Confessions of a Body Double

1/31/2006 12:48 PM PST

Confessions of a Body Double

Shelley Michelle will take it off -- for a price. And there are lots of takers.
The fitness model's body parts have subbed for Madonna, Sandra Bullock, Kim Basinger, Barbra Streisand and most famously, Julia Roberts' hooker character in 'Pretty Woman.'

"Working with Julia in 'Pretty Woman' was fun," Michelle says. They would often wear the same outfits, but for some reason Julia drew the line under her blouse. "She didn't want me to touch her bra during the entire shoot," laughs Shelley.

Michelle has since prospered, now running her own agency, Body Doubles and Parts Inc, which has over 1,000 models bearing some or all for the big screen.

"Body doubles have never been in greater demand," Michelle says. "Directors and producers want perfection and a lot of stars will agree because they are so self-conscious about their bodies." Michelle adds, "A lot of body doubles have plastic surgery themselves because competition is so fierce."

Michelle says traditionally, body doubles were treated like low-rent cattle. 'Pretty Woman' became a worldwide smash and turned Julia Roberts into a superstar, yet Michelle's pay-check was a scant $750 a week.

Since then, Michelle has fought hard and made significant inroads with the Screen Actors Guild. Body doubles now get the same standard rates as actors, often earning $2,000 a day whether they bare it all, or just a finger nail.

Michelle says stars frequently avoid fraternizing with their doubles, who are often told to avoid eye contact with them on the set.

As for the most memorable:

- Michelle says Kim Basinger threatened to sue her if she took credit for doubling in 'Final Analysis.'

- Michelle says Barbara Streisand was anything but a diva in "Prince of Tides," even taking the time to compliment Michelle on her legs.

- Michelle was a stand-in on the 'Basic Instict' set, but Sharon Stone insisted on doing the scenes that made her famous herself.