February 7, 2001
Carrie Stevens Interview in the Mandy's World web site
|You would have to be visually impaired not to notice actress and Playboy playmate Carrie Stevens in Third Eye Blind's video for their hit single, "Never Let You Go." Even we gals noticed the knockout in black leather climbing the human chain. In many ways Stevens' role in the video as Stephan Jenkins' girlfriend was eerily reminiscent of her past. Stevens spent many moments in backstage areas when dating former KISS drummer Eric Carr so she knew just what to do on the video shoot when the cameras panned her way.|
Interested in finding out what it's like to be a part of making a hot video with an equally hot band, I asked Stevens to share some details about her experience. By the way it sounded, having that much fun should be illegal. But she certainly had some hairy moments. You've gotta read this to believe it!
Mandy: Was the Third Eye Blind video your first music video?
Carrie: "No, I have worked on several music videos. I did one for a film that Michael Richards starred in to support a film of his called 'Trial and Error' in 1997. The band was Taj Mahal. The song was 'Mr. Pitiful.' I also did a Lizzy Borden video around 1990.
Mandy: What did it feel like to be in the Third Eye Blind video?
Carrie: "It was fun. I'd love to do it again. I think it's a great video. There is so much detail you don't notice without seeing it a few times. I would stop on it and watch purely because Stephan Jenkins is so hot! But it's a great song too."
Mandy: Especially with 3rd Eye Blind being so hot.
Carrie: "They play that video a lot. I got really lucky with that one. I auditioned for that last December and I remember on Christmas Eve they called to tell me I got the part. The first time I auditioned it was just for the casting director. Then I went back and it was for the producer and the director. They said 'You're the only girl for this part, you're great, we need all that hair you have' and they showed me the storyboards and played me the song and gave me the job. That was Christmas Eve. Then I get a call a couple hours later saying Stephan Jenkins saw the audition tape and he's not quite so sure. So he wanted to have auditions all over again. They were like, 'We're really sorry, we were really pushing for you but he wants the final decision.' I was brokenhearted and scared to death because I already called everybody saying I got this and I was so excited, now I don't really have it.
That's awful. I even had a casting director friend of mine say, 'Absolutely turn it down, just say you won't go if they really want you.' I said, 'Don't be ridiculous. I'm not Julia Roberts.' If I say that they're basically going to say, 'OK, we'll hire somebody else.' So I had to swallow my pride just go in and pretend that I never did have it. So, that's what I did and I was really, really nervous. The whole band was there. Stephan Jenkins can be very intense. I was scared to death of him because I already thought he hated me because he saw the audition tape and didn't want me. I think he wanted to be in control. And I really don't blame him because it's his image that's out there and he wanted to see who was going to be playing his girlfriend, who is going to be representing the band. Videotape isn't always the best. And I don't blame him for wanting to be sure. I tried to be as charming as I could to him and to the rest of the guys. That's what I have to do on every audition I go on. I probably gave Stephan a little more attention because I knew he was the one I had to win over. I must have been good at it because I didn't even get to my car yet, I was about to drive down the road and my cell phone started ringing and it was my agent saying, 'You're booked, you're booked!' I'm like, how could that be? I just walked past a bunch of other girls getting ready to audition. They were like, 'No, Stephan loved you.' So I go right back and I'm walking past all these girls who think they're auditioning."
Mandy: Oh, no. How many other girls were there?
Carrie: "Maybe three. There were two other girl parts in it so maybe it was for them. Maybe they were still searching for that. But I didn't know that at the time so I just felt really bad."
Mandy: Talk about your costumes.
