ALL HIS LIFE, MARK ADDY SIMPLY LACKED naked ambition. Growing up in northern England, he never went skinny-dipping or sunbathed in the buff, he says, because "the weather is too cold over here." The actor, who trained at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, built a steady career on the London stage playing portly (and fully clothed) character roles. So he was shocked when his agent called in early 1996 to tell him he was being considered for a role as a stripper in The Full Monty. "I thought they had the wrong guy," he recalls. But after reading the script, "I said, 'I have got to do this.' " He was promptly cast as Dave, one of five unemployed men who raise cash by baring all. The low-budget British film is nominated for four Oscars—including Best Picture and Best Director—and has earned $205 million-plus worldwide.
For Addy, 34, a little indecent exposure has gone a long way. He recently signed to star in an ABC sitcom and is about to begin shooting Frost, a family film with Michael Keaton. Still, he has no intention of leaving his home in York, where he lives with his wife of two years, Kelly, 27, a bar manager. More importantly, he has no intention of taking his clothes off in public again. It was so traumatic the first time that before the final, all-revealing shot (filmgoers get a rear view but the 300 female extras saw the "full monty"), Addy and his costars had to bolster their courage with champagne and brandy. They may be swilling more bubbly at the Oscars, but he's mum on whether they will perform during the show: "You will have to wait and see. You never know."