"Do you mind?" the Italian actress asks with great trepidation, knowing the feeling about smoking in America. "I'm tired of constantly apologizing and being thrown out of places. I know it's wrong, but give us a break."
Smoking hasn't been the only problem for Golino since she came to America six years ago. "I think there is a good perception of my work, but there is not really a place for me," she explains. "I can't really complain, because I've done seven movies in America. But I do find it difficult to do the kinds of roles I'd like to do."
Many of the American roles Golino's taken on -- like the one opposite Dana Carvey in "Clean Slate," which opens this week -- have been in comedies. She was Charlie Sheen's sexy love interest in the "Hot Shots" movies, and she made her American debut in "Big Top Pee Wee." "I read the script and at the beginning I said 'I don't want to do this. Who is this man?"' she says with a laugh. "But then Paul Rubens [Pee Wee's real name] sent me a tape of his other movie, and I saw that the guy had so much talent, that there was so much original thought in that crazy little movie, that I decided to do it," she says.
Even though Golino is often cast in comedies here, she doesn't consider herself a comedic actress. "I had never done comedy before America," she explains. "The movies that I've done were the best that I could get and they happened to be comedies. I don't feel like I'm a good comedienne -- thank God I've worked with good comedians in these movies. But as I've said before, it's very hard to place me in a movie because I'm a foreigner, and in comedies you don't have to deal with that fact as much as in a drama. In 'Clean Slate,' for example, I'm called Sarah Nova or Beth Holly. You'd think, 'Why is this woman with an accent called Beth Holly? It's impossible!' But you can get away with it in comedy -- it actually gives it a weird little twist."