Carrie: "It was very unglamorous, the whole fitting thing. It was like the middle of the offices. The stylist just dragged her clothing racks out and she'd give me something and I'd go in the cold cement bathroom and put it on and then I'd come out and show everybody. The whole band was really quiet except for Stephan. The other guys gave me a nod of approval if they liked something. Stephan was very outspoken about what he liked and very complementary and very sweet. The guy that I was so afraid of, I thought he was going to be the biggest asshole from what everybody else said of how controlling he was and all that, he ended up being a joy to work with from the beginning to the end. He was extremely considerate about me being comfortable in what I was wearing wanting to make sure I liked it. I kind of butted heads with the stylist during the shoot because she put me in things that I didn't feel were flattering to me. I brought a huge suitcase full of clothes. Sometimes stylists can get a bit egotistical. They want you to wear their choices. They want to style it. I can understand that but it's my bod out there. I want to wear what I think I look good in. Stephan actually stopped the whole video in the middle of shooting when he didn't think I was comfortable in something. He was like, 'You don't like that do you?' I sad no. He said to stop everything. He brought me upstairs to my room. He said, 'You brought your own clothes, right? Let's just look at what you have and we'll try on everything one by one.' He rummaged through my suitcase, showed me things he liked. It was a collaboration between us and it worked. The stylist was trying to put me into stuff that slut groupies wear and I'm not. I'm supposed to be his girlfriend. It's casual. So Stephan goes, 'Wait a minute. What about what you wore to the set today.' I go, 'My Army pants?' He's like, 'Yea, with that Army green tank you had on? That looked hot. You looked hot when you walked in this morning.' So I was like, 'Sure, I don't care. I could wear that.' So that's what I ended up wearing when I was backstage, with the backstage pass on and I get mad because he pays attention to someone else."
Mandy: The latex cat suit, was that a unanimous decision for everybody?
Carrie: "Yea. We tried a lot of similar looks on. They wanted that kind of look. You know, there's like thick leather, thin leather and certain things don't fit you like others. As soon as I tried that on that was definitely the one. They had to get two because I had a body double. The body double, you'll see her ass and legs climbing the ropes. The rest of the time it's my waist and face. There's a harness that had to be attached to us and there were two different harnesses. My harness covered my legs and my butt and hers covered her chest. I had to be more exposed than her since I was the real girl. So they could only tape me from the waist up."
Mandy: How long did the shoot take?
Carrie: "Two days. It looked like a big airport hanger or something, a big warehouse. The set was unbelievable looking. It was so cool. I don't think the actual video does it justice. It looked like this amazing sky in the background."
Mandy: Was this set in LA?
Carrie: "Yea, in the Valley somewhere."
Mandy: I'm sure there was a lot of film that was cut out.
Carrie: "Oh yea. Stephan and the director called me laughing from the set telling me, teasing me that they were going to make a European version because every time I climbed the rope my boobs popped out. The first time I saw the video I thought it was really hilarious. It was when Third Eye Blind came on TRL. They showed just a clip of the video where it's the first time I'm seen in the video, when the camera pans from my legs to my face. When the camera lands on my breasts Stephan decides to announce to the whole live audience and the millions of viewers on MTV, he goes, 'Those are real folks.' I know he said it just to be his outspoken rock star self."
Mandy: Give me a sense of what it was like on the set.
Carrie: "There were so many people. I don't even know what the heck everybody does. It's just like being on a movie set. When you see the credits roll by there are a couple of makeup artists, a couple people for hair, a wardrobe assistant, there's lighting, special effects, the carpenters, the
record company executives that stop by, Charlize Theron stopped by the second day, all the band member's girlfriends were there."
Mandy: Was it a pretty relaxed atmosphere, could you joke around?
Carrie: "Yea, the director was a sweetheart and the producers were sweethearts and the band were all sweethearts, I got along really great with everybody. The makeup artists were fun."
Mandy: I'm sure you've been in situations where it hasn't been fun.
Carrie: "Well there's always a stressful moment. I've been on sets where I can't stand the way they do my makeup. You're not going to jive with certain people. Hopefully its people you don't have to be around much."
Mandy: Do videos generally pay pretty well?
Carrie: "This video paid very well. As a rule they don't. This had a $500,000 budget. I've done movies that cost less than that."
Mandy: Have you gotten good feedback from being in this video?
Carrie: "I have gotten recognized a lot from the video. I don't really think it has gotten me further with my career. It is always good for people to see that you are working, though. I just booked another movie yesterday. I'll be starring in a movie called 'Redemption.' I start Sunday. It's a Universal movie. I'm starring in it with Chris Penn and Don "The Dragon" Wilson, a famous martial arts guy. I also just guest starred on '18 Wheels of Justice.'"
Mandy: This is an exciting time for you.
