Apparently actress Tatum O'Neal got busted for allegedly buying drugs on a New York street corner. Her excuse: She was researching a role.

Like Tatum O'Neal needs any more real-life education about drug use. But let's pretend we believe her. I think performers should take it a step further. What if actresses who played sex workers actually tried their hand at sex work in real life?

Jane Fonda played a call girl in Klute. She was certainly hot enough, but Jane's challenge as a real-life call girl would have been not talking politics, because the client demographic leans conservative. Maintaining the mood is crucial, so the odds of Jane being terribly successful in this business would be iffy. Good thing she met Ted Turner.

Rebecca De Mornay played a ruthlessly opportunistic call girl in Risky Business. Her slightly bitchy look and manner would have charmed a certain breed of submissive man—the sort of guy who could eroticize having a beautiful woman steal everything he owns and then sell it back to him. Once she ditched Guido the Killer Pimp, Rebecca would have done great in the sex business.

Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman is the poster girl for Captain Save-a-Ho guys everywhere. In real life, she'd have been a popular streetwalker, but the tattoos, the pregnancies, and the scars from bitch fights would eventually take their toll, and she'd wind up looking like Charlize Theron in Monster. Julia's real-world career would have been nasty, brutish, and short.

Elizabeth Berkley played (sort of) a stripper in Showgirls. Her lack of dance talent would be a nonissue, as many strippers are terrible dancers. But in the real world, the other girls would give her hell about licking the pole—"Ew, gross, germs! I have to touch that pole, too, you know!" (As if that was the dirtiest thing they ever wrapped their fingers around.)

Elisabeth Shue did an amazing turn as a streetwalker in Leaving Las Vegas. However, I haven't seen Elisabeth Shue doing much lately, so for all I know, she actually is a Las Vegas hooker now. Falling in love with a client who's hell-bent on suicide would be a major career detour, though.

Demi Moore played a stripper in Striptease—the one sex worker in recent cinema history who was neither a victim nor a perpetrator of violence. She also seemed intelligent and emotionally stable, but unfortunately those traits tend to leave one as the odd girl out at strip clubs. Demi would have done very well as a private dancer, though, so her odds for real-world sex-worker success would be good. Hell, I'd do duos with her.

Lindsay Lohan played a stripper in I Know Who Killed Me. (I know who killed you too, Lindsay, and it's whoever told you to take this role.) But the insane plot—"I have a twin sister, we were separated at birth, but I can feel everything she feels"— seems like a story a stripper would cook up to intrigue (read: get money from) a customer. One could certainly spin him a sexy story about threesomes.

And then there's Zombie Strippers, starring Jenna... oh, wait. Never mind.