Activists + > Actors
Pamela Anderson on the Larry King Show

April 2008

And we're joined by Dan Matthews, senior vice president of PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He's the author of the book, "Committed: A Rabble-Rouser's Memoir."

Earlier today, Pam and Dan lobbied for a PETA cause -- ending animal testing. They appeared in Washington on Capitol Hill.

Let's take a look.


ANDERSON: It's in response to their plan for animal experimentation. And we just found out in the car right here they were going to see us. We're excited to get in there and have a conversation. But it's about animal experimentation and just getting with the times, like Europe and everybody else has moved on. And we're still using 80-year-old tests. You know, it's cruel. You know, it's not cool.


KING: What kind of response did you get today, Dan?

DAN MATHEWS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PETA, WORKS WITH PAM: It was a groundbreaking response, actually. We have been on the government's back for years to replace these decades old animal tests with more modern, reliable alternatives, as they've already done in Europe. And they've always refused to meet with us. But finally bringing our weapon of mass distraction to Washington, the Health & Human Services Department welcomed us inside. And we had our first in what we hope is an ongoing dialogue.

I think people would be shocked to learn that millions of dollars are spent on all these antiquated animal tests which don't protect humans.

KING: For medical purposes?

MATHEWS: No. For chemical products.

KING: All right...


KING: For hair things, right?

ANDERSON: Well, they used to do a lot of...

ANDERSON: Tests for cosmetics.

MATHEWS: ...a lot of tests for cosmetics. And PETA has investigated places like L'Oreal and Gillette and Estee Lauder and Revlon. We've stopped a number of them from testing on animals. But the government agencies still use a lot of animal tests and...

KING: How do we get Pamela involved?

MATHEWS: Well...

KING: How did you get involved?

ANDERSON: Well, I've been involved for a long time. Since "Baywatch" days I was calling him. I've been an animal activist since I was little, you know, rolling nickels and quarters and sending them out to animal causes.

So we teamed up when I was on "Baywatch."

KING: So you called PETA?

ANDERSON: Yes, I sent them a letter, right?


ANDERSON: And said, you know, use me in any way...

KING: Just culled a letter?

ANDERSON: Yes, I wrote a letter and said please use me, I'm sick of talking about my personal life, I'd like to be able to share this attention with something more meaningful. And we've been doing this for years. We've traveled all over the world. And we (INAUDIBLE)...

MATHEWS: There's an entire chapter in my book about our exploits. We've gotten laws passed in different countries. Pam is -- one of our big campaigns with Pam is to pressure KFC to stop boiling birds alive in defeathering tanks and to adopt more humane gathering methods so that the birds' wings and legs aren't snapped in two when they're crammed into creates.

PETA was able to convince McDonald's to stop buying meat from slaughterhouses that fail inspection, for instance. I think even the most diehard carnivore out there, if they went to our Web site,, they'd find that they had a lot more in common with us than they have differences.

KING: PETA's image is as a rough organization. Agreed?

ANDERSON: You think so?

KING: Oh yes, I think so.

ANDERSON: There has to be extremes.

MATTHEWS: Being obnoxious is our currency. We could not get into some of the board rooms that we get into by just asking nice. We have always asked nice first.

KING: The general question is, why don't we care about animals? Everyone cares about their own pets.

MATTHEWS: People do care about animals. For instance, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, when we finally got to them and showed them how animals are electrocuted and drowned in under water traps and beaten to death just for a fur coat, they all agreed to enact corporate policies against using any fur whatsoever. Martha Stewart, who used to be one our targets for wearing fur, saw our footage, had a change of heart and now hosts our video exposing the cruelties of the fur trade on our website, and has --

It's all about living and learning. Even Reverend Al Sharpton, who is a big chicken lover, when he saw all the cruelty that KFC does to chicken, was happy to back our boycott and even narrated our video online on PETA's site.

KING: Has this affected your career, do you think?

ANDERSON: Not in a negative way. Not a negative way, no, not at all. It doesn't matter to me. I do just fine and it's more meaningful to me to be able to do things like this than anything else.

KING: Do you want to stop all animal testing?


KING: All animal testing? Medical or cosmetic?

ANDERSON: I don't think there's been. There's no animal test helping humans.

MATTHEWS: Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer in 1970. In 2000, they did all these audits, what have we really gotten from all these millions of dollars we've spent trying to give animals cancer and learn from it. We have just learned that the only real strides have been in prevention and early detection. But invasive research with animals hasn't really --

KING: What I read in the paper that cancer cells produced in these mice, that has not lead to things?

