t‘s hard being talented and good-looking —
take my word for it. Nevertheless. it has its
advantages. l-‘irst. yott have talent: and
second. you‘re good-looking. The
difficulty is in trying to persuade others
that beneath that perfect exterior lies a latent genius waiting to bttrst otit. When .\larilyn .\lonroe was photographed holding a copy of I '/_vyw'y. cynics still questioned whether she was reading it or merely looking for the pictures.
Being perceived as an airhead tends to litnit the number of lbsen plays you're asked to do. bttt as Sharon Stone proved with her Oscar- nominated performance in ('asino. just because you've spent most of yottr career uncrossing yottr legs to varying degrees doesn‘t mean you can‘t giye Meryl Streep a rttn for her money. Plenty of actresses hay e been happy to make the
funnies and rttn. Lucille Ball amassed millions pretending she was a bimbo and made the transition to television at exactly the right time to amass more. .\'ow. moving in the opposite direction. comes Pamela Anderson. Home Improvement. Baywatch and. er. that's all.
Like many before her. Pamela drifted into acting by accident. and has been acting by accident ever since. Despite her lack of training and experience. she has maintained a sttbtle impersonation of vacuity throughout her career. A few years ago in Canada. she wasjust another blonde at a football game. when the stadium's giant screen located her. (Or rather. some leery cameraman surveying the fans on a hot afternoon zoomed in to take a closer look at the babe in the tight Labatt‘s T—shirt.) As her image appeared in close-up. the spectators howled wildly and. not one to miss a trick. a Labatt‘s
Pamela Anderson is swapping her skimpy red B(l_\‘lt‘(lf(‘/l swimsuit for a slightly less skimpy leather number and a motorbike. As she becomes Hollywood‘s vision of cartoon strip babe Barb Wire, David Harris asks if she is made of sterner stttff than silicone and froth.
Pamela Anderson: revealing her naked ambition in Barb Wire
PAMELA ANDERSON FEATURE
adtnan discovered his new billboard star. Two hops across the scummy surface of the modelling pool. via a national campaign and the opportunistic eye of Play/my. lay international stardom for the girl from Vancouver.
Before we get too cynical. it should be remembered that Bay-watch is the world‘s most popular TV programme. .\'ah. let‘s get cynical: the world has appalling taste. and the reason for the shost success is as plain as the bulge in David llasselhofl”s trunks.
Now comes Polythene Pam‘s big break in movies. l'nveiled at last year‘s (‘annes l’ilm liestival. Bar/i ll'm' hey guys. great title! * comes from the same company that brought its 'l'lie .l/axk and ’li'nm-op. and is based on a Judge Dredd-style comic book heroine. In the title role of nightclub owner. bounty hunter and reluctant freedom fighter dttring the second American (‘ivil War. the pneumatic star is coaxed into a tight. revealing costume to defend civilisation against the barbarians. If her prowess on the beaches of Southern (‘alifornia is anything to go by. the transition from two to three dimensions w ill be achieved in body alone. l’or some — those whose idea of a cinematic masterpiece is 90 minutes of bikini—clad Ania/ons in a car chase that ends in nuclear war the mere suggestion of babes in the nttde will be reason enough to sit down in a darkened room and watch the plot predictably unfold. Although as Pam winningly pttts it: "l‘here's a lot of stuffgoing on. there‘s a lot of sexy things. I guess. bttt not actual sex.‘
The question is whether she has anything to offer apart frotn the silicone valley that has tnade her a hottsehold obiect. The example of Jayne Mansfield. whose slide from the bottom rung of the ladder into oblivion was halted only by her early death. tarnished
stands as a
Just because you’ve spent most of your career uncrossing your legs to varying degrees doesn’t mean you can’t give Meryl Streep a run for her money.
reminder of the short shelf-life of the poster idol: there’s always someone younger. blonder and bustier waiting to replace you in the masturbation fantasies of the paying pttblic.
\Vhen .layney doing her breathless .\larilyn take-off and llardot was pottting as if someone hadiust swiped her lollipop. the vogue was for tlL‘liL‘llL‘L‘lL‘SS ls'illc‘tts who only llCCLlCLl lltc‘ touch of a strong man to become libidinous hellcats. But the armour-plated dominatrix of contemporary action adventure doesn‘t need some monosyllabic hero to awaken the animal within; she can be just as monosyllabic on her own. more if necessary. The cltaracter of Barb “he asserts her independence from the patronising men around her t‘Don’t call me babe‘t. oblivious to the irony that babehood is all that stands between the star and the employment exchange.
(inc can only guess whether Pam harbours any delusions about her abilities but. even if the spirit is willing. the flesh is box office. She has little choice bttt to make as much dough as she cart before that flesh begins to sag. And in a culture that money. power and physical perfection. there are enottgh imperfect and impoverished stickers to keep the wet dream
factory open all hours. 'l’he girl can‘t help it: the sad thing is that perhaps the sex—starved oglers in the front stalls can't either.
Bar/t llin' era's (w c't'm'm/ re/east' ()H l'irafay‘ .i’ .l/av. .St't' l'ilf/H i't’t'rt'ti' page .‘W.
'l'ltc l.ist in l(t .\l;t_\ l‘)‘)() 13