Carrie: "It really is because I've been working really hard for a long time. It's a matter of taking my personal priorities which I've done a lot of work on this year, focusing my energy where it should be and I'm seeing the benefits of it."
Mandy: Do you feel the work you did for Playboy was beneficial in a lot of ways for you, to catapult you into another whole dimension?
Carrie: "It completely changed my life. Absolutely."
Mandy: Do you still do things for them?
Carrie: "Yea, actually, Cindy Rackowitz who's the head of Playmate promotions and the public relations for Playboy Enterprises volunteered to be the head of PR and marketing for my Web site. They call me all the time to do things. Just yesterday they called me and asked me to fly to
Philadelphia for a promotion for the weekend. I'm doing a promotion in Vegas on Valentines Day. They called me to do two golf tournaments. I'm doing a press conference at the mansion with Heff auctioning off a Vargas painting and they're dressing me up like the Vargas girl. There's always something going on. The last two Sunday nights I've gone to the mansion. They have Sunday night movie night. It's kind of like your little family after a while. You've got somewhere to go and people who are supportive. People always tell me that you have to move away from the whole Playboy thing if you want to make it as an actress and those people really annoy me because I don't believe in turning my back on people that have been really good to me. I don't believe in limitations and I think that has done nothing to help me and why should I decide suddenly that it doesn't help me when
that's all it has done. It doesn't make any sense."
Mandy: Tell me about Carrie Cares
Carrie: "It's going really great. I've been really busy with it. I've gotten tons of interest. They wrote it up in Variety and I'm going on radio stations to do interviews and I've got several centers calling me and e-mailing me inviting me to have tours of their centers and to see how we can collaborate. So I
think the sky is the limit with what I can do with it. I'm seeing that people are using the features on the site which makes me really happy because my idea is working. I can only assume that it's helping people."
Mandy: Since you attended Foxxfest 2000, was it heavy on your heart to do something like this?
Carrie: "That's basically what inspired the whole thing. Talking to the fans there. I guess it made me think about Eric (Carr) and it made me think about how he wrote back to every fan. He had piles of mail and that's when we didn't have e-mail, it wasn't so easy. He'd actually pick up the phone and call fans. I really admire him for doing that. But at the same time, I thought that with the fan base that I have, I don't really want to call people because they're just writing to me telling me what nice tits I have. So I realized that I wanted to change the kind of attention that I was getting. I didn't want to attract that kind of attention anymore. I enjoy helping people. I enjoy when I can give something back to someone. I realized that I can shut down my other site and I might take a risk financially but I had to trust that who I am is going to get me further than what I look like. And I'm grown up now. I think I proved that part of my life. Somehow it was something I had to do and it was a lot of fun but it's not really what I want to do anymore. That's still a part of me but there are other parts of me too that I want to express."
Mandy: What do you see in your future? Do you see yourself in movies, TV, what do you think you'll do?
Carrie: "I'd like to do movies and I'd like to still travel a little bit and enjoy my life and have a bit of fun and if a job can incorporate that, that's great because I love to work more than anything. But I really see myself getting further involved with some non-profit organizations in LA with like-minded interests as me and expanding that because that is personally gratifying and I enjoy the people that are involved in those kinds of things because they're compassionate and professional. They are the kind of people I want in my life, people with integrity. As far as my career goes, I like to do movies. Sometimes they're not as good exposure as TV but I like to play a different character every time. I'm going to take over Rock For The Cure too. I've got so many contacts that I can make it something great, I can make it really big. I've already got several things in the works for that. Who knows maybe I'll do more of that. I can't do just that, I've got to work for a living too. I've already seen my face demonstrated. I told my manager that I want to shut my site down (www.carriestevens.net) and I wanted to do this other thing (www.carriecares.net) and I just have to take a leap of faith and God
will show me if I'm doing the right thing and sure enough, as soon as I did that I'm booking every job that I audition for. I definitely did the right thing. I think I'm being encouraged."
For more information:
Carrie Stevens Official Web site: www.carriestevens.net
Carrie Cares: www.carriecares.net
To contact Carrie Stevens for bookings, visit her official Web site.
Carrie Stevens stars in the upcoming film, "Rock Star" which is scheduled
for a spring '01 release. Coincidentally, Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins is
also in the film.