MATTHEWS: You read it on the front page when they were able to implant a human ear into a mouse, but you don't read page 50, one line that says when they tried to adapt the test to humans it failed. I myself happen to be gay. I grew up in the AIDS era and I watched millions of dollars being diverted to try to in fact Chimpanzees and other animals with AIDS, while all these people dying of the disease weren't getting the care they needed, and while people weren't getting the message of prevention. AIDS is an easy thing to avoid.

Now we have got -- 30 years later, we've got all these chimps sitting in basements because they didn't make good test models in the end. It's just been a waste of money and a waste of animal lives and bad for people.

KING: Do you think PETA, Pamela, is successful?

ANDERSON: Oh, yes, absolutely. In the 15 years or the 14 years I've worked with them, I've seen huge changes, even what I've been able to do, which is really inspiring for to keep doing things. Even today, to be able to talk to people about the animal experimentation here in Washington and get people to listen; they haven't been able to get through the door. I'm they can --

KING: Do you agree with her on animals in film?

MATTHEWS: Absolutely. Any time animals are used in a business, there are corners that are cut to save costs and the animals suffer as a result.

KING: What about horse racing?

MATTHEWS: It's horrible. Everybody knows about the death of Barbaro. There's problems. Again, anything that uses animals. Angelica Houston just hosted a video exposing the abuse of Great Apes when they're used in TV commercials and movies. People see baby chimps in ads and think they're so cute. They have no idea that they were taken from the mothers and forced to become reliant on human trainers. When they become of age of seven, eight years old, sexual maturity, they're unmanageable and they get thrown into a cage or a roadside zoo and it's miserable life.

They're our closest living relative, Chimpanzees. They deserve a better life. You can have a great life without killing. Look at this vegetarian testimonial right here.

KING: You're not kidding. I salute you both. See you tomorrow.

ANDERSON: Thanks, Larry.

MATTHEWS: See you tomorrow, thanks, Larry.

KING: Dan Matthews, senior vice president of PETA. You got a website?


KING: John Walsh and "America's Most Wanted," a milestone, after the break.


A return visit with Pamela Anderson. She was last here almost three years ago.

ANDERSON: Was it that long?

KING: And she's here representing -- well, she's doing a new series for the E! cable network. She is -- we'll ask her about that. She's an animal rights activist. Later, we'll talk about her involvement with PETA. Let's get caught up on some things.

You were -- how are you doing?


How are you doing?

KING: You were briefly married to Rick Salomon.

ANDERSON: Oh, jeez.

KING: What happened?

ANDERSON: It never happened.

KING: You weren't married?

ANDERSON: No. It was an -- well, it was an annulment so...

KING: Annulment means it never happened.

ANDERSON: Yes, it never happened.

KING: Are you seeing anybody now?

ANDERSON: I'm not seeing anybody now, no.

KING: Why not?

ANDERSON: I'm not. I'm just, you know, I'm busy with my kids. After Vegas, I thought I would take a break.

KING: How many kids do you have?

ANDERSON: Two, Brandon and Dylan, 10 and 11. Yes.

KING: Are you very close with the children?

ANDERSON: Very close. Obviously, yes.

KING: Do you miss being involved...

ANDERSON: They're excited about me being on your show. They actually like your show.

KING: They actually do?

ANDERSON: Brandon loves politics. My older son loves politics. We watch CNN all the time.

KING: Do you miss being involved with someone?

You can miss that.

ANDERSON: Yes, I can miss that. It's not too bad, though. Actually, I don't have time. My kids are taking up a lot of time and I'm running around with Dan Matthews and a few friends and traveling so. Men take up a lot of time.


KING: You were a magician's assistant.


KING: What was that like?

What, did they throw knives at you?

ANDERSON: No, but I got cut in half. I got levitated.

What else happened?

A lot of things. It was just, you know, one of my things -- one of my list of things to do. I can check that off now.

KING: Can you tell me how they levitate?

ANDERSON: It's magic.

KING: No, how do they do it?

ANDERSON: It's magic. It's magic. It's actually very, very dangerous because if you...

KING: For you?

ANDERSON: Yes. Very.

And I'm scared of heights, too, so...

KING: You mean...

ANDERSON: ...but I really enjoyed it.

