Model, actress, and environmental advocate Pamela Anderson is on a rehab mission.
Speaking at her home in Ladysmith, BC, she says the current goal is to redevelop the six-acre Vancouver Island property where she spent her early years and now hopes to establish itself as a multi-generational haven for herself, her parents and her children. . It’s the focus of her new HGTV Canada reality show “Pamela’s Garden of Eden,” which premiered Thursday.
At the same time, the Hollywood star says she has been hit by a burst of introspection: While at the property, she penned a memoir set for release in late January and is preparing to release a Netflix documentary about her life.
As much as large-scale home renovations are a work in progress, “I’m a work in progress,” says Anderson.
“Coming back here was really exhilarating. For me, it’s very emotional,” Anderson says of revisiting the roots of a childhood she described as difficult.
“When I got home, I think I wasn’t as happy as I normally am. I came home to really face some things. There are certain things in your life that you just let go of and it was very healing for me to come home and it took me a while to understand what I was putting myself through.”
More details about his early life and colorful celebrity career will be revealed in the upcoming memoir and streaming project, he says, acknowledging that the recent reboot to small-town life is a far cry from the tabloid exploits of his heyday. in the 90s
“I had never been on a plane before when I left this island. You know, I left the island and went to Vancouver and then I moved to Los Angeles and then I toured the world and the south of France for a year before I moved home,” says Anderson, who first rose to fame as a Playboy pin. -up and TV star of “Baywatch.”
“I was restless when I was here. And I had to learn to be comfortable, just relax and enjoy and put all my creativity into this project, make this an art project, listen to other people’s ideas.”
Anderson says she bought the property from her grandmother about 30 years ago, believing she “just needed some Canadian roots” and would one day move there. She would take longer than expected, she suggests in a first episode that briefly alludes to years of “overwhelmed” life in Los Angeles, a busy career, and multiple high-profile marriages.
She says it was “heartbreaking” at first to return to the sprawling waterfront property, which includes three buildings known as the Shed, the Boathouse and the Cottage.
“I felt like this place was like a broken heart, that I really had to change.”
These days, Anderson says she enjoys new creative tasks that fill her time, including painting, repainting, pottery and canning vegetables, while discovering her personal design style.
She acknowledges a lot of trial and error, and possibly conflict, over design choices, and laughs at the folly of inviting cameras to see her “melting over which knob to put on your door.”
“I’m not perfect. Some ideas are really bad and some ideas don’t work and some things I’ve patched and fixed and spend a lot of money solving those problems,” says the 55-year-old, who started the company with a budget of $750,000. .
The team is also a collection of “misfits,” he adds.
“I wanted guys (for whom) this is their second or third chance at life. I wanted to bring people here who weren’t, you know, perfect people. I wanted everyone to have a fun project to do as a kind of healing place.”
She introduces one of them in the first episode as her husband, revealing little about their courtship other than that he is “just a regular guy, which is nice.” Anderson declines to say more over the phone and a spokesperson for HGTV Canada later says that the couple filed to separate in January 2022.
The show gives us a window into Anderson’s goofy side as she jokes around with the crew, and her well-established love of nature as she talks about the local wildlife and walks barefoot on the beach in loose, flowing dresses.
It’s a far cry from the blowout, coiffed version of Anderson that made her a beauty icon, she agrees. But she is genuine, she adds, and it is in part a proposal from her to her two adult sons who urged her to be on the show because they saw a disconnect between her public image and the woman they know.
“My kids were (like), ‘Mom, people don’t understand who you are,'” she says of Brandon Lee, a producer on the series, and Dylan Lee.
“That doesn’t really bother me, I’m me. But it bothers them.”
Anderson is happy to say that her children are spending “more and more” time at the property as the renovation takes place, and she boasts of her personal triumphs, including a 5,000-square-foot garden stocked with produce. The “heart and soul of the property” is a rose garden featuring Anderson’s favorite hot pink variety.
“I had them in all my flower arrangements all over the world. Wherever I was, whoever I was with, I always knew this was my rose,” says Anderson.
“I got 75 of these roses and planted them myself.”
“Everyone survived, which was a miracle.”
“Pamela’s Garden of Eden” airs Thursdays on HGTV Canada and Fridays on StackTV.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 3, 2022.
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