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Carrie Stevens - Playboy model / actress, "Rock Star"
2001 - On the phone with David Lee Wilson

Nothing brings out the masses like nostalgia. Set that nostalgia in the not so remote days of Heavy Metal dominance, add a bit of true-life rags to riches story line and you have the Warner Brothers Rock-u-Drama, ""Rock Star"." As most will know this is the slightly remolded story of Tim "Ripper" Owens and his graduation from Judas Priest cover band to Judas Priest front-man with Mark "Marky-Mark" Wahlberg playing the lead character.

What you may not know is that the producers of the movie strove for as much realism as they could get and employed a veritable who's-who of eighties Metal-scenesters in supporting roles throughout the film. Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society / Ozzy Osbourne) Jason Bonham, Jeff Pilson (Dokken), Blas Elias (Slaughter) and many others recreate the glory days of Metal in this inspiring period flashback which is due out fall 2001. Playing Zakk Wylde's wife in the movie is LA Metal scene veteran, actress, model, author, philanthropist and all around beauty, Carrie Stevens. The name may not immediately ring a bell but her face, not to mention other parts of her anatomy, surely will. Carrie can currently be seen in video projects by Third Eye Blind and Limp Bizkit as well as in any number of national magazine add campaigns and in the full array of Playboy Magazine related activities. From Coast to Coast and around the world Carrie Stevens' presence is increasingly hard to miss.

Carrie has many gifts that lay beyond her incredible physical beauty, the most admirable of which is her depth of heart. In the last year or so Carrie has devoted considerable time and effort to the formation of Carrie Cares.Com, a free networking and support group for those who have recently lost a loved one. Carrie comes by her empathy for the bereaved through painful losses of her own and she shares freely from those experiences with any and all who show the need. Acts of genuine altruism in the entertainment business are incredibly rare but one needn't look too far into www.carriecares.com [no longer online - ed.] to be convinced that Carrie's heart and motives are pure. Recently I convinced Carrie to break from her schedule of movie making, photo shoots and web work to speak with me for an hour about "Rock Star," her web-sites, her career path, and life in general.

DAVID LEE: Beyond this "Rock Star" movie you have been one incredibly busy girl, how do you do it?
CARRIE STEVENS: Sure am and I get busier every day. Then, when there is a break, once I stop sleeping, I wake up and say "shit! I don't know where to begin!" (laughs) I don't even know what to do with myself I have been so busy but it is a roller coaster.

K2K: I know that you run back and forth between the coasts an awful lot which is a bit different for most actors isn't it? I mean aren't there New York actors and Los Angeles actors?
CS: Well, there are a lot of different things that I do. Acting is my main love and really what I want to do but there is so much else that I am doing right now. I think that I started doing other things because you have to be able to support yourself while you are taking acting lessons and going out on auditions and things. I guess the most natural thing for me to do was to start modeling and so I picked up a few campaigns here and there and of course after I did "Playboy" I picked up a few more. You could make a career out of just being a Playmate alone so there is a lot of work and a lot of opportunities and they take you all over the place. Now I find that it is actually hard to stay in one place and to turn the other work down because you really do have to make some sacrifices. You are not going to take every thing that comes along because if you do you will not be there for the thing that is most important to you. For instance, if I have a call back for a major film such as "Rock Star" and I am off in New York City doing a runway show with 29 Playmates I may have been having a blast but I would have sacrificed the major film. It is really hard to say no to most of the fun things but most of the time I do, believe it or not.

K2K: It all sounds like fun to me! (laughs)
CS: Yeah but some things I can't resist like I did the Limp Bizkit video and once in a while you just have to say, "Yeah, this will be a really fun thing and it will air a lot so I will risk the day." Plus that way, with the video, you are in town for another call anyway.

