Watch out, Julia Roberts — there’s a new ingenue in town. Thanks to her Oscar-night upset for My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei has been voted the Next Big Thing. The Brooklyn-born actress has received six or seven scripts — ”firm offers” — since her Best Supporting Actress win, according to a source close to Tomei. ”She’s moved into the leading-lady echelon,” says the source.
Although no contracts have been signed, one of the two films Tomei will most likely do is a sequel to Vinny, which original screenwriter Dale Launer is currently penning. The second is Him, a romantic comedy directed by Norman Jewison about a young woman who travels to Venice to find the man of her dreams. Capturing the lead in Him, which could begin shooting this May, is considered a coup. Other actresses reportedly linked to the film have included Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer, Demi Moore, and Susan Sarandon.
The surest sign that Tomei has arrived: the dramatic increase in her asking price. According to sources, she was paid less than $200,000 for Vinny; since the Oscar win, her fee has jumped to $2 million.