THE POPCORN REEL FEATURE STORY
Re-Reintroducing The Indefatigable Traci Lords
Lords of The Rings: Traci Lords just keeps going,
and in photos from July 2008, she continues to thrive and reinvent. The
third photo is from her new film "Zack And Miri Make A Porno", in which she
plays Bubbles, a porn star. The film, directed by Kevin Smith, opens on
Halloween across the U.S. and Canada. (First two photos: ©Traci Lords.
Last photo: Weinstein Company)
Omar P.L. Moore/The
October 23, 2008
LOS ANGELES, California --
People talk about Madonna. People talk about Vanessa Williams.
People talk about Tina Turner.
All three have shrewdly reinvented their personas and careers over the years and
are thriving. All three have endured divorces and triumphed in spite of
controversy, abuse or ridicule, but there's another American star who has had as
phenomenal a set of nine lives and continual reincarnation as the trio of women
And it's hard to believe that Ms. Lords is now forty -- she scarcely looks in
Still, forty is young, and Ms. Lords has been around -- "excuse the pun" --
words she would repeatedly say when mentioning film projects with titles that
have sexual connotations and evocations of her past career. Married for
more than seven years to Jeff Lee (they've been together for a total of 12), a
man whom she says patiently and persistently pursued her over several years --
and the mother of a son who turned one year old earlier this month, Traci Lords
is more than two decades removed from the pornography stardom of the mid-1980's
-- and, as she has made clear over the years, doesn't miss that turbulent period
in her life even remotely.
In the intervening years between the '80's and now for the Ohio-born Ms. Lords
there have been a wealth of conventional feature film roles and cameos,
television parts and appearances, a singing career, a soul-searching
autobiography (entitled "Underneath It All"), a business, a film producer and
So what do you do with success? Take full advantage of it. And Traci
Lords has risen from the ashes and has been doing so for years. She will
make the and finds herself on the big screen on Halloween Friday in the U.S. and
Canada with the new bawdy, lewd romantic comedy from Kevin Smith entitled "Zack
And Miri Make A Porno", which will be released in North America by The Weinstein
Porno? Traci Lords?
The two don't mix anymore, and when Ms. Lords received the script and read the
title of Mr. Smith's film, her reaction, as she recalled recently at the Four
Seasons Beverly Hills was immediate.
"I was prepared to say 'no'", said the actress-author with penetrating sapphire
As Ms. Lords read the script, she laughed. Any reservations she had
disappeared when she learned that Mr. Smith would direct the film, and wanted
her in it. Ms. Lords, a big fan of the big man from New Jersey, plays
Bubbles, a porn star who keeps her clothes on in "Zack And Miri Make A Porno".
Bubbles has a talent with bubbles, and Ms. Lords plays the role cheekily.
On the set of Mr. Smith's film Ms. Lords was accompanied by her husband, whom
she describes as "completely the love of my life" and new born Gunnar, whom she
breast-fed in between takes, preserving the tight-knit family the three of them
After all that Ms. Lords has been through, she dispensed some motherly advice
for her one-year-old son: "I want my son to grow up to be a man that's gonna use
his penis for good and not evil." Gunnar's mother said this in the context
of what she often referred to as "a whole lot of craziness in the world right
As far as the new film is concerned, Ms. Lords, who on just another sunny and
resplendent Sunday in L.A. is wearing a deep blue form fitting dress designed by
Diane Von Furstenburg, had high hopes for "Zack And Miri", as she talked before
a group of journalists from several of the U.S. and Canada's most prominent
"I hope we do as well as 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua!'", Ms. Lords beamed,
referring to the Disney film which had topped the U.S.-Canada box office in its
opening two weeks before falling to second place last Sunday.
Bubbles as a character is rather innocuous but in so many words Ms. Lords saw
the character as an opportunity to make fun of the Traci Lords of a generation
ago and have a laugh, at a time and place where she felt comfortable doings so,
and close the final chapter of the distant past with this epilogue. With
today's porn star Katie Morgan also in Mr. Smith's film, Ms. Lords said that
Miss Morgan was very respectful and didn't solicit any advice at all from Ms.
Lords about her years in the porn industry.
"She seems like she has a good heart," Ms. Lords said of Miss Morgan, whom
earlier had said that she would take a vacation from porn for the foreseeable
future to expand her horizons in to the acting world.
Traci Lords is something of a seer. She reminded the inquisitive press
corps in attendance that at the time she played a role in the 1987 film "Cry
Baby" alongside Johnny Depp, she had predicted that Mr. Depp would be a huge
star. "Every one was trying to recover," she recalled, citing assorted
cast members on the John Waters film.
By observation, Ms. Lords has recovered, and very well. She has a
confidence and happiness. She glows about her ironworker husband, whom she
acknowledged "has a good taste in shoes." She is also involved with a film
adaptation of a book called "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell", which she has just
wrapped and is excited about. Similarly, her level of excitement rises
when talking about producing "The Art Of Seduction" a film for television which
she describes as "a lubricant for the mind". The film is a sensual yet
cerebral look at women and their liberation, exploration and self-empowerment
through sex appeal. Ms. Lords said that she is trying to get Zalman King
to direct or lens the film, adding that she believed Mr. King to be the sexiest
filmmaker alive, in terms of his artful conception of a woman's sexual
adventures and stories. She praised him as "very tasteful and intriguing".
So what does Traci Lords find sexy?
"Kindness is sexy to me, in a world where a whole lot of ugly is going on right
Ms. Lords added that "safety is sexy".
She also hailed Aaron Spelling for giving her this piece of advice, which she
says has worked well for her over the years: "shorter, tighter, brighter",
referring to the length and size of any skirt or dress Ms. Lords chooses to
wear, presenting herself with a resulting compactness and efficiency.
It was an unexpected response from Traci Lords, but then again, she has always
defied expectations and beat the odds.
"Zack And Miri Make A Porno", featuring Traci Lords in a small role as
Bubbles, is directed by Kevin Smith and opens on Halloween (Oct. 31) in the U.S.
and Canada. The film is released in North America by The Weinstein
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