No sour grapes for Romijn
CALABASAS, Calif. ó If Rebecca Romijn seems generously candid, chalk it up to her deep personal happiness and fun new role as a super-snoopy investigative reporter in WB’s Pepper Dennis (premieres Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET/PT).
“I do have more sympathy for reporters than I ever had before,” acknowledges Romijn, 33, a former supermodel who was host and reporter for MTV’s House of Style in the 1990s. “You’ve got to get the story, and I totally get that.”
Fresh from a 13-hour catch-up sleep marathon, Romijn is having a breakfast of huevos rancheros. She has arrived at a cafe near the ranch house she shares with 32-year-old fiancÈ Jerry O’Connell (Crossing Jordan) and is bursting with bright colors.
The 5-foot-11 fashion queen is dressed in a striped peach rugby shirt, gold headband and necklace, a turquoise ring, a mammoth 6-carat yellow diamond engagement ring, a bright orange wallet, and toenails painted with a pink hue called “I Need a Vacation.” Because her reporter character is single, she takes off her ring during scenes and replaces it with a set of yellow diamond earrings also given to her by O’Connell.
The 1999 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover girl, who posed on the sand alongside other top cover models for the 2006 cover, will hit the beach again soon for a vacation in the Bahamas with O’Connell. The previous evening, she fell asleep in his arms “around 8” ó somewhere between watching rentals of A History of Violence and The Squid and the Whale.
She calls O’Connell “the most solid guy. I don’t know what I would do without him.”
On their grounds are the beginnings of a winery: O’Connell followed up a romantic getaway to California wine country by planting 800 Merlot and Cabernet grapevines. She calls the gesture “the most romantic gift.”
It’s now a favorite spot. Romijn spends weekends in the vineyard with her rocking chair, two poodles and two German shepherds to read scripts, while O’Connell shoots off golf balls or tends to the vines. As a nod to the history of their home ó it was a 1930s brothel called The Wagon Wheel Ranch ó they plan to eventually bottle Wagon Wheel Wine.
But also sitting behind their home is a giant letter “D” ó part of the Disneyland sign that ex-husband John Stamos (Jake in Progress, ER) purchased after he and Romijn had their first date at Disneyland. She says Stamos eventually will come and collect the “D” and the other nine letters she has in storage, but in the meantime, she prefers to think the “D” stands for her character, Dennis.
News of her split from Stamos after six years of marriage broke the day before she walked the red carpet at the April 2004 premiere of her film The Punisher. “We just got outed” by the tabloids, Romijn says. “We had split up quite a while before, but John and I had decided we were just going to keep it between us because we had work to do and I didn’t want to be dealing with all that.
“But we were forced to come clean, so I put on a brave face.”
Of Stamos, she says, “We don’t have a regular relationship anymore.” She’s hurt by media reports that the couple split because he wanted to start a family and she didn’t. Romijn says vehemently that those accounts are wrong. She adds, “Whether or not I wanted to have kids had nothing to do with it. We were together for 10 years, and the reasons (for the divorce) are complicated. I can’t wait to have kids. I’m at a point in my life where when I see a pregnant woman, I get tears in my eyes.”
She and O’Connell, who she says shares her desire to start a family, plan to wed this summer after she wraps up promoting her third stint as the blue-hued Mystique in X-Men 3: The Last Stand, in theaters May 26. (She has two other films in the can: June’s The Alibi, with her X-Men co-star James Marsden, and the upcoming Man About Town, in which she plays the wife of Ben Affleck.)
Her wedding will “not be a big event. I did that a long time ago. We might do it on a vacation and include just our close family.”
Oh ó and unlike what she did with her name for her previous marriage, she won’t be changing her name to Rebecca Romijn-O’Connell.
“I’m probably just going to take the O,” the actress jokes. “Rebecca O’Romijn.”
No sour grapes for Romijn