Pam Grier talks memoirs, remains awesome while doing so

I think if you assemble almost any group of gay women together, they could agree that while they might not miss the crazy of The L Word, they certainly miss some of the characters. And the character who arguably did the most with the least material was Kit Porter, which is all thanks to the fabulous Pam Grier.

So I couldn’t be happier to see the 60-year-old star get some much-deserved attention with the recent release of her memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts. In an interview with The New York Times, Pam talked about her life and her book.

The memoir details some of the most horrible moments in Pam’s life from being raped by two boys at age six to being date raped as a young woman and being diagnosed with cervical cancer in her thirties. But it also celebrates her career triumphs from her ’70s blaxploitation films to Jackie Brown resurgence and The L Word experience. As she told the Times, “My life is probably more interesting and dangerous than some of the movies I’ve done.”

Earlier this week, Pam stopped by to chat with the ladies of The View (with guest host Gabourey Sidibe filling in for Barbara Walters). She was both articulate and powerful, making me wish even harder that Kit had more to say each episode than just “Baby girl!”


She told the Times that thanks to her role on The L Word people stop her in the street to thank her for helping them connect to gay family members and friends. And she seemed quite zen about the ups and downs of her career, quoting the acting bible by Constantin Stanislavski: “He said there’s no such thing as a small role, there’s no such thing as a small heart. He said I should approach any role as if it’s my life, and that’s what I did.”

Though all six seasons of The L Word — and of course in her earlier work — Pam has been able to blend sass, strength and considerable sex appeal effortlessly to create an indelible portrait of female power. I think Warrington Hudlin, president of the Black Filmmaker Foundation, summed her body of work up best in the Times, saying:

She exists in the American imagination in a way that is permanent. She represents a self-reliant, dynamic female figure that doesn’t have to forgo femininity for potency, for militant power.

Yeah, what he said. Luckily fans of Pam can still catch her this season on Smallville, in a recurring role as the villainous White Queen. And she is also shooting an upcoming film Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Which means we might be about to enjoy the fourth act of Ms. Grier’s already magnificent life. I can’t wait.