Between appearing in La Dolce Vita and cutting a single with Jimmy Page and Andrew Loog Oldham, Nico beat out Ursula Andress for the lead role in a feature film: Jacques Poitrenaud’s 1963 Strip-Tease (a/k/a Sweet Skin and Lady Strip Tease). Billed as “Krista Nico,” she stars as German dancer Ariane, a character described by Poitrenaud as “a stripper lost in the nocturnal world.”
In White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-by-Day, VU biographer Richie Unterberger quotes from an interview with Ciné Monde in which Nico discusses filming her nude scene:
They did it as I preferred. They cleared the set. I then drank several glasses of port. And they played a haunting tune to carry me through the ordeal. As for the rest, a woman always finds out how to keep on top of the situation.
Serge Gainsbourg, who scored Strip-Tease (and makes an uncredited appearance sharing a piano with Big Joe Turner), recorded a demo of the title song with Nico in ‘62. While he used Juliette Greco’s voice on the finished version, the demo—Nico’s earliest surviving recording, according to Unterberger—surfaced on the 2001 box set Le cinema de Serge Gainsbourg (now available in a five-CD expanded edition that retails for $1 more than the three-CD original).
In the clips below, hear the Gainsbourg/Nico demo of “Strip-Tease” and watch Ariane’s mildly NSFW marionette routine. You can watch all of Strip-Tease, but with garbage audio, here.