KING: ...if he makes a mistake, you could...

ANDERSON: Yes, you could really get hurt.

KING: You could crumble.

ANDERSON: And I was about 40 feet in the air, so, it was high.

KING: Now, we know about the Hepatitis. We've discussed that at length on the show once.

ANDERSON: Yes. Yes, we did.

KING: How are you -- how are you doing?

ANDERSON: I'm doing really good. Actually, I just went to my doctor, Dr. Huizenga (ph). He took all my blood work and went through all my tests. And I hadn't really been to him in a year-and-a-half. And he said he's never seen me healthier. That -- he said it's a miracle. You know, I don't really work out a lot. I walk and, you know, play sports with my kids. But he says you're in the best shape I've ever seen you in. You're 40 years old and your liver is in great shape, all your blood work came back really well, low cholesterol...

KING: So the hepatitis is gone?

ANDERSON: It's not gone, no. No. But it's stayed...

KING: It will never be gone, right?

ANDERSON: Well, it has disappeared in some cases.

KING: Really?

ANDERSON: Yes. So I'm -- you know, I'm treating it homeopathically.

KING: You're going to...

ANDERSON: But I'm doing really what he told me. He went through my -- he went through everything and he said the only thing, he thinks it really -- that me being vegetarian really helps me staying in such good shape. (INAUDIBLE).

KING: You're going to the White House correspondent's dinner tomorrow night.

ANDERSON: I am. Yes.

KING: We'll be there.

ANDERSON: You're going to be there?

KING: It's going to be fun.


KING: Any reason why you're going -- just?

ANDERSON: Well, I'm here in Washington because Dan Matthews and I are actually lobbying and getting some attention to -- against animal experimentation. And they finally met with us today, which is a miracle. They've been trying to -- PETA has been trying to meet with them forever. And so they saw us today.

KING: PETA will be with us later with us, right?


KING: How -- what are you going to wear tomorrow?


KING: What are you going to wear? (LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: I don't know, something -- something...

KING: It's a black tie.


KING: Yes.

ANDERSON: Well, something sparkly maybe. Something fun.

KING: I'm sure they'll recognize you.

ANDERSON: Something inappropriate.

KING: You endorsed a presidential candidate at the recent premier of "Superhero Movie," in which you play Invisible Girl.


KING: Let's take a look.

ANDERSON: Oh, jeez, you've got this?


ANDERSON: I love Obama. I tried to like Hillary and I have a lot of friends who love Hillary and just think -- I don't like nasty politics and I think that Obama is an inspired leader. I think he's here for a reason. And I think he's -- you know, my kids want to grow up and be like him. And I think it would be really fun to have a president that everyone loves and who is endearing and who's smart and powerful. And I just -- he gives me a good feeling. I think he's a great guy.


KING: Do you like politics?

ANDERSON: I do. I do like politics. I watch you guys all the time. Yes.

KING: So you're going to...

ANDERSON: And I do. I like Obama.

KING: Are you going to speak for Senator Obama?

ANDERSON: Well, I don't think anyone wants to hear anything about, you know, politics and me. So -- but personally, I do think he's great. I think he's a real interesting choice. And I watch my kids and my kids really love him.

KING: They like him?

ANDERSON: Love him.

KING: Do you think...

ANDERSON: I mean there's something really powerful about him.

KING: Do you think celebrity endorsements help?

ANDERSON: I don't know. I -- definitely not my celebrity endorsement.


KING: You became a U.S. citizen, right?

ANDERSON: I did, yes. Recently. So that's why I came to Washington, too. I thought why not, you know?

Now that I'm an American citizen, I can come do these things of things.

KING: You're dual, right, with Canada?

ANDERSON: A dual citizen, um-hmm.

KING: Do you vote in both places?

ANDERSON: I don't vote. I've never voted in Canada. When I moved to America, I was voting age in Canada. So when I came here, I wasn't paying attention to Canadian politics but I...

KING: So you don't vote?

ANDERSON: I don't vote in Canada. This is my first time I've ever voted.

KING: Are you going to vote here?


KING: All right.

You're doing a new series. E! calls it Observational Documentary Series.

ANDERSON: Yes, we're doing a documentary series.

KING: Meaning reality?

ANDERSON: It's not a reality show because I...

KING: What happens on it?

ANDERSON: Well, a lot of things are off limits. Obviously, my children are off limits. I'm not going to have them photographed or documented in any way. A lot of it has to do with my work I do with animal rights. And it's really fun and it's wild. It's kind of a self- portrait. It's funny.

