Before Lindsay Lohan, there was the original Hollywood bad girl—Traci Lords. One of the biggest adult film stars of the '80s, Lords sparked a firestorm of controversy when it was revealed that she was under 18, making all of her popular films, in essence, child pornography. Even her famous Penthouse Magazine spread—ironically, in the same issue that featured Vanessa Williams on its cover, costing Williams her Miss America crown, but that’s another story—was deemed illegal.
The Traci Lords of today is a star of TV, film and music. Savvy sitcom watchers will recognize her as waitress Stacy from TV’s Roseanne. Film aficionados likely know her best from her camp role in John Waters’ Cry Baby. And music buffs may have busted a move to her dance single “Control."
She’s even an author! In 2003, she published her memoirs, Traci Lords: Underneath It All, which made the New York Times' bestseller list.
Now Lords returns to the dance floor with "Last Drag," her first single from the New York-based independent dance label Sea to Sun. She calls the song her proclamation that she’s not running from demons anymore. “These days, I invite them in for a martini,” she laughs. “I've learned you gotta keep your addictions in check and know where the edge of the cliff is."
Is "Last Drag" about the demise of drag queens?
Hell no! Who would do my makeup?
What’s the song about?
"Last Drag" is about being addicted to something that you know is bad for you, but you crave it anyway.
What have you been addicted to?
Bad boys and late nights.
What is the heaviest price you paid for your addiction?
How did you finally overcome the bad boys?
I tamed the beast within.
Do you ever wish you could go back to your teens or early 20s?
If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently?
I would never have started smoking, and I would not have wasted one single moment on self-doubt.
You’re a mom now. What would you do if you saw your child taking the path you took?
I have a son. It's not possible. Girls are another breed.
You’ve said in interviews that you are successful in spite of your past, not because of it.
That’s exactly true.
How did you overcome the stereotype of the porn star?
I decided not to be it.
Why were you so bad? What were you rebelling against in the '80s?
John Waters once told me that I was a sexual terrorist. I think that sums it up.
Maybe it’s my age, or maybe it’s because I’m gay, but the first time I saw you was on Roseanne, and you were brilliant.
Thank you! Roseanne [Barr] is a very deep and complicated person. She has a real sweetness that most people don't know.
Was the show a turning point in your career?
Yes. I'm proud that Roseanne, personally, chose me for the role of Stacy in her show. It was a huge win for me. I really admire and love her.
We love her too. She tackled a lot of gay issues on the show.
It was groundbreaking television.
Your music video for "Last Drag" has a lesbian scene.
Yes, it does. The video is about temptation. I walk into a room full of my ex-lovers. Some female, some male. Love is love. That is the point of the scene.
Like Roseanne, you are recognized as a strong supporter of gay rights.
I do not believe that people should be judged by their sexuality.
Why are gay rights important to you?
Some of my dearest friends are gay, and I hate the ways they suffer. It’s wrong.
Is that what sparked your activism?
I witnessed a close friend die of AIDS in the '90s, and his partner was denied all access to him in the hospital. That’s what started my activism.
Actress, film director, author, singer, activist—do you ever have time to sit down and relax?
Yes. I’m sitting right now.
You weren’t sitting last night.
Are you stalking me?
Maybe. There are pics splashed all over the web of you with Bravo’s Andy Cohen at Studio 54 in NYC.
Andy’s so cute.
Was he your hot gay date?
No, no. My husband laughed.
Did you ever experience the real Studio 54 in it’s heyday?
Honey, I’m not that old! Studio 54 was way before my time. I was a little girl on the other side of the planet in Los Angeles.
You were more of a heavy metal chick back then.
So why are you singing club tracks today?
I sing metal in my shower, but I belong on the dance floor. I love the nightlife. I got to boogie, from the disco...
When all is said and done, what do you hope to be remembered for?
Who the fuck knows...
Of the seven deadly sins, what’s your favorite?
Lust! I'm a frisky kitty.
You are the ultimate man magnet.
Damn right I am!
What advice can you offer gay fans on how to become irresistible to men?
Be a gentleman in the living room, a fierce chef in the kitchen and a porn star in the bedroom.
And your advice for the ladies?
A wicked set of heels and a great ass will get you far. Remember ladies—the higher the hair, the closer to Goddess.
Do you have a message for today’s bad girls?
What’s left for you to do, Traci?
For more information on "Last Drag," visit seatosun.com.