Pamela Anderson has been at the top of the heap, the bottom of the heap...and then there's her career. A Playboy pinup, Tool Time gal, occasional video star, and bathing beauty, Anderson is now adding author to her résumé, with the Aug. 3 publication of ''Star'' (Atria Books, $24), a novel about a buxom blonde who's...well, see aforementioned description. We interrupted Anderson in the middle of trying to dismantle her fire alarm to ask her about the life of a novelist.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you okay?
PAMELA ANDERSON I was up on a stool trying to take the alarm apart. I’m not a gizmologist, so it was quite something.
You cowrote ''Star'' with Eric Quinn, a ghostwriter. I've never heard of a ghostwriter on a novel.
Well, there are things I don’t really know about, like sentence structure, a beginning, a middle, and an end. All those hard things. I met with Eric and we instantly bonded. We would meet every Friday and we’d be upside down laughing so hard we could barely breathe. I'm like, this is crazy.
Why a novel?
I'd been asked to do an autobiography so many times but I thought, That's so boring, unless I'm an old lady with gray hair and my cats. But Simon & Schuster said they'd do anything -- children's books, a vegetarian cookbook... And I said, ''What about fiction?'' And they said, ''What about a roman à clef?'' And I'm like, ''Who's that?''
''Star'' is so clearly based on your life, from the character’s gigs at Mann magazine, to playing a tool girl on ''Hammer Time'' to ''Lifeguards, Inc.'' Did you worry about hurting anyone's feelings in real life?
If anything, it makes people look good.
So Tim Allen never flashed you?
I don't want to ruin his reputation by saying he DIDN'T flash me.
Were the sex scenes hard to write?
It was interesting. I thought, ''Okay, I'm just going to write them,'' and I forced myself. And then I called my editor and she goes, ''I think I'm the only editor in the history of publications who has to put batteries on her expense report.''
I was sort of amazed the publisher allowed all those women-with-women sex scenes.
Allowed?! She wanted more! Oh my goodness.
So do you think of there being Pamela Anderson the character, and then the real you?
I'm kind of taking an image and poking fun at it. I'm taking what I've had to deal with over these past few years and making it fun, but also showing from my point of view what I've gone through.... I'm writing another [novel]. I think how I lead the next part of my life, or how I interpret it, that'll be really therapeutic for me.
Do you feel more exposed as a writer than as an actor?
I don't think I can expose myself more than I already have to the world!