K2K: Hollywood is particularly hard on actresses, especially actresses who are beautiful and there is a finite amount of time that Hollywood beauty will hold, do you worry about that at all?
CS: No, I don't at all. I don't because I think that where my ultimate goals lay there isn't a necessity for beauty. Right now I am certainly taking the opportunities as they come and I am lucky to have people think that I am a beauty but ultimately it works against my goals. I want to do strong leading lady roles and most of the time if you are considered very beautiful it is more character roles than leading lady roles. There are very few roles for women like that and they are given to the women who have already made it big such as the Julia Roberts' Sharon Stone's and Jennifer Lopez's out there. It is really hard to break in because there is not a lot of room and I think that I have reached, I mean, if your ultimate goal is to prove to the world you are beautiful then I think I have done that. (laughs) Doing the whole Playboy thing for instance, five thousand girls a month try out just to be a Miss June and I did that, I proved that to myself and now there are other things that I am interested in. I am giving up my website, membership section/nudity section of it anyway because I have just founded CarrieCares.com which is a non-profit friendship networking and support group for anyone that has lost a loved one or that is ill and finds themselves without friends.

K2K: Yes, I have seen that, could you tell me more about what motivated you to do that?
CS: Sure. Through these personal appearances that have been based not only on my beauty but on my personal history of losing Eric Carr I am always meeting fans who inspire me to be a better person. It is those people who I meet like that who thank me because I stood by Eric and they cry on my shoulder because their friends or family turned on them when they found out that they were sick. I am constantly making friends with these people and giving them my e-mail address and I have found that the rewards in that are much greater than having people sign my guest book and tell me how pretty I am. I don't have a problem with nudity or anything like that it is just that I don't have enough energy to go around and I am doing a lot of things so I am going to put my efforts more in to this new site and have the other one just kind of public and free. I just can't keep up with new nude pictures every month! (laughs) It makes a lot of money but I think that some things in life are greater than money and I think that there is a lot of emptiness in this business. I am busy running around doing modeling and movies and music videos and personal appearances but in the down time, it is like when you are thirty-one years old like I am and you are not in a serious relationship and you don't have any children, I don't even have a pet, there is a lot of love in my heart to give and it can be really empty if I have to sit in my down time and say, "What am I doing this all for?" that is why I want to do this. Between that goal and my goal to grow theatrically I don't worry about my looks fading. I know that was a long answer to a simple question! (laughs)

K2K: That is very caring and noble and very unlike most people in the entertainment industry, that is for sure.
CS: Well, I think that a lot of them are searching for themselves. I think that is the journey of the artist and the music business or movie business it is all full of creative people and that is why the city of LA is so miserable, it is a lot of creative people all searching for their souls. Fortunately, ten years ago I never thought I would say this, but I went through humbling experiences at a young age and it has helped me to grow as a person and like who I am. I don't know a lot of people who can say that, I wished that everyone could. All I can say is that I am really lucky that I can have that and if I never gain anything else I think that I can be happy with that.

K2K: You mentioned schooling, what kind of classes have helped you in your craft?
CS: I am always in class for one thing or another, not just acting but sometimes I will just decide to take Italian lessons and I will do that for a while and then switch to Spanish and then I will start a Screen Writing class, just always jumping around from one thing to another. I am sort of a high energy kind of person mentally, physically and spiritually but as far as acting itself goes I think that I started my first acting class when I was twenty-one, about ten years ago. I have studied a lot but now I just take private lessons because I just don't have the time. Acting, I guess you could relate it to playing the guitar if you wanted, you have to rehearse and practice if you want to be good. To be completely honest, sometimes I am not sure if I keep studying because it gives me more of a security about it or because there is still something left to learn. Sometimes if I study with a teacher who tells me I am good it gives me a sense of security rather than just walking in cold and hoping I am good. I have taken a lot of classes but I really think that I have learned more from being on a set or being on a stage.

