Downtown Los Angeles. The heat today is stifling. They tell me it's always like this; It never rains in L.A. I'm headed for Pasadena; we get into the car, air conditioning on, which is a must, and we set off. Our destination is slightly on the outskirts of the city where palm trees reign along with amazing villas.
How will a Hollywood star be at home? Who's never asked themselves this question, if only out of curiosity? I'm excited. I'm about to meet one of those stars with a capital S: Angie Everhart. A famous top model, an actress, she was the face of Yves Saint Laurent for twenty years. A natural redhead; I'm transported back to the days of Cindy Crawford when the two redheads battled it out in the fashion Olympics via catwalks, commercials and covers.
She's graced countless covers of Elle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Vogue and her legendary cover of Playboy launched her as an out-and-out sex symbol. I'm shaking a little, wondering who I'll be meeting. I imagine she'll probably be somewhat full of herself.
I get to the house with my publicist. Her home is beautiful. We ring the bell and I hear a dog barking. A little girl opens the door and behind her a little boy throws a ball at her while she defends herself. I hear someone calling from far off inside: "Coming!"
We sit in the kitchen and here comes Angie, radiantly beautiful, and she gives me a warm hug. She hugs my publicist. She's smiling, happy, offers us coffee, tea, and cookies. The dog wanders about and she sends the children outside to play. "They're a bit chaotic", she tells me.
On first impression, Angie, a Hollywood star, seems a very normal person. I'm glad about that. "This is an interview unlike the usual ones", my publicist tells her. "Simonetta the Wishmaker has prepared some questions that you've probably never answered before." I fear she's going to stiffen, but quite the opposite; she relaxes even more. "She is The Wishmaker for The Wishwall Foundation, she helps meaningful wishes to come true." Angie smiles. I switch on the recorder, take up my pen and paper and start with the first question:
1. When you were a child did you wish for the life you are manifesting today?
One of my first memories as a child was when I was three. I was with my grandfather and I told him that when I grow up I want to be a movie star. I've always asked myself how I knew even at that age what I wanted to do, and that I would manage to do it, but evidently I did.
2. Can you tell me a wish you have for yourself or for humanity that has finally become a reality?
I'm a mother and that's one of the greatest dreams one can imagine. And I know that one day they'll be better than me. For humanity I've seen the role of women change; for me to see women who can vote, have become emancipated and well-educated and cultured, and to think that they can also run for president of their own country is one of the biggest dreams I've seen come true.
3. If you were granted one wish for yourself or for humanity, what would it be?
If we don't stop polluting the Earth and we don't halt global warming, very soon we'll be in big trouble. Mother Earth's got to protect herself from us and I really would like us to implement more rigid and safe environmental plans so we can safeguard the planet on which we live.
4. If you could go back in time and you could ask just one question to an historical figure, who would you want to meet and what would you ask them?
I'd like to meet the first Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth I. I've always been attracted by her strength that launched her religion, one who ensured she wasn't subjugated to the role of men and one who did what she wished. I'd ask her what advice she'd pass on from her time to women of the future, namely us. I'd be terribly curious to know what she'd tell us.
5. Please tell me what influences your unique style.
France. When I became a model I went to live in France. I arrived there wearing cowboy boots and patchwork shirts. How could I not fall in love with the way the French walk, talk, eat and dress? Hermes is my great love. Then I encountered Milan - and Paris and Milan together made me into a different person altogether and totally influenced my style.
6. Who is your favorite fashion designer today, and why?
Theory. Classic, immortal lines, silk skirts, made-to-measure clothes, and classic lines you can wear for at least ten years and are always in step with fashion. Simplicity creates immortality in clothes and in your style.
7. What's your fashion mantra?
Being classy is simple. Being sexy doesn't mean you should show everything.
"We've finished", I tell her, as I note down these last pieces of advice that I'm going to guard jealously. As always, the answers to my simple questions leave me intrigued, seeing how everyone is so different, how different interests, and diverse cultures flourish. Among the renowned personalities who come to see us, they approach fashion with an unaffectedness that fascinates me in each interview, and I always have a last personal question to ask. I want to know if she has something she'd like to add, something that's dear to her heart.
Angie glances around and her eyes gleam a little. I know something's going to happen. She looks straight into my eyes and utters an Anglo-Saxon expression that leaves no doubt as to the sentiment she wishes to convey:
I swallow. I didn't know.
"There isn't a single family that's not been touched by cancer in some way. I discovered I had cancer and I was very ashamed of it. I don't know why, but that's how it was. Then one day I decided it wasn't my fault and I started to talk about it, to let people into my life, and I stated in front of everyone that I had cancer. In that moment my healing could begin. I accepted it and I wanted to fight it and I managed. I want to tell everyone reading this who's going through this issue, to open themselves up to others. You can't do it alone. Cancer must be fought together."
Angie is strong, she's a survivor and she's fought long and hard to find a cure, to give support to those who like her have been through it or are going through it. In her I found everything but a superficial woman. This Hollywood star received me in her home and in her heart, telling me of herself, demonstrating her intelligence and insight and giving me a powerful testimony, as I hope you can see. Her children, coming back indoors, greeted us with great affection, and I must say I felt at home. In the remaining time she showed me her garden and we recorded a short video together where you can see how Angie explored the subject of cancer and her commitment. We get back into the car and I sigh with satisfaction: what a lovely person.
If any of you are dealing with cancer and you'd like to leave a message for Angie, please do so in the comments and I'll make sure she receives it.
A big thanks to Angie Everhart
My wish is that all your dreams will come true.
Credits: Tracie May Wagner Publicist and William Russel Edu.