamos, who met Rebecca at a Victoria's Secret Fashion show and married her in 1994. Though they were divorced in 2005, many still think of Rebecca by her married name, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos. After a respectable interval, Rebecca married actor Jerry O'Connell, but bills herself simply as Rebecca Romijn.
|Rebecca Romijn in "Femme Fatale."|
Rebecca began snagging bigger roles. Certainly, her new connections in Hollywood didn't hurt. In 2000, Rebecca snagged her biggest role, and the one for which she likely will be remembered: Mystique.
|Rebecca Romijn as Mystique.|
Rebecca Romijn immediately became a fan favorite as Mystique in the "X-Men" film series. She appeared in "X-Men" (2000), "X-Men 2" (2003), "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), and "X-Men: First Class" (2011). However, by her final appearance, there was a new girl on the block who was brought in to play a younger version of the character.
Many fans feel that Rebecca Romijn played Mystique better than her successor, Jennifer Lawrence (who of course also has devoted fans). Rebecca played Mystique as a mature, thoughtful character, as opposed to the more youthful (some would say immature) Lawrence characterization. By 2011, though, Lawrence was the "hot new star" in Hollywood, so the filmmakers made a graceful transition of the role to her.
Rebecca herself has expressed interest in reprising the character at some point, and perhaps she will. Others are not so sure. Famke Janssen, who played Jean Grey alongside Rebecca, has said that the original cast is not going to return and we have seen the last of them. So, is Rebecca likely to be seen as Mystique again?
Actually, there remains the possibility that Rebecca will appear as the older Mystique at some point - who knows, she may make another uncredited appearance in "X-Men: Dark Phoenix" (2018) - but everyone accepts that Jennifer Lawrence now utterly owns the role.
|Rebecca with legendary "X-Men" creator Stan Lee in 2003.|
Despite moving on from "X-Men," Rebecca is not exactly searching for work. She remains incredibly busy. For instance, Rebecca also had memorable smaller roles in cult favorites like "Run Ronnie Run." She memorably starred as the lead in Brian De Palma's "Femme Fatale" as a sexy thief. Many other roles have followed, both in film and on television. While Rebecca's career as a Hollywood leading lady never really took off, there is always lots of work for an attractive and competent actress.
Rebecca's highest profile role on television was as Alexis Meade on "Ugly Betty." She also has starred as Eve Baird in "The Librarians" and as Jessie Nichols on "NTSF:SD:SUV," among many other roles.
Let's not get carried away with this acting thing, though. Rebecca Romijn is not Meryl Streep; she is first and foremost a stunning woman who can play a character quite respectably. Rebecca wasn't just respected in Hollywood, either: she made the usual FHM and other lad magazine "sexiest girl" lists, too.
Rebecca continues to act regularly and also model occasionally. She and Jerry have fraternal twin daughters, Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip, born 28 December 2008, which no doubt keep her busy. Romijn remains one of the top names in Hollywood and on the modelling scene.
Rebecca addresses a common question:
It's pronounced "romaine," like the lettuce.
I don't know where it's coming from, but I think studios are finally realizing that people want to see girls who can kick butt as well as guys can.