Traci Lords turned the porn world upside down at an early (illegal) age before breaking into mainstream movies such as John Waters' Cry-Baby.
She went on to gain "Control" of her career with a dance track of the same title that reached #2 on the Billboard chart.
Lords wrote an autobiography about her life entitled Traci Lords: Underneath It All that made the New York Times best-seller list.
Currently with a new movie called Excision and new song "Last Drag," we caught up with her when she was recently in the Windy City.
Windy City Times: Hi, Traci. Have you been able to try out some food in the city yet?
Traci Lords: I had some salmon downstairs in the hotel. It had capers and onions.
WCT: I have some gum if you want.
Traci Lords: Is that a hint?
Traci Lords: At first, he fed me gum…
WCT: How does it feel to have the new hair color?
Traci Lords: I have been red before; it was about 10 years ago. I have been blonde most of my life. We were getting ready to go to Sundance about a week ago. I have a film called Excision there. [As a] homage to its bloody ending, I need some fire!
WCT: Tell me about this movie.
Traci Lords: It is intense and a trip. Richard Bates Jr. directed and wrote it. He is a kid out of NYU who did it as a short film for his final. He expanded it into a feature that he has worked on for many years. It fell into my hands early on. My agent sent it over to me. The casting is really good in it. My friend John Waters is in it.
WCT: I heard!
Traci Lords: He plays the reverend, which was fun for us to get to work together since he is not making as many movies as he should; this was one way to do it. AnnaLynne McCord [star of the TV series 90210] plays my daughter in it. She is quite deranged and delusional. She wants to become a surgeon and practices on the neighbors and animals in the neighborhood. My younger daughter is played by Ariel Winter from Modern Family. She has cystic fibrosis.
WCT: That sounds intense.
Traci Lords: I play this very religious uptight mom that had a perfect life on the outside and married the right guy with the right house with the white picket fence. I was homecoming queen that now has two beautiful girls. None of it works. The older one is really crazy and messy. The younger one is dying. I try to hold it together but it slowly comes unraveled. The whole family sort of implodes.
WCT: This sounds like a good part for you.
Traci Lords: It is a juicy role. I am hoping it will bring more The Hand That Rocks the Cradle roles. I want smart, feisty and layered roles. No kitten roles! I am not a kitten anymore. I am a fierce feline. There is a difference.
WCT: And a mother now.
Traci Lords: Yes, I am a red-hot momma!
WCT: Explain the name Traci Lords. I have heard conflicting stories.
Traci Lords: It is not from The Philadelphia Story. If I had known that I would have just been Tracy Lord. I think that is cooler. I wasn't that together then. Traci was the name of a close friend when I was little. Lords came from Jack Lord on Hawaii Five-O.
WCT: Good to get the real story. There are all kind of things out there.
Traci Lords: There are all sorts of weird things out about me. Don't look on the Internet!
WCT: You had the name legally changed.
Traci Lords: It has been mine since 1986. It does feel like forever but I am not quite that old thank you.
WCT: Life seems good for you right now.
Traci Lords: I feel great. I have been having fun. I am here now and not in the past. Where I am is a good place. That was just part of the journey.
WCT: I played "Control" all the time back in the '90s when I was going out to clubs.
Traci Lords: You were dancing. I was, too. It was all about the black latexthose rubber dresses you couldn't get off when the sweat was going.
WCT: That CD had a great cover.
Traci Lords: Thank you.
WCT: Your new song, "Last Drag," is number one on the dance charts. It is not techno, like past songs.
Traci Lords: No, I think my music has evolved also. My first album was really electronic and techno-based but had rock elements to it. I think if it had been slightly delayed it would have done better. Madonna had it right to wait for Ray of Light. She has been a lot better with her timing than me. I am proud of that album because I hear it now and it still feels current. It doesn't feel dated.
WCT: No it doesn't.
Traci Lords: I am making a lot of great music this year. I am signed to Sea to Sun Records. Creatively, a lot of things are just juicy, with the film out and the music all happening. My son is now 4 years old so I can walk away from the sandbox for a second. That is my biggest most important job: being a mom. It truly is. It is difficult, time-consuming and all-consuming.
WCT: Some gay fans were writing me about you.
Traci Lords: Good! What do they want to know?
WCT: They talk more about the music.
Traci Lords: Love it! My gay following is just not into my vagina. They appreciate the boobs, but whatever. [Laughs] Did you see the new video?
WCT: Yes, I did, kissing girls. It is a hot video.
Traci Lords: You think? Zalman King directed it; he did Red Shoe Diaries and 9 1/2 Weeks. The only thing I regret was not getting the guys naked. What do you think?
WCT: You should have.
Traci Lords: Or more shirts off, something. What was I thinking?
WCT: From the title you think drag queens, but it is about smoking.
Traci Lords: It all ties into it. It is not meant to be an anti smoking thing at all. It was really a metaphor. The lyrics are "You are my last drag." It is being addicted to something that you love. You have to do it one more time. The whole idea of the video is to walk into a den of my temptations and sins. To see them whether it was girls or whatever. It was meant to go together and flirt with that. People have asked me a lot about it because they consider it very bi-curious.
WCT: Do you feel you were bisexual at any point in your life?
Traci Lords: I have played with girls. I like girls. Who doesn't like pretty girls? The rest of it…
WCT: Not your thing?
Traci Lords: It is not that it is not my thing but I don't know about that title of it. I don't know. Don't all girls kiss other girls?
WCT: I don't know. I wish all boys kissed boys, but they don't!
Lots more of Lords can be found at www.tracilords.com .