MADE Magazine Spring 2019 May 2019 - Page 60

MADEFEATURE MADEXXX open up a meth lab down the road. When they get to know me, it shifts for them in an instant. They realize that whoever told them, or whatever perception they had that was negative about other cultures, is now gone. Allison Kugel: You've been in show busi- ness now for about 50 years? Pam Grier: Fifty years, plus. My career is older than you! Allison Kugel: (Laughs) How do you want your body of work to be studied? Because it will be studied in years to come? Pam Grier: It already is studied, and they always tell me I'm a master class or thesis, and I'm going, "Whoa. Oh boy!" I'll tell you this, when I started doing stunts, that I'm feeling the pain from now, I didn't have a sports bra and it was a lot harder to be very physical and authentic. I don't want to be remembers as being perfect. I want to be remembered as being real. Allison Kugel: You are thought to be the first African- American female to headline action films. Where are your successors? Where is the next Pam Grier? Pam Grier: They're probably out there limping, as I did. They got hurt and said, "Don't wanna do that again!" I was a gymnast and I skied; I ran track. Anything to keep from doing the dishes, I loved. You have to have a little bit of that in your nature to be that physical. Not everyone is, or can be. You might be able to act the part, but If they didn't have that in their upbringing, they may not be following in my footsteps. Right now I see some white actresses like Charlize Theron and Rachel Weisz, who I never thought would do martial arts and stunts and action movies, who really enjoy them. But they did say they got a couple of "ow-ies," and they don't know if they will do it again. Not everybody is rushing into doing that kind of physical work. Allison Kugel: Is there any type of role you wouldn't take on, because it's not in your wheelhouse? Pam Grier: I was sexually attacked and raped at the age of 6, and then again at 18 in college, and then there was a third attack that I fought off. I couldn't believe what was happening. I didn't understand it. But I know that I cannot portray that in a movie, because I don't want to revisit those moments and emotions. A lot of actresses who will be up for the casting to play me in the film of my life, many of them may have had those same experienc- es and won't be able to re-live them, okay? Not everyone can do that; not everyone wants to re-visit that. If they can, it will be fantastic, but I know that I have had to turn down roles that have those kinds of attacks, because I couldn't do it. I had to pass. There were major directors and producers through the years, where they didn't know why I was passing, but I just passed. I knew I might snap. I don't know if I can go there. Not every actor can play every role, and there is a reason, and it may | 60