MADE Magazine Spring 2019 May 2019 - Page 57

MADEFEATURE MADEXXX Rachelle had me over to their home the first week, for dinner. Ed did a lot of the cooking, and he is exceptional. They are just two peas in a pod. The nicest people; they finish each other's sentences. He is so informative. You want to sit at his feet like he is Yoda. Ed is sustainable, he's a mad scientist, and he can teach you. We were talking about farming and growing and dirt and moisture and oxidization and nutrients in the soil to create a great bed for plants. We really enjoy that aspect of our relationship. Allison Kugel: Your career has done a 180. You're playing this quirky country role in Bless This Mess, and this month you are also in the film Poms with Diane Keaton and Rhea Perlman where you are poking fun at getting older. As some- one who was an icon of sex appeal and glamour, how did that play a role, not just in your earlier career, but in your life? And how are you now processing going through the different stages of life? Pam Grier: I've always controlled my image for political, religious and spiritual purposes, and I've embraced aging. When I met Robert De Niro with his first wife, Diahnne Abbott, he was gaining weight in order to play Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. We were in his kitchen talking and I said to him, "I would like to gain weight for my roles." Because as a woman, society responds differently to your weight and to your appearance, and your sex appeal. I guess in certain cultures if you are not a standard size 4 or 6 you're not considered attractive. There are psychological aspects towards that. The younger, slimmer and more youthful looking you are, the better for child bearing and maybe you're thought to be more sexual or whatever. I love the fact that people do respond differently when I am a size twelve than when I am a size four; completely differ- ent dynamic and really interesting to me. Allison Kugel: People perceive that the more attractive you are considered by society, the easier that opportunities and good things will come your way. Why would you want to forfeit that? Pam Grier: When I did the play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and I gained weight to play that role, I wanted to do that role and the producer said you should see Kathy Bates play this role. When I went to see her and I saw that she had this beautiful weight on her, which is very normal in certain cultures, while in other cultures not as acceptable, I just thought she was so stunningly beautiful. It brought a certain element and richness to her character. I don't know what it was, but I just felt this couple in love [in the show]. It was amazing. I thought, "If I can just reach half the energy she portrayed, I would be grateful. At the time I thought, "I'm really skinny. I run seven miles a day. How do I do this." 
 Allison Kugel: You were known and cele- brated for being beautiful, fit and strong. Pam Grier: Well, Robert De Niro had said it would be different for me as a woman. He said to me, "You'll lose your attractiveness in society." I said, "You #mademaven 57