Exclusive: Pamela Anderson wants a "sensual revolution"
Calling Pamela Anderson famous is like labeling Kim Kardashian’s booty ‘big’ – the reality transcends description. The platinum blonde, blue-eyed pin-up has for decades reigned as the ultimate celebrity – a tabloid fixture so iconic that what she’s actually renowned for has become insignificant over the years: That 90s TV show? The infamous sex-tape? Her fabulously cartoonish enhanced physique? The beloved TV, film and internet star is so much more than all the above. Strong, striking and resilient, the Californian beauty opens up to Milk Made about her inspiring and varied philanthropic projects, launching a ‘sensual revolution’ and finding first love with Tommy Lee.
It’s been inspiring to see you embrace so much more than your sex symbol status – and really speak out for women and the abused/neglected, the environment, animals and those generally in need…
Well, one person going vegan saves 200 people worldwide, and especially with the drought in California it makes sense. Helping the drought in California isn’t just about taking shorter showers, it’s also about eating less meat, because raising a cow for slaughter uses up so much water. I’m always writing letters, and trying to save animals or working on environmental campaigns. They’re going to make me a countess in Montenegro for all the animals I’ve saved! It’s an honor, I can hardly believe it’s really true, I’ll have to wear something fabulous. I’m going to insist everyone calls me Lady Pamela, that will be my official title ha ha!
What have been the best things about being recognized worldwide? Any downsides?
I think one of the downsides is that people come into your life for the wrong reasons, and I’ve had to learn some hard lessons that way, but most of it’s been good, I mean I’ve really enjoyed being me!
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
Oh just get married once, the first one is the best one. Tommy’s the boys’ father, and I look through scrapbooks in tears – I was so happy back then, why did I always think something else was going to be better and better? It doesn’t get better, make the best of what you have. It’s really important, of course, no woman should ever endure violence or put up with any disrespect, it’s just I haven’t had much luck in that department, although the best thing I have is my two beautiful kids, and they’re very well adjusted. I try to get them out of LA as much as possible, they’ve been all over the world and have much more perspective than the average celebrity kid. They’re incredible, they’re still normal teenage boys but they’re nothing like any of my husbands, so they’re a piece a’ cake!
You’re always involved in interesting projects, many of which revolve around ethical causes. Anything you’re involved in at the moment you can tell us about?
Right now I’m really excited about this group I’m involved with called ‘Rights for Girls’. I’ve been speaking about how there’s no such thing as a ‘child prostitute’ – it’s human trafficking. It’s really rampant in America, it’s terrible. It’s something I’ve been paying a lot of attention to and I’m going to talk to Congress. Human trafficking doesn’t just happen all over the world in the places we expect it to happen, it happens right here on our doorstep, and young girls are being arrested for prostitution and they’re twelve years old or younger. They’re not the culprit, they’re the victim. As always I’m also very involved with animal rights and environmental rights, it’s just part of my day.
And you have an ongoing relationship with PETA?
Yes PETA always comes up with really interesting ideas – recently we came up with the idea of turning prisons vegan – can you imagine how many animals you would save? We found one prison willing to do this in Arizona, so I’m going to go and serve food on the fifteenth of April to prisoners…
Is it a women’s prison?
No it’s a men’s prison, there are 8000 prisoners and they’re all going to be eating vegan from now on. They’re going to plant a garden there too that will be used to grow the fruit and vegetables they’ll be eating. I don’t know how the prisoners will react, but I feel making compassionate choices and learning to nourish yourself and even the gardening element, will be incredible for people that are healing themselves. I feel that the prison system isn’t the most effective, and I think this could be a really interesting, effective way of rehabilitating people and giving them useful skills.
You’ve been working on a few film projects recently…
Yes I just finished a short film directed by Luke Gilford called Connected. It’s about a broken woman, she’s alone and looking for anything to change her life, to feel a part of something. She gets lured into a modern self-help cult. We actually did the movie in this house. I love working with Luke he’s so crazy and such a talent, I’m honored he wrote this part for me.
I also shot a bigger film, The People Garden with Dree Hemmingway directed by Nadia Litz recently – I’ve just started to get back to work, which is inspiring. My kids are 17 and 18 now and they’re ready for me to get back to work. My older son’s graduating this year and he says “Mum, you’ve sacrificed so much for us, you’ve done so much for us, I really want you to work”, because I would never take a movie because I didn’t want to leave them alone, and so now I’m back and it’s so exciting. My role in The People Garden is really dramatic, it was a real transformation for me.
What’s something totally unexpected about you?
There’s a lot of unexpected things, even I’m surprising myself every day. I think there’s going to be a lot of surprises coming up. This is going to be a really telling year, I’ve worked hard and really challenged myself.
What gets you up in the morning?
I do my writing every morning , I write in a journal – I wake up and it’s the first thing I think about and the first thing I do.
I think people mistake your kindness for weakness or for stupidity sometimes, but that’s stupid. We’re all pushing boundaries and if you’re kind it means you’ve got a lot to give and that your soul is growing, so bring it on just learn your lessons and move on. I have a big heart and I use it.
I’m vegan and I don’t drink caffeine but I have my… No one’s perfect! I’m a beast in some ways.
Most embarrassing moment?
I don’t like to look at pictures of myself, so when I do I’m always shocked. I’ve had a lot of embarrassing moments – I’ve been completely publicly humiliated, so I don’t think there’s any mystery left about me! You know the tape [with Tommy Lee] being stolen was really devastating to me, and very difficult to come to terms with. I was completely traumatized because people thought that we did that on purpose and we had nothing to do with it – and never made a dime off it. Other people have done similar things to get attention, money and fame, whereas Tommy and I were just in love and being silly. I’ve never watched it, and people are addicted to that sort of thing now – I think we need a sensual revolution, not just a sexual revolution.
Personal life philosophy?
I wish I wasn’t so tired after this photo shoot and could answer properly! My personal life philosophy is to live a sensual life – every action has a repercussion and they can be good or bad, so I might as well try to make them good!
Pamela Anderson photographed for Milk Made by Alexandre Jaras