Roman Polanski's New Protégée, Charlotte Lewis, Star of Pirates and All of 18
She's 18 going on something other than 19. There's not a whole lot of the world that Charlotte Lewis' hazel eyes haven't seen except a high school diploma. The exotically beautiful result of her Irish-English mother's yearlong affair with a Chilean-Iraqi physician, she never knew her father. "I don't need him," she says matter-of-factly. At age 14, she left home and school to pursue a modeling career in Paris, where she indulged in drugs, alcohol and chronic late nights. "I was rebelling against everything," Lewis says. After six months she came out of her tailspin. "I realized I looked about 110 years old," she says. "I stopped drinking, smoking and taking drugs." But at sweet 16, she was ready to turn her attention from modeling to bigger things. "I'd like to be a famous, famous actress," she joked to a friend who got her an audition with Roman Polanski. She landed the sole female role as a 17th-century Spanish maiden in his film Pirates. As for whispers that she's the director's new romantic lead à la Nastassia Kinski, she replies sharply, "Roman never mixes business with pleasure." After Pirates, Lewis' looks got her cast as a Tibetan priestess in Eddie Murphy's upcoming The Golden Child. Of Murphy she raves: "If I have a son, I'd want him to be just like Eddie." She doesn't talk about Mikhail Baryshnikov, a sometime date, and says she has no serious boyfriend. Lewis resides in London's Chelsea district. Her self-advertisement for employment: "I've got confidence and I'm a hard worker." She also admits to pulling strings on occasion. "I pray a lot," she says. Folding her hands and rolling her eyes toward heaven, she demonstrates. "Puhleeze, puhleeze, can't I get the part? I'll be good the rest of my life." As Mae West would say, "Young lady, goodness has nothing to do with it."