K2K: How was it that you found your way to LA in the first place?
CS: I am from Massachusetts but my Dad was living in Memphis and that is where I met Eric and KISS. I guess that it did something for me and I guess that it was all meant to be but at the time it really changed my perception on what I wanted to do in life, I don't think that I know quite what hit me. I was eighteen years old and going to Memphis State University and I was sitting in my classes and all I was thinking about was moving to LA. It wasn't necessarily for Eric because he lived in New York, maybe it was that whole Metal scene that was going on back then. (laughs) It was just something crazy drawing me to LA. I used to talk to Eric all the time on the phone and he would warn me not to and he would warn me about what happens to nice girls like me who move to LA. At the time I didn't know the difference between a nice girl like me and what they turned into, hopefully I didn't turn into that! (laughs) Anyway, he would always try to talk me out of moving there and I had another girlfriend from Boston who was moving to LA and I hid my suitcase behind my bed, took the car my Dad bought me and just left. (laughs) Soon after Eric came here to record an album, I think that it was "HOT IN THE SHADE" and that is where that led to. We met in Memphis but it really began here because I really was a lost little small town girl and he really helped take care of me.

K2K: Lucky for you that it was Eric and not Gene! (laughs)
CS: (Laughing) Yeah. I really am lucky that he got to me first actually.

K2K: Did you have aspirations of being an actress before you got to LA?
CS: Yeah I did. Since I was a little girl I wanted to be an actress but where I grew up in Massachusetts, I mean, people just don't grow up to be models or actors and you kind of get laughed at if you say that is what you want to do. There is a very small town mentality where I am from so I kind of funneled that into wanting to be a broadcast journalist and that is what I was going to school for at Memphis State. I was Entertainment Editor of my High School newspaper and I even interviewed Bono from U2! (laughs) I think that I always had some kind of need for attention, maybe my parents didn't give me enough but I think that is why I wanted to be a Broadcast Journalist. When I was actually in school for that I realized that it wasn't for me because I wasn't into being conservative and I was not into being non-creative. I wanted to be free. I wanted to write what I wanted to write and dress how I wanted to dress, a bit of a rebel I guess. So, when I did come out to LA I just sort of fell into it I guess.

K2K: What was your first gig in LA?
CS: The first thing that happened to me was that I was working the front desk at a Ramada Hotel and I was in an office building one day when a woman came up to me and said to me, "Are you Union or non&endash;Union?" I had no idea what she was talking about but I just said, "Non-union" because I knew that I wasn't in any Union and she said, "Would you mind going on a cruise for a week?" I asked what I had to do and she said that I had to audition for this producer and wear a bikini for a week and it was an NBC movie of the week called, "Class Cruise." I said "Great!" and I went and met the producer and they hired seven Playboy Playmates and me and this was seven years before I was a Playmate so I was so completely just intimidated and innocent! I remember these girls all hated me because I would ask them stupid questions like, "What do your parents think of you being a Playmate, don't they mind it?" (laughs) I guess I was sort of an innocent little flower back then. (laughs)

K2K: I am a Dad to three little ones and the middle one is my little Princess and I can imagine how I would react if my little baby was out in the wilds of LA, how did your Dad deal with it?
CS: Oh he was furious. He said, "You are on your own and you will be back in two weeks!" Nope, I never went back. Actually I went back to Memphis once after that when I was on the road with KISS! (laughs) Yeah, him and my Stepmother at the time came backstage and everything. (laughs)

K2K: Gene hit on your Step Mom? (laughs)
CS: He did hit on my Mom! My real Mom, yeah he did.

K2K: That guy is the only truly shameless person that I have ever met. (laughs)
CS: Yeah, he really is. I don't think Shannon has a clue though.

K2K: OK, so now you are an established professional in LA and they give you the call to do this movie with Marky Mark Wahlberg called "Metal God" which changed its name a few times and is now called "Rock God."
CS: Yeah, I heard that Warner Brothers had seen a screening of it and loved it and they are going to sink a ton of money into promoting it. That is good news to hear.

K2K: Well, with all of the name people who are in the movie it would seem to warrant it. You knew a lot of these players before getting the gig, didn't you?
CS: Yeah, pretty much.

