In this March 1982 Playboy, Barbara Carrera confesses that she rather likes playing the bad girl, and it is easy to see why she was picked for Never Say Never Again...
As a bonus, here are some higher resolution wallpapers from this photo shoot.
One of playboy's favorite leading ladies, the exotically beautiful miss Carrera, stars in the mickey Spillane thriller "I, the jury"
PHOTOGRAPHED FOR PLAYBOY BY MARCO GLAVIANO
MAKE-UP BT RICHARD ADAMS
pictorial essay By BRUCE WILLIAMSON
while waiting for Barbara Carrera to show up for lunch at a swell French restaurant in New York, I am eying this blonde at the top of the curved stairs. Some dame. Mickey Spillane would have loved her. Hair in a platinum pageboy, wearing a big, baggy, bright-red sweater over a body that just won't stop. Tight pants and heels. Only a heel would think what I'm thinking. Slowly, the blonde turns. Coming my way. Now her hand’s on my arm. "Darling," she murmurs, not quite suppressing a giggle, "didn't you recognize me? Oh, I love it!”
Photo: Enjoying a scenic stretch in the Caribbean, Barbara confesses she imagines intimate conversations whenever the camera's eye is on her. To whom does she address this body English? "Always a man." In TV's Masada (right), she spoke volumes to Peter O'Toole.
Of course, the blonde is Barbara, the celebrated Latin supermodel who almost made blue-eyed blondeness obsolete and put brunette exotics on the fashion map. We sit at a quiet table at the back. She blows the bubbles off a glass of Cristal champagne, noting that life at the top isn’t so bad once you get used to it. "I love luxury, but I take it for granted,” she says with a wide-screen smile. “Limousines, hotel suites, first class, Japanese massage and baths. As a model, of course, one always has these things." There’s not a hint of snobbery or condescension in what she says, the way she says it. The wig was a whim. “It's fun. just for kicks. Yesterday I got caught in the rain, all soaked, and felt so good about getting wet I didn't want to go dry myself. So I ran into a wig shop, tried this on, paid for it and walked out. This is a little like the way 1 looked in Condorman. What do you think? Am I convincing, darling, as a platinum blonde?" Good question. Am I fool enough to give her a straight answer? When you go to lunch with a girl like Barbara, you can stretch a point.
Photos: When photographer Morco Gloviano told her he wanted "very sexy" pictures, Barbara said, "Darling, that's what you're going to get." Much cooler in "I, the Jury" (below left, in black), she plays a bad lady whose sex clinic activities (below right) set the stage for blackmail. One client's a psychopath (Judson Scott, below opposite) who forces Hammer's blonde aide (Laurene London) to don a red wig.
Since she was first featured in playboy in 1977 as a former cover girl making a serious bid for stardom in her third movie. The Island of Dr. Moreau, Carrera’s career has been an upward curve leading to "I, the Jury" by way of Centennial and Masada. It's nice to have predicted big things for an actress who almost never does anything small. After the highly rated Centennial series on TV, she played a captive Jewess in the monumental Masada, which was beamed around the planet to more than 300,000,000 people and made her an instant celebrity in places where they'd never heard of Vogue. Now she's about to be seen as a murderous, predatory bitch in "I, the Jury", the second movie version of Mickey Spillane's first novel, a perennial paperback best seller. Obviously, we have a bit of catching up to do. We try to resume where we left off as Barbara the Gorgeous went into orbit. She's still a California nomad but has traded her Beverly Hills apartment for a newer, bigger house in Bel Air. It's where I leave things I want lo find a year later," she notes. She is still an avid amateur painter when she can find time but has graduated from acrylics to oils and is doing her self-portraits in brighter colors these days. “I look at them to see my progress psychologically.” To bring nirvana a drop nearer, she now owns “a Saniadhi water tank that Burgess Meredith told me about." designed for deep relaxation, with 800 pounds of Epsom salts diluted in ten incites of aqua. "You close the door, you’re in total darkness,” Barbara explains. “You become all mind, space, you don't feel your body anymore. You float like a cork on the Dead Sea. Once I fell asleep in it for five and a half hours; I was beyond the beyond. It’s just like the one in Altered States, except that my spirit won’t do such evil things to me."
Photo: Carrera in a Caribbean skyscape (right) is a sultry reminder that some gentlemen prefer brunettes.
Photos: Armond Assante, as Spillane's Mike Hammer, quizzes the clinic's top sister act (below left, the Harris twins, Leigh and lynette, uncovered for "I, the Jury" by playboy) about a murder. Below center. Hammer's girl Friday (London) gets a bead on the killer's ugly mom (Jessica James) and learns why he hates redheads. Below right, the psycho slasher strikes again, doing in the twins after laying them out in matched wigs.
In general, Barbara confines her own dark deeds to the sound stages of cinema. Having played a kind of glamorous Frankenstein monster in the 1976 Embryo, her second film, then a ravishing creature who’s transformed into a puma in Dr. Moreau, she has successfully dodged the perils of typecasting and evolved in I, the Jury as an altogether human, homicidal, dangerous dame of the old school. Advance reports indicate she is sensational—the kind of bad guy the good guys rather enjoy tangling with—as Mike Hammer’s nemesis. Dr. Charlotte Bennett. Dr. Bennett operates a sex-therapy clinic, with blackmail and murder on the side, and is ready to practice everything she preaches.
“I must confess,” says Barbara, “there’s something fun about having a license to be really bad. My first unsympathetic role, and I enjoyed it so much, though I tried to avoid the cliche of being bad, bad, bad. Even a wicked person can be interesting, with some nice moments, you know? Otherwise, it's a bore, just as boring as a goody-good girl, whose personality has no other colors.”
Photos: Above, left and right, Barbara blends sand, stone and skin in an environmental portrait of a lady whose thoughts as she posed here were "quite interesting" fantasies about three different males of her acquaintance. She won't say who the lucky dawgs are. But they know. Below, in character as the sex clinic's chief trickster, Barbara tries to trip Hammer by luring him into her bed and off her case.
“1 think I have broken the Hollywood stereotype image of the Latin woman," Nicaragua-born Barbara continues, crossing ha- fingers for luck. “Here. