Pole dancing only looks easy.

Marisa Tomei follows her fully nude work for Sidney Lumet in last year’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” with her stint this year as a barely clothed stripper in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler.”

Unlike her leading man, Mickey Rourke, who got a workout spot in the director’s office, Tomei wasn’t so lucky.

“I had to cram it, I guess, into a few weeks,” the actress says of her preparation. “But also I thought, ‘Well, it’s not really dancing. It’s how you look.’ ” But not just looks. As Tomei discovered, “There was a craft to it and a strength. You’re working off the adrenaline of the audience you’re entertaining. It’s difficult but I wound up enjoying it. Also, the personal challenge of standing there, doing that!”

Tomei laughs: “It’s one thing when it’s a fantasy in my mind, but … ” quite another to actually do it.

Fear was the key. “I always like to go into things I’m scared of, so I eventually found it — ‘liberating’ is kind of a trite word — but it was fun. It was scary but fun.”