Rodrigo Santoro compares getting waxed for 300 to The 40-Year-Old-Virgin scene: 'Very painful'

It's hilarious until it happens to you.

While sitting down to promote Wolf Pack on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show, Rodrigo Santoro opened up about playing the villainous Persian "God-King" Xerxes in 2006's 300. Santoro transformed for the role, opting for a bald head instead of his usually flowing locks, and sporting a hairless body dotted with piercings.

But Santoro said there was an unexpected amount of pain involved in preparing for the role. "The description [of Xerxes] was nine feet tall, the voice of a thunder and hairless, like a reptile or something. So like hairless, not just the head, whole body," Santoro explained. "I learned so many lessons, Jess. First of all, tremendous respect for people that wax their bodies."

Rodrigo Santoro in '300: Rise of an Empire'
Rodrigo Santoro in '300: Rise of an Empire'

Everett Collection

Santoro then recounted a story of visiting a waxing spot on location in Canada where a woman came in and asked him to choose between hot and cold wax. "I had to choose the temperature of the wax," he continued. "I think they're different. But anyway, I'm like, 'Okay, hot.' And then she just put that thing on my chest, like the whole, you know, side and when I was about to ask her something, she just ripped right away. And I'll never forget that. It reminded me of that film, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carrell, amazing. And  I'm like, 'No, no, no. Stop, stop.'"

Santoro recalled that his reaction to the sensation was akin to Carell's infamous proclamation of "Kelly Clarkson!" in the movie, a sudden and visceral response to the pain of the experience. Ultimately, he had to give up on the waxing.

"She got a towel," he added. "She rolled the towel and goes like, 'Bite.' She [wanted me] biting a towel. Then she did halfway from my torso. And I said, 'It's enough. It's enough. Thank you very much. I learned. So I'm gonna use the razor.' And that was it. So I gave up on it, because it was the whole body. I'm not a very hairy guy, but I have hair. And it was very painful."

Santoro then resorted to shaving himself with a razor and production compressed his schedule to help lessen the need for him to do it repeatedly. "I worked like three weeks in a row," he concluded. "So I didn't have to be doing that for a long time. I had like five hours of preparation from the time I started to the time I'm ready to go on camera. Five hours and then another hour and a half to remove everything before I go to bed. I was the first one to arrive [and the] last one to leave the set along with the people that were taking care of me."

Needless to say, Santoro said he's not often recognized for his role in 300. Instead, fans approach him far more often citing either Love Actually or Westworld.

Related content: