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Pamela Anderson on Baywatch, Justin Trudeau, Playboy and being exactly where she wants to be


Baywatch might be celebrating its 30th birthday this year, but for series star Pamela Anderson it seems like it was just yesterday when she was running around in that iconic high-waisted red swimsuit that helped make her a star.

“I didn’t know that,” she replies when asked about the popular TV series’ upcoming anniversary. “Time is an illusion.”

Originally filmed in 35mm, Baywatch is now available in high definition on Amazon Prime Video with 350 brand new songs added to the score to help draw in younger viewers.

The show made the B.C.-born Anderson a household name and turned her, along with co-stars Carmen Electra, Yasmine Bleeth, Nicole Eggert and Erika Eleniak, into overnight stars. It also helped jumpstart the stalled career of David Hasselhoff and saw itself get the big screen treatment with Dwayne Johnson in the lead in 2017.

Baywatch was the best job in the world,” the former Playboy Playmate says. “It doesn’t feel that long ago.”

In addition to starring as C.J. Parker for five seasons on the long-running show, which at one point was being watched by over a billion people worldwide every week, Anderson went on to star in a big screen adaption of the Dark Horse comic Barb Wire and Scary Movie 3 . She continued to fill her resume with appearances on Dancing with the Stars and other reality-TV shows.

Earlier this year, she popped up alongside her son Brandon Thomas Lee in The Hills: New Beginnings .

Of course there have been high-profile romances — to Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee and Kid Rock — and a rumoured dalliance with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. There was also a bad split with soccer star Adil Rami that ended in accusations of abuse earlier this year. But at 52, the outspoken animal rights activist, who landed her first Vogue magazine cover in June, is exactly where she wants to be.

Here, the mother-of-two, who shares sons Brandon, 22, and Dylan, 21, with ex-husband Tommy Lee, shared lessons she has learned during her three decades in the public eye.

You were discovered in 1989 at a B.C. Lions game when you were spotted in a Labatt T-shirt. Was that the T-shirt that changed your life?

I believe in destiny.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what three movies and what three albums would you want to keep you company?

I guess I’d rather take a stack of books and my dog.

Superhero movies are all the rage. Are you more a Marvel fan or DC fan?

I don’t know what that even means. I was a friend and a subject of Stan Lee — that was an honour. He was a true visionary. Although (the adult animated comedy series) Stripperella may not have been his finest work.

You’ve been on the cover of Playboy more than any other model and you first appeared in 1989. How important was that in your career?

Playboy was my university. It’s where I learned about art and philanthropy. (Playboy founder) Hugh Hefner was a big influence (on my life). But he was also a pioneer and a human and civil rights activist. I believe in living your fantasy and doing good in the world.

What was your most memorable celebrity encounter?

None — people are people. I’ve met amazing people, celebrity or not. It’s a funny world. People that like celebrities, I guess I’ve never been one of them, but to meet people one on one is interesting. It connects us. Human connection is a lost art.

You are known for speaking out on animal rights issues. How did this cause become one so close to your heart?

I relate to vulnerability and I love animals. They don’t lie and we can learn a lot from them.

You are very political and have political opinions. People probably ask you all the time about Donald Trump. I want to know what you think of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?

I think less and less of Mr. Trump. He’s not on my radar. I think Mr. Trudeau has a great opportunity. He could be the hero we need in the world. But he needs to be strong enough and not subservient to the U.S. He also needs to make the climate crisis top priority. A world leader must take this role. How cool would it be if it’s Canada?

What was the best advice you ever got?

Be yourself. Humans aren’t perfect. That’s the sexiest part. You have to be brave to be in love — you have to be brave to get off the couch.

Along with that, what’s the worst advice you ever got?

To do something for money or for fame that meant going against things I believed in.

What would young Pamela think of where she ended up?

I think I’m exactly where I need to be. I’ve come full circle. It’s a miracle I made it back alive. Back to my roots on Vancouver Island, where I grew up. It’s the most beautiful place on Earth and Canadians are truly the coolest people I know.

Last question — is it better to take the road less traveled or the well-worn terrain where lots of people have tread before?

Blaze your own path.

Twitter: @markhdaniell
mdaniell@postmedia.com

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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