K2K: Did you all get together and reminisce about the LA Metal scene in the late eighties?
CS: Jeff Pilson and I really bonded because although I never knew him during the time I was with Eric I was always a big Dokken fan. I had met Jeff and Don Dokken backstage at an Alice Cooper concert at the House of Blues about a year earlier so when we bumped into each other on the set I said, "Hey, remember we met backstage at Alice Cooper?" and he did. We are both caffeine addicts and he would bring in the best coffee and I would end up sitting in his trailer with him just getting this caffeine buzz and yakking for hours! (laughs) Jeff is a very spiritual person, I mean, he is just the greatest guy and I really miss him. We had the best talks because it was like therapy talking to him on the set.

K2K: Yeah, Jeff is pretty laid back despite the coffee. It is funny that you should mention coffee because every time I see him or speak with him he has a cup of coffee in his hands or is making a pot or you can hear the beans grinding in the background. (laughs) Did you get to see the bands shoot their scenes for the movie? I heard that they actually play?
CS: I was on the side of the stage, there are two bands in the film, the band that Blas (Elias) was in who are kind of like the wannabe cover band that Mark Wahlberg was in before he made it and then there is "Black Dragon" which is the band that is supposed to be like KISS or Motley Crue or whatever, you know the biggest band of the eighties and that is the band that Zakk Wylde is in with Jason Bonham. I knew him (Jason) back in my Rainbow days ten years ago too! (laughs) I used to hang out with him getting drunk in the Rainbow then too but of course he doesn't remember that and he hasn't changed a bit! When I stood on the side of the stage I was watching those guys in action, Zakk, Jason, Jeff and Mark Wahlberg and an actor named Dominic West, he is British and he is going to be huge, but those guys, especially Zakk the energy that those guys put out was amazing. Of course he was spiting at everybody in the audience, it was disgusting, but he was just being Zakk on stage, it was the real deal. I think they threw in a couple of actors for the sake of the big dialogue scenes but as far as the music end of it, it is going to be so real and the energy will be there just like a live concert. I felt like I was at a concert and I have seen the real deal from the side of the stage so I know.

K2K: Was it a long time since you had seen all of these people?
CS: The last time that I saw Zakk I sat next to him on this red-eye from New York and we got so completely wasted on the plane. I was on the way to see Eric, and he was on the way to see his now wife and we just had the best time and completely trashed this airplane but I haven't seen him since! (laughs) The next thing I know I am playing his wife in this movie! Ten years ago if you had told me this was going to happen I would have thought you were completely nuts! I really commend his wife because if men are dogs she did a good job training him. He would come to the set every day and there were all of these gorgeous babes all around and all he would talk about was how he banged his wife in the closet or something! (laughs) He would go on and on about it. He is pretty hard-core but underneath he would have to be a pussycat to even be talking about that. He was very respectful to me and everyone, he is just a really nice guy and a lot of fun to be around

K2K: Well it does sound like you are living the life and this "Rock Star" movie was a blast but times can't always be good, are there times when you ask yourself, "Why do I do this?"
CS: Yeah. I have had my share of films that I don't even put on my resume because they came out that shitty. The lighting is bad or the other actors are bad and the music is bad and everything is just bad but those are the growing pains of this industry and the things that you learn along the way. There are still embarrassing moments that come along and not everybody is as sweet and supportive as Steven Harick who was the director of "Rock Star." All of the producers on that were absolutely amazing and all of the actors were amazing. It was just an all around amazing set. I have been on sets where people have a bad attitude and people ask me to do things that I don't want to do and I have to be strong and stand up for myself but this was truly a gift all the way around.

