BTV: Can you tell us about how you landed the part of CJ?
PA: I was asked to audition for Baywatch numerous times since I appeared in Playboy. But I didn’t like to drive in LA - I’d never been on an audition. So I never went. Until one day I tagged along with A friend. We were both hired - on the spot. They said I was famous before I walked in the door. Famous for not showing up.
What did your average day on the Baywatch set look like?
PA: It started very early. Makeup at 4am. Sunrise is the best light. I brought my Dog Star to the set every day. He would sit patiently beside my chair and watched me in scenes. He was never on leash. Eventually when I had babies. The whole family would come. My mom and Dad lived in Malibu for 3 years to help. I only trusted family close to my children.
What's your fondest memory of your time on Baywatch?
PA: All of them. It was the best job in the world. I’m happy it’s still playing all over the world. The character is me. I feel like I went from Baywatch to where I am now. Everything is a blur in the middle.
Do you have a favourite scene/episode and a worst?
PA: I haven’t seen too many episodes. I don’t think I’ve even watched a full one. It was just a time in my life. It doesn’t feel like separate shows. They blend together. So nothing specific.
Baywatch dominated the world, how did it feel to be a part of such a world wide phenomenon?
PA: We didn’t realize how popular the show was. Until we started promoting in London etc. And photographers would follow us. And people knew our names.
Do you still keep in touch with your costars?
PA: I see Alexander Paul at animal rights events. She was a big inspiration to me. She was very active with LCA Last Chance for Animals… She introduced me to activism.
Your exit from the show sent shockwaves around the world, what was making that decision to leave like?
PA: Well I had Brandon. Who was more important. And was pregnant with Dylan. And my family came 1st. I was working so much. On Home Improvement and Baywatch. And Barbwire. And developing VIP. Just married with babies. I needed to take a break. (That lasted 20 years) Nothing I attempted to do while the boys were growing could get my full attention, VIP took my last breath. I did a lot of short runs. And always wanted to be at home. I wouldn’t miss a baseball game. My kids schedules were in my contracts. Now that they are grown. I’m looking at Film projects. Living in France. And starting another chapter in my life.
Where do you think CJ Parker would be now and what would she be doing?
PA:She’d be an activist. In love, living in the south of France
Our fans recently ranked you as their number one Baywatch star, how does that feel after all these years?
PA: That’s very sweet. I’m happy with the image of CJ. It was very difficult for me after Baywatch. My kids saved me. a lot of darkness comes with fame. I refused to play by the rules. But it didn’t do me any favors. I didn’t believe in management or PR. But this made me an easy target. And I did not defend myself well. I’m also very candid. And I might have shared things too lightly. And taken out of context. It didn’t look good. I’m happy to be on a good place now- but at times I didn’t think I’d make it.
You’ve done everything from being an actress, model, author, activist and more, what can we expect next?
PA: I have some projects coming. But I’m not ambitious - I’ve set my life up in properties that sustain me / now it’s time to be happy and supportive of the people around me and watch my kids careers explode. They are both extremely talented and exciting to watch. @brandonthomaslee (artist/actor/director) @dylanjaggerlee (@usmidnightkids) (musician)
You’ve been an activist for many years from animal rights to women’s rights, how does it feel knowing you’ve made a difference to so many people?
PA: This has given my career some meaning. I need to do more - this is more my focus now animal rights, refugees, climate change, anti-war. And supporting truth tellers. And wiser people than me.
If you could go back and do it all again, would you?
PA: Other than raising my boys. There is a decade I could erase. - but I'm here now. I feel alive and well.. and the past can be left there. We will see what’s next. It’s the mystery I can count on.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, is there anything you'd like to say to the fans reading?
Just that I appreciate all the positive support. And I’m just learning about social media and how to use it effectively for art, it can change the world. It’s a stage. And I thank the people that are patiently following me as I stumble along.
Baywatch is available now on Amazon Prime Video