TOKYO (AP) - Singer Christina Aguilera says she learned one important thing from her movie debut: A dancer's feet aren't sexy.
The star of the new movie "Burlesque," a song-and-dance extravaganza about a small-town girl trying to make it big, said Monday that she felt doubly challenged by the acting and dancing demands of the lead role of Ali Rose, and she was at first inclined to turn it down.
Aguilera said although she is accustomed to dancing when she performs on stage, she considers herself first and foremost a singer.
"I was scared of being out there with real, professional dancers," Aguilera, who has won four Grammy awards, said at a news conference ahead of the film's Tokyo premiere. "It's harder than it looks."
"Probably the unsexiest thing is to see a dancer's feet," she said. "After dancing for 17 or 18 hours a day every day, your feet are just bruises and calluses."
The movie also features Cher, who, at 64, is marking her first major feature-film role since 1999's "Tea With Mussolini," and Kristen Bell, formerly star of the hit TV series "Veronica Mars."
Director-writer Steven Antin said he had to convince a worried Aguilera that she had enough acting and dancing in her for the role. But, he said, she quickly rose to the occasion.
"Christina has an extraordinary innate acting ability," he said. "She had many reservations. I believed she could do it. I watched her do it every day."
"That was a great relief - I really needed her to be happy," he said.