American Beauty is a movie that, since its release in 1999, has lost some of its shine. It won five Oscars, sure, including best picture. But it starred now-disgraced actor Kevin Spacey in a role where he pined after a younger girl (played by an underage Mena Suvari) and the whole thing, two decades later, comes off a lot creepier than it may have first felt.
One thing that’s still generally accepted as great, though, is the movie’s iconic poster. You know the one, of the bare stomach and hand holding a red rose? It was never quite clear whose body parts those were, though based on the movie it seems to imply they are Suvari’s. But as it turns out, another famous actress was the hand model for that poster, even if she wasn’t quite famous just yet.
Christina Hendricks, of Mad Men and Good Girls fame, revealed the long-kept mystery on Thursday night. Hendricks is active on Instagram and posted an image of the American Beauty poster to the social media platform along with the revelation that it’s her hand holding the rose to someone else’s stomach in the image.
“Fun fact…. wait for it…I used to be a model and sometimes a hand model…. this is my hand and another model’s stomach,” Hendricks said. “Proud to be a part if this film in ANY WAY!!!”
There are two major points of discussion here, the first of which being that it seems that Hendricks kept an extremely tight lid on this fun fact. Her Mad Men costar Alison Brie, for example, is among those actresses in the comments who are blown away by that fact. So is January Jones, who played Betty Draper on the show.
“This is important. How come I didn’t know this?” Jones asked in the comments.
The other important fact is that this is a frankenbody on display, and we still don’t know whose stomach that is. Unless they also became extremely famous the way Hendricks did playing Joan on Mad Men, we may never know who the mystery belly button is. At the very least, we’re halfway there.