K2K: Now that this one is tucked away, besides doing interviews, what is next for you?
CS: I was going to go to Chicago to do a film but the budget was so low that I had to turn it down. You know it was like five weeks in a suburb outside of Chicago and I was the biggest name in the movie and they wanted to pay me jack-shit. I just can't take myself away from other opportunities here to do that. Especially given that there is an impending strike for actors in June so I can't really afford to be gone. It is funny because I know I will be doing more music videos, my connection to the music industry just never goes away! (laughs) I felt like even because you are interviewing me that I am a "Rock Star" because after Eric and I were separated, I hate to say "after he died" but basically one of the things that I really missed about my time with him was the road. I really missed checking into hotels and being in different places and traveling and the whole thing of it. Then after I did Playboy it was like, "Hey I am a "Rock Star"" I am traveling and I am going to places like Brazil and Cannes and I am also going to places like Chicago and Milwaukee and Indianapolis and I am on seven planes in six days and people want my autograph and Hey, I am a "Rock Star"! (laughs)

K2K: The groupie thing never works the other way, men love being rock stars because it gives them access to women but women don't need or enjoy that same access to men but I do get what you are saying.
CS: Well, I can honestly say that I never hooked up with a guy, like sexually or even for a date, that way. I have been doing these personal appearances, sort of "Rock Star" things for three and a half years and I have never met a guy to hook up with like that. I am sure that no man doing that can say the same thing. It is just the difference between men and women. Now I would be a liar if I said that I never hooked up with anyone on the set! (laughs) But that is different. That is hard to because you are working hard and working intimately with them and it is probably best not to do it because your vision becomes clouded of those people especially if you have a romantic relationship on screen. It just gets confused.

K2K: Without naming names, has that been a problem for you?
CS: Yeah, once and he is a no-name so it doesn't matter. (laughs) It didn't end well and I definitely don't talk to him now but I think that is definitely what happened. On screen my character was manipulating him and she was very flirtatious and she was a character that used sex to get what she wanted. There was one love scene, I call it a sex scene because there wasn't any love involved, and that was like the second day that we worked together and when you are that intimate and you are changing clothes in front of each other and you are becoming friends and you are the first people who see each other every day and you are working long hours together and you have something in common you fool yourself into thinking that there is an attraction that goes beyond the script. I think that for both of us that is really what it was. I guess that I just think that he could have ended it better. I guess I am just still bitter because he did it on my birthday! (laughs) That was really fucked up of him to do but on the other hand being away from it he is not a person that if I had met in a different circumstance that I would have been attracted to mentally or physically. In case you are wondering, no I didn't have any romances on the set of "Rock Star." (laughs)

K2K: As you have described it to me it sounds like it was more of just a good time and work got done but it was pretty light hearted work?
CS: We reminisced and we partied, even the girls, me and Heidi (Mark) and Rachel (Hunter), we all went out together for Margaritas after work and we had a really great time gossiping and joking and it was just good energy. I have kept in touch with the producers and the director and all around. It was just magical and that is why I think that the film is going to be magical. Heidi and Rachel and I are filming a "Rock-Wife" documentary for the web-site and it is just going to be like a day in the life of the "Rock-Wives." It will be a lot of improv and I guess a lot more comedic than the film is.

K2K: Well you know one thing for sure, if it is a hit there will be a sequel in five years, I don't know, maybe from rehab or something? (laughs)
CS: (Laughing) Yeah but it would be hard to recreate I think but hey, if it makes that much money you know someone is going to try!

K2K: We have to talk about the Playboy work before we get done here.
CS: Yeah, I know, it is that big old bunny, you just can't kill it! (laughs)

K2K: I know, I know, and I told myself that I wouldn't even pursue the Playboy thing or much about Eric because I figure you have talked those to exhaustion already.
CS: The only thing that I don't like to talk about much is the time when Eric was ill. I don't like to go over that, it upsets me. I constantly get people e-mailing me that want to talk about that and I feel kind of cold to that and I just don't answer those. I appreciate the fact that people appreciate the good things about Eric but that bothers me personally.

K2K: I can totally understand that. I like talking about you anyway. (laughs) So where do you go from here?
CS: I think that my career is not going to be like anyone else's, it will be its own and not like Pamela or Jenny or anyone else, I am going to make my own path. Playboy did believe in me and they gave me my first break and I got a lot of publicity out of it and a lot of inner strength from that and I don't believe in turning my back on something that has been so good to me. I don't intentionally talk about it but it has obviously had a big impact on my life in a positive way.

