Angie Everhart — the Ohio native, actress and former supermodel whose fire-red hair and smoldering looks made her a sensation in the early 1990s — was asked about why one of her most famous stomping grounds, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, has remained such a major part of the pop culture landscape for more than 50 years. She began to reply when suddenly her attention turned elsewhere.
“Kayden, I’m on the phone, buddy,” she said to her 4-year old son. She struggled to find the remote and clicked on Kayden’s favorite show, “Transformers: Rescue Bots.” Everhart returned to the line, chuckling about how everything that was once old is new again. And thanks to her son, that’s true with a lot of things in her life these days.
“I went through a couple years where Christmas was just boring to me,” she said in an interview with Toledo Free Press. “It was just, I had to buy gifts for people. Because I’m a gift-giver anyway, I like to give gifts. But I don’t like to give gifts if I have to.
“I guess maybe I was a little jaded, or I had a missing link. And now, Christmas, I love it again. Because I get to see it through his eyes. And Santa Claus. And we had an elf come to our house!”
It’s been a whirlwind few years for Everhart, even beyond the arrival of Elf on a Shelf. After years of establishing herself as an actress following her modeling career, she took time off to be a mother to Kayden. Now she’s back in a big way, with a TV series in development, a new hair care line and a new movie, “The Wedding Pact,” with Haylie Duff and Chris Soldevilla.
“My character is a little bit like the Mrs. Robinson of the movie — I try to seduce Chris, and he doesn’t really go for it,” she said.
Being on the big screen was a dream of Everhart’s from an early age, she said.
“I always wanted to be an actress. I have to say, it’s one of the things that I’ve always wanted to do, since I was about 3 years old. My grandfather asked me one day in the backyard, ‘Angie, what do you want to be when you grow up?’ And I said, ‘Grandpa, I want to be a movie star.’”
After finding worldwide fame via pictorials in magazines like Elle and Glamour, Everhart took the plunge into film work with roles in movies like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Last Action Hero” and the second “Tales from the Crypt” film. But even though she had a ton of experience in front of a camera from years of being photographed, adapting such skills to acting took effort.
“They’re completely different. When you’re a model, you play towards the camera, and when you’re an actor, you play away from it. But as a model, you are very aware of light. That can help you, in terms of making sure you have the right light on you.”
Despite her fame, Everhart said it was a struggle to establish herself in Hollywood.
“When I became an actress, it was so taboo for models to become actresses. And I kind of wish that I had kept going with the modeling, as well as the acting,” she said. “Because I loved being a model. And I was good at it — because I was one of the best in the world, which I’m very proud to say. I was the only redhead that was along Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schaeffer.
“I just think that I would have kept modeling a little bit longer, in hindsight.”
In recent years, Everhart has kept in touch with her fans through social media, which she said she loves to do. The support was especially welcome last year, after it came out in the press that she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
“That meant a lot to me. Because my Facebook blew up, my Twitter page blew up. It was like, hundreds of people — hundreds and hundreds. And I could just get my phone and scroll, and that’s how many people tweeted me. It was crazy. It was absolutely wonderful. Because at a time like that — when they tell you [that] you have cancer, you feel very alone.”
Since her surgery, her prognosis has been very good — not that even cancer could slow down Everhart these days. “The Wedding Pact” recently opened in theaters. Her hair line, Elle, will debut in July. And she just filmed a pilot for a TV show she wrote and produced — a show that will be set in Upper Sandusky.
“I would like for this TV show to go, that would be my ideal, because it’s actually based in Ohio. It’s about an aging model, who doesn’t realize that she’s aging — and her name is Angie Everhart,” she said with a laugh. “Her life basically implodes. She has to get out of LA, because everything is falling apart. She loses her boyfriend, her dog runs away, her agent fires her, etc., etc. So she goes home to help her dad run for re-election of mayor.”