That’s Amurri! Sarandon Scion Prepared for Role by Pole-Dancing With Mom

Susan Sarandon’s memorable cinematic nude scenes include Pretty Baby (1978), in which she licks her finger and touches her breasts; The Hunger (1983), in which she has a lesbian love affair with Catherine Deneuve; Bull Durham (1988), in which she has sex with Kevin Costner; and White Palace (1990), in which she plays James Spader’s seductress.

Ms. Sarandon’s daughter, Eva Amurri, who is 24 and also an actress, will appear nude for the first time during the third season of Californication, opposite the 49-year-old David Duchovny; the new season premieres on Sept. 27. Ms. Amurri’s character will be in a nine-episode arc as one of Mr. Duchovny’s writing students, who, he later discovers, is also a stripper.

“During the audition, Tom Kapinos [the creator] was like, ‘So! She’s a stripper. Do you, like, feel comfortable with that?’” Ms. Amurri told the Transom recently by phone from Los Angeles. (She has an apartment in the West Village but is moving to the opposite coast at the end of the month.) She was, indeed, comfortable.

Was the creator nervous about having to answer to her strong-willed mother?

“No, I don’t think so,” replied Ms. Amurri, who has her mother’s large brown eyes and elevated cheekbones. “If you thought about everyone’s mom all the time, I don’t think anybody would get anything done in this business, that’s for sure.”

To prepare, Ms. Amurri, who graduated with a degree in Italian studies from Brown—her father is Italian director Franco Amurri—took pole-dancing classes at S Factor in Los Angeles. She learned lap dances, upside-down and sideways pole tricks, and how to climb the pole and spin around.

“I have such a respect now for women who do this. It’s very athletic, I mean, they’re athletes!” she said. “It was so hard and so painful. It’s like getting rug-burn, but a pole burn on your thighs. I had so many bruises. Eventually, I started wearing knee pads to rehearsals.”

When Ms. Sarandon came to visit her daughter in Los Angeles, she accompanied her to a few classes. 

“We didn’t, like, do it together, although I’m sure that’s a nice visual for people,” Ms. Amurri said. “She came and she tried a little bit and she was a really great sport and awesome at it. She tried some simple stuff. But nothing like …”

Like pole-climbing? “Oh, no, no, no.” 

Seemingly taking after her mother, Ms. Amurri said she’s comfortable with herself and didn’t hesitate taking the role.

“You basically see boobs and butt. It’s the same as you would see on a European beach. It’s nothing scandalous,” she said. “It’s just in our country everyone gets so worked up about everything like that.”

Also: “Men are naked as much as the women are on that show, which I really like. If you’re going to be naked, at least it’s equal-opportunity nudity,” Ms. Amurri said. “And you know, I’m 24. If I’m going to be naked anywhere, I should really do it sooner rather than later. It’s pretty much as good as it’s going to get.”

Her parents are obviously fine with it. But her younger half-brothers, Jack, 20, and Miles, 17 (sons of Ms. Sarandon’s current partner, Tim Robbins), are not so thrilled.

“My brothers want to kill me,” Ms. Amurri said. “They’re mad that their friends will be able to see me topless. But I’m not nude in every single scene, so I told them I would give them a list of the ones they can watch comfortably.”

  That’s Amurri! Sarandon Scion Prepared for Role by Pole-Dancing With Mom