KING: Do they follow you around?

ANDERSON: A very small amount. They follow me around, they get a real insight. I think it's actually more insightful than a reality show. Nothing is staged, nothing is scripted. But it's kind of a day in the life or a week in the life of, you know, traveling around the world, trying to, you know, be a hands-on mom. My kids aren't -- you get a sense of me being a mother, but you don't get to see my children. So, juggling everything.

KING: And observational documentary.

ANDERSON: An observational documentary series, yes.

KING: Now you -- your -- it's impossible for you to be private, because you're too striking. So when you go out, who doesn't recognize you?

So doing this show, why do it?

ANDERSON: I -- well, I think it's -- I have -- there's a lot of interesting things that I get to do. And I like to bring awareness to it and it's a mass -- it's a way to -- especially with the animal rights and things that I do, I think it's really important to have something positive. You know, there's a kind of a cartoon character of me out there and -- not that I don't like that.

KING: Because you're fun.

ANDERSON: I think it's going to be -- it's definitely a lot of fun.

KING: Later...

ANDERSON: I direct a lot of it.

KING: Later, we'll ask her about her involvement with PETA.

We can't get enough of Pam. She's not going anywhere.

We'll see you right after the break.





Are you mad at me?

ANDERSON: No thanks. I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I'm going with my best (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: Oh, hey. Oh, my gosh. Help. Help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your own life. Get your own life.

ANDERSON: Help! Help!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down on the ground. Stay on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hands behind your back. Bring your knees up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pamela, I am not an attracted to you anymore. Not.


KING: How did you -- he's a riot.

ANDERSON: He is a riot.

KING: You like him?

ANDERSON: I like him.

KING: How did you get...

ANDERSON: I was a fan of his before the film.

KING: How do they get you to do that?

ANDERSON: Well, they -- I mean they talked to me. His -- actually, a friend of Dave LaChapelle's. And wet met at The Chateau Breamont (ph). And he's been a fan and asked me to do other -- other things with him before the movie, which I never got to do. And it evolved into this and he called me and he was very flattering...

KING: Did you expect him to...

ANDERSON: ...very sweet.

KING: Did you expect him to jump on you?

ANDERSON: Oh, yes.

KING: That was in -- there was a script for that?

You knew that?

Of course, you acted great.

ANDERSON: Well -- thank you.

I know, it's shocking, right? (INAUDIBLE).

KING: No, it's not shocking. You really had it down.

ANDERSON: Thank you. I appreciate it, see?

It's my crowning achievement.

KING: You don't think you were good on "Baywatch?"

ANDERSON: And after that, it's only downhill from there. I've never seen.


You didn't -- you never watched it?

ANDERSON: I didn't watch it. No.


A couple of other things and then we'll get into your involvement with PETA. Your ex, Kid Rock, did this show last October.

Did you see it?

ANDERSON: I saw a little bit of it.

KING: It was very good. He told me he beared you no ill will.

ANDERSON: I hope not.

KING: Do you bear him any ill will?

ANDERSON: No. Of course not.

KING: He's a good guy.

ANDERSON: He's a good guy. He's a good guy.

KING: Tommy Lee, how is he?

ANDERSON: He's doing great.

KING: You're friends?

ANDERSON: Very good friends. Very, very, very good friends. Yes. The love of my life.

KING: He is the love?

ANDERSON: Of course. He's the father of my kids. That's probably part of my problem.

KING: Meaning what?

ANDERSON: Meaning what?


KING: Meaning what?

ANDERSON: Well, I love Tommy.

KING: What do you mean part of the...

ANDERSON: Tommy -- we're like a family. We're like a little bit of a dysfunctional family, I guess. But...

KING: So you still love him?

ANDERSON: He loves his kids...

KING: And?

ANDERSON: And we love each other and...

KING: So why can't you be together?

ANDERSON: And -- well, there's, who knows why?

There's lots of complicated reasons, right?

Relationships are complicated. But I adore him and Bob and all my husbands.


KING: Was Kid Rock...

ANDERSON: No, I'm kidding.

KING: Was Kid Rock not happy about the "Borat" movie? Is that true?

ANDERSON: He wasn't.

KING: He wasn't?

ANDERSON: He wasn't. But it's so long ago. I don't remember all these -- this (INAUDIBLE).

