Denise Richards reveals why she's shedding her sexy image in a new movie | EW.com

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Denise Richards reveals why she's shedding her sexy image in a new movie

The star of ''Drop Dead Gorgeous'' is happy to get down and dirty, but she won't play dumb

Denise Richards

DROP DEAD GORGEOUS Richards plays against type in her new comedy (Paul Smith/Retna)

The hormone-addled fans who drooled over Denise Richards’ dangerous curves in last year’s ”Wild Things” may be in for a shock if they’re hoping for another seductive turn in ”Drop Dead Gorgeous” (opening Friday). In the comedy, Richards goes from vamp to camp, playing a pathological, gun-toting beauty pageant contestant. ”I don’t think my character is the so-called sexy girl in this,” the 27-year-old actress tells EW Online. ”She’s got pageant hair and a bad prom dress, and she can’t sing. It was a challenge.”

If a bad prom dress isn’t enough to ruin Richards’ pinup image, a scene in which she sings off-key to a life-size Jesus doll (pinned to the cross, no less) may do the trick. But for Richards, such uncool antics are a way of avoiding Hollywood stereotyping. ”I’ll still play a sexy part if the character has depth to it and it’s a great director,” says the actress, who hopes to someday develop her own projects and follow in the producer-actress footsteps of stars like Goldie Hawn and Sally Field. ”But after I finished ‘Wild Things,’ I wanted to wait and do something completely different.”

Fans who prefer Richards sultry rather than silly shouldn’t fear, however. She returns to form as a Bond girl in ”The World Is Not Enough” (opening Nov. 19). Still, Richards claims her sexy role as Dr. Christmas Jones will be a cut above 007’s usual female fluff: ”(Director) Michael Apted wanted to keep my character very smart. Instead of just being the girl on Bond’s arm, I have my own agenda.” Is getting horizontal with the superspy part of that agenda? ”Well, it IS a Bond film,” she admits. Oh, you wild thing!

Originally posted July 21 1999 — 12:00 AM EDT

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