On Modeling in Tokyo
Who said modeling was easy? Denise Richards started out her career working as a model. After graduating from high school, her agency sent her to Tokyo for two months. The apartment she was assigned to there had an infestation of cockroaches. Richards recalls: "It got worse when I turned on the lights. I saw hundreds of cockroaches run across the floor and the kitchen counters. They were in the drawers and cabinets, too. Scared and sick to my stomach, I grabbed the key and my purse and dashed out of the apartment" (page 38). Although she eventually grew more comfortable with working in the city, she became very ill toward the end of her stay. She wanted to check into the hospital, but one of the agency owners said it would sue her if she did not show up for work. Richards continued modeling with a terrible stomachache for the rest of the trip. She writes, "When I returned home, I weighed slightly more than ninety pounds … A trip to the doctor revealed that I had a parasite from the bad sushi. (I haven’t eaten raw fish since)" (page 40).
On Refusing to Pose Nude
When modeling in Japan, Richards would not model underwear. She writes, "I refused any job that required me to pose in my bra and underwear, which infuriated the agency. I wasn't altogether uncomfortable with my body, but I didn't have a figure that allowed me to brim with self-confidence in all departments and being photographed in my underwear bothered me." Later, while filming Starship Troopers, the film's director, Paul Verhoeven, told Richards that he had written new scenes for her, including a love scene, which would require nudity. Despite the fact that this was only her first big-budget film, she said no. Richards writes, "I didn't think it related to my character or the movie, which had more than enough going on between the action and the undercurrents of social and political commentary" (page 63).