KING: What do you keep looking at?

ANDERSON: I keep trying to see if the "Borat" thing is going over there.

KING: OK. All right. I want to cover -- I've got a couple of other things.


KING: What about those news reports that you gave Hugh Heffner quite an 82nd birthday surprise in Vegas?

Apparently involved were high heels and a dance.

What did you do?

ANDERSON: Well, I sang happy birthday. He just came -- I just -- I went to Vegas. I was watching Elton's last show. I'm in his show. And David and I -- Dave LaChapelle and I were there. And it was Heff's birthday and so we went to his suite and we surprised him when he coming in with the girls. I came out with a piece of cake singing "Happy Birthday."

KING: Wearing?

ANDERSON: Just the slice of cake.

KING: Oh, you were nude?

ANDERSON: Yes. It was just for fun.

KING: Was Heff surprised?

ANDERSON: He was very surprised.

KING: Now...

ANDERSON: It was fun.

KING:'ve been on "Playboy," covers, right?

ANDERSON: A lot of times, yes.

KING: Is it easy once you do it, to be nude, pictorials?

ANDERSON: It is. Well, when I first started shooting for "Playboy," it was -- I was a little, you know, self-conscious. And then by the time we, you know, shot for days and days and days, they have to stop you from walking out the door nude. It becomes very comfortable.

KING: Really?


KING: So you don't think about it?


KING: Why do...

ANDERSON: And plus, it's Hefner, so, you know.

KING: Why do you think we're so hung up on it?

ANDERSON: I don't know. I don't know. You know, I'm Canadian. I don't think Canadians are as hung up, maybe. (LAUGHTER)

KING: Is it true that you declined to film a scene with a dog in "Superhero" because you didn't think the real animal should be used in movie making?


KING: You don't think animals should be used in any movie?

ANDERSON: I don't think so. I mean I don't want to be involved in a movie that's doing that. I don't think they're treated very well. And so I have made it very clear in any of my contracts that I don't work with animals or in a movie that has animals.

KING: Are you getting a lot of offers all the time to do movies?

ANDERSON: I get a lot of crazy offers to do things. But, again, I guess (INAUDIBLE) do what I have fun. Like I love being a magician's assistant. I love doing the show that I'm doing now. I love traveling around the world with Dan and doing animal rights stuff. And I'm -- and I'm -- I'm always doing something. I'm on an adventure, I guess.

KING: Do you like doing movies?


KING: Because?

ANDERSON: It's a lot of work. I'm not really -- I don't consider myself an actress. I have a comfortable life and I've created a great, simple life, kind of, for my kids and I. And I have no ambition in that area.

KING: OK, you're not an actress?


KING: What are you?

ANDERSON: I don't know yet.


KING: What do you want to be when you grow up?

ANDERSON: You tell me. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I don't know. I want to be able to, you know, have a meaningful life and get to have a lot of fun and, you know, draw attention to things that are meaningful to me. And that's what I've been able to accomplish. I mean I want to have, you know, an interesting career and raise two wonderful kids and spend a lot of time with them and be able to do fun things like this, like come here and work on things that I really believe in and make a difference.

KING: Do you have a problem wearing fur?

ANDERSON: Yes. Absolutely. I would never wear fur.

KING: Never?

ANDERSON: Never. No.

KING: What do you think of those protesters who throw paint at people who wear fur?

ANDERSON: I think they're great. I think they're great. I usually put little stickers in people's pockets that say "I'm a" -- I can't swear. "I wear fur" -- anyway.

KING: OK. What do you make of like, let's take Paris Hilton and others, young females -- stars -- star is the right word -- who carry around little dogs?

ANDERSON: Well, it's OK for a pet dog, I mean, if you're loving them and looking after them.

KING: What do you...

ANDERSON: But I don't dress mine up in clothes. They would prefer to be nude, as well, at my house.

KING: What do you think of the problems faced by all these young stars now?

ANDERSON: Well, it's a dangerous career. It's a dangerous business. And I think when you're really young and you're offered a lot of things, you make a lot of mistakes. We all make a lot of mistakes. And they're kind of growing up in front of us. And it's hard to be ridiculed all the time and...

KING: It's tough.

ANDERSON: It's tough. It is tough.

KING: All right, Pam is sticking around. She's got a pet cause, you know.

ANDERSON: Yes, I do.

KING: More LARRY KING LIVE and we'll talk about that pet cause right after the break.

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