K2K: Never having gotten an invitation to visit the mansion, (laughs) It seems to be a relatively tight knit club where everybody kind of networks and helps each other out, kind of Fraternal I guess?
CS: It really is like a family. Hef treats the Playmates well and we are welcome there 24 hours a day. The mansion is ours too, I mean we can eat all our meals there, use the gym there, the pool of course all of the parties but not only that we have the company that supports us. Cindy Rafkowicsz, who is Hef's right ear and head of Playboy promotions and all of the public relations for Playboy Enterprises, she volunteered to be the PR and marketing consultant for CarrieCares.com. They have been very supportive and they are really there for the Playmates and anything that we believe in. They are there to support our careers our charities our social lives, I mean, you can have a career and a social life based on just Playboy alone. It is not enough for me because I am just one of those high-energy people who wants it all but it certainly has been a good accessory.

K2K: Sounds like they have a better plan than Social Security for you girls. (laughs)
CS: Maybe. (laughs) Hef is old enough to get the senior discount at the movies but instead of that he can sit in his mansion and watch a movie on his private screen with 40 of his friends and that is better than being on Social Security.

K2K: Hef is certainly an intriguing guy. When I bump into other people who are in some form of competition with him they generally seem like very embittered people and I don't get the feeling that Hef has many regrets in his life.
CS: He doesn't. I asked him once, I said, "If there was one thing in life that you regretted, what would it be? If you had to come back and do it all over again what would you do different?" He said, "I would do exactly the same things." Now, how many people could truly say that about their lives? I have the utmost admiration for that man for that comment alone. He is a legend but for that comment alone I respect him. People love to focus on his sex life but lets face it he was huge in the movement for Civil Rights and for Women's Lib, though the Women's Lib-ers like to knock him down. In my opinion he has done more for women being able to express themselves sexually than anyone. Whether society wants to admit it or not women are sexual creatures and I think it is about time that everyone got with the times and admitted it. Gloria Steinem and Gloria Alred and all of these people that try to pretend that it doesn't exist but it does and if it didn't we wouldn't have basic things like women's fashion. Sex sells and women are a big part of that and Hef has been a pioneer for the self-esteem of women all over. Women have gotten more beautiful and it is safe for us to be beautiful. Women write me fan mail, not women who are lesbians, but just women who admire me and it has given people like me an outlet to let people know who we are. I am obviously a person who has views of my own, not just a pinup doll and Playboy has given me an outlet to have that voice.

K2K: That really pisses of the militant lesbians too because they propagate their own prejudice by saying that you Playmates are victims or not too bright.
CS: Right. People do want to know what I have to say and I don't have the same voice as Gloria Steinem or anybody else. I think Hef is an advocate for freedom in all areas and always has been. And he is a wonderful gentle soul, he has never hurt anyone in his life and he is not a judgmental person. I think that everyone does have a lot to learn from him.

K2K: Do you have any aspirations beyond those entertainment related things you are doing? I mean, you are very intelligent and articulate and you could certainly teach or write?
CS: Thank you. Yeah, someday when I am old but right now I have way too much energy to be patient and finish many things. I have tried to sit and write screen plays. After Eric died, just as a healing thing, I tried to sit and write a screenplay about it but I could never get past page eleven. I kept changing my mind about the way that I wanted to write it. I think that someday I would like to retire to Pocatono, overlooking the Mediterranean and just have the stars above me while I write romance novels or something. Someday, but I am not ready yet. I am up for a lot more adventure and surely a lot more romance before then. (laughs)


Written by David Lee Wilson

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

All rights reserved © KAOS2000™. No portion contained herein, either text or graphics, may be reproduced anywhere or reposted on any other website for any purpose without the expressed permission of the publisher. All violations shall be punished as the law allows.

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