Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pictured: World-famous hand, owner.
Photo: NCP/Star Max (Getty Images)

Although its critical reception has, uh, drifted a bit over the last 20 years—exacerbated by, among other things, a series of sexual-assault allegations against its Oscar-winning leading man—Sam Mendes’ American Beauty undeniably remains a film of strikingly affecting visuals. (And no, not just that easily-mocked plastic bag.) The 1999 Best Picture winner is full of visually dazzling flourishes, from its tendency to peek through windows at intimate conversations, to little details like the bright red door on the Burnham family home. That eye-catching use of color also extended to the film’s marketing, and specifically its poster, which lured in audiences—much like the film—with a mixture of provocation and tasteful nudity and hey wait, no, what, somehow that is apparently Christina Hendricks’ hand.


Like… her hand! The one at the end of her arm! (The right one, if our understanding of human anatomy is correctly doing its thing.) Ignore everything we were saying before about its weaknesses and merits; clearly, this is now the single most interesting thing about this movie. (With apologies to both Alan Ball and Thomas Newman, but we think, given proper perspective, they’d both agree.)

Hendricks revealed this mind-blowing fact on Instagram tonight, noting that, once upon a time—in her pre-Firefly and Mad Men days, obviously—she occasionally worked as a hand model. And that’s her hand! Holding the rose! Already destined for greatness!

Anyway, Hendricks did not reveal who the stomach model in the iconic shot is, but we can only guess. Judi? Helen? Meryl? Anything is possible now! The world is fresh and new again. It’s Christina Hendricks’ hand!

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