Originally a piece of little-watched NBC prime-time fluff, Baywatch went on to bask in its syndicated and sun-baked goodness, bolstering the careers of David Hasselhoff, Carmen Electra and the like. But first and foremost in fans' minds when they think of that gorgeous gaggle of lifeguards is Pamela Anderson, who is currently serving as spokesperson for the series and its five-disc Season 1 and Season 2 DVD sets, slow-motion jogging into stores today. Never one to turn down a date with Pammy, TVGuide.com gave her our best eight minutes.
TVGuide.com: Did I catch you in between weddings to Kid Rock?
Pamela Anderson: Yeah, actually, you did!
TVGuide.com: So, will some people's preconceptions of Baywatch be proven wrong when they pop in these DVDs?
Anderson: Proven wrong? Probably not. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What do you find yourself fixating on when watching these early episodes?
Anderson: I just love watching it because I know I had the best time of my life shooting it, being there with my dog and my family. It was the best job in Hollywood, so every time I see bits and pieces of it I'm reminded of that. Plus, I live on the beach, so I still walk past "my tower," Tower 14, every day. I think it will be kind of fun now to watch the show with my kids, who are now 8 and 10, and still don't know what Baywatch was. There's a whole generation of kids who haven't seen it, so I think it's going to be really popular on DVD. It's such a simple, sweet show that's harmless and funny.
TVGuide.com: Are your initials carved into Tower 14 somewhere?
Anderson: No, no... not that tower, anyway.
TVGuide.com: What's the most far-out story line you remember playing?
Anderson: Oh, god... I remember a giant electric eel or squid attacking somebody.... Every story was pretty far-fetched, but in a silly way.
TVGuide.com: Wasn't there a Beauty and the Beast-type thing where some guy who lived under a pier kidnapped you?
Anderson: Oh, my god, you're right that was the worst one ever! That comes later on [in the series], though. You'll have to buy the next DVD set for that one! Yeah, it was like Phantom of the Opera, and I remember the director saying, "This is so fantastic...," and I'm like, "This is Baywatch, dude. How fast can I be done with this?" [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: What do you know about the "lost episodes" included on the Season 1 DVD set?
Anderson: When they first started shooting Baywatch, they didn't realize what they had, and they sold 10 percent of it to, like, 50 different people, so nobody who created the show ended up with anything. They lost merchandise rights and they sold off rights to all these different people, and different people owned different episodes, so it was quite a hunt to get all this stuff back together. And then the company that bought it all came to me and said, "We can't imagine doing this [DVD compilation] without having you connected to it," so I thought, "Great, I'm finally going to make some money off this show!" [Laughs] I don't think I'm ever really driven by money, but in this case it's nice to have some ownership in the DVDs.
TVGuide.com: Do you think there is a special DVD to be made from the assorted on-set foul-ups, bleeps, blunders and Speedo malfunctions?
Anderson: There's got to be something somewhere because I did see lots of Speedo malfunctions. [Laughs] And I am sure they were caught on tape.
TVGuide.com: I think you have already answered this, but knowing what you know now about how it all turned out, would you do it again?
Anderson: In a heartbeat. I remember I had a choice between Home Improvement and Baywatch. I was on Home Improvement [as Lisa the Tool Time girl] for a while and it was the No. 1 show and this little show named Baywatch kept calling me. I thought, "Do I want to work on a beach... or a sound stage?" I had to make a choice and Baywatch was the best choice I could have made. I didn't make as much money probably they offered me a lot more for Home Improvement but by the fourth or fifth season, I was doing OK.
TVGuide.com: Switching topics... Steven Tyler recently went public with his own hepatitis C diagnosis. Have you had a chance to give him any advice?
Anderson: We actually talked about it a long time ago, before he made it public. He had been really supportive of me, and he was telling me what he was going to go through to kick it, and he did, and it was tough on him. My version of hepatitis C is very manageable and is easy to cure, but my doctors advised me to just wait it out because I'm so healthy and I haven't seen the bad effects yet. I go once a year to get a checkup, but my doctors tell me I'm fine.
TVGuide.com: Any new, exciting and outrageous rumors about yourself you would like to use this opportunity to dispel?
Anderson: [Laughs] Gosh, I haven't seen the tabloids in a long time....
TVGuide.com: Aren't you "pregnant," by some accounts?
Anderson: [Laughs] No! We've got three kids now. [Kid Rock has] to make another hit album before we make more kids!
TVGuide.com: Now, are they doing a big-screen Baywatch or not?
Anderson: I've heard they are, yeah, and they've contacted me about it.... I don't know, I don't like remakes of TV shows. The show is good as a TV show, that's what made it so fun. It's hard to remake it.
TVGuide.com: Isn't there talk that they'll get some new chickadee to play C.J.? Like, Jessica Simpson?
Anderson: I heard that rumor, too, but I think it's just a rumor.
TVGuide.com: So where are we going to see you next?
Anderson: Have you heard about the Borat movie? [Laughs] You have to check that out....
TVGuide.com: Are you in there somewhere?
Anderson: You'll have to see! But yeah, I'm doing some films right now and I'm running around with my kids, trying to get things together for my family. We're in transition right now. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Would you do a TV series again?
Anderson: I don't think so, no. I think reality TV has kind of taken over, and I'm definitely not interested in that, so....
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