7 celebrities who have played sex workers, in association with Julia Stiles’ new Lifetime show Blue

Can Blue keep her secrets secret? Watch heat's new unmissable show to find out...

julia stiles blue lifetime

by Emmeline Saunders |
Published on

It’s the one role every good actor comes up against at least once in their career: the sex worker. Julia Roberts made her name playing one in Pretty Woman, Billie Piper rejuvenated her career by slipping into the shoes of Belle in Secret Diary Of A Call Girl – heck, even Richard Gere had a stab in American Gigolo.

But now a new Lifetime show starring Julia Stiles is set to reinvent the genre by showing the more human side of those who work in the sex industry.

Blue is all about a working mum with a 14-year-old son, who has no idea of his mother’s turn to prostitution to pay the bills. It’s gritty, raw and actually very funny – if you’re into the idea of full-grown men wearing nappies, this is the show to watch. Not like that.

To celebrate the launch of Blue, here are 7 other celebrities who have sexed themselves up to play similar roles.

Catch Blue on Monday nights at 10pm exclusively on Lifetime from 2 March (Sky 156/Virgin 242/TalkTalk 490).

Billie Piper – Secret Diary Of A Call Girl

Billie went from girl-next-door innocence as Rose in Doctor Who to kinky escort in Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, shattering minds and dropping jaws across the nation as she portrayed seductive Belle masquerading as legal secretary Hannah. While Belle’s life was full of luxury and silky stockings, it wasn’t long before her two worlds started colliding.

Julia Roberts – Pretty Woman

Ah, Pretty Woman, the film that left every teenage girl who watched it wondering what was really so bad about rich middle-aged men paying young women to have sex with them. As long as he takes you shopping on Rodeo Drive, amirite? Er, no.

Richard Gere - American Gigolo

Yep, from client to rent boy, Richard Gere’s played both sides of the sex worker coin. His spin as the narcissistic Julian Kaye was super-creepy though – not the kind of film you want to watch unless you’ve got a very big cushion to hide behind.

Nicole Kidman – Moulin Rouge!

Who could forget that velvety voice, the wardrobe stuffed full of sequins and that red, red hair? Nicole played Satine, the star courtesan at the Moulin Rouge, opposite the lovelorn Christian (Ewan McGregor – but ended up dying of tuberculosis, which was a bit rubbish.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Mysterious Skin

Yep, even little JGL has played a prostitute before, in the heartbreaking Mysterious Skin. It in, his teenage character turns to prostitution in New York after being abused by his baseball coach. Probably the saddest we’ve ever seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a film role, tbh.

Audrey Hepburn – Breakfast At Tiffany's

While it’s never explicitly stated that Holly Golightly has turned to sex work to fund her extravagant lifestyle, it doesn’t take much to read between the lines. Is she really visiting Sing Sing prisoner and mobster boss Sally Tomato to, er “receive "the weather report”? Probably not.

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Basketball Diaries

Way, way before he got dumped in the ocean by Kate Winslet (the heartless caaah), little Leo had to turn tricks to pay for his crippling drug addiction in The Basketball Diaries. No silks and fancy boudoirs for our Leo – his prostitute character (and real-life poet) Jim Carrol had to scrape a living on the mean streets of New York.

Want to WIN £50 with Blue?

Take a look at the video below and tell us the correct answer. The winner will be selected by random prize draw. Click here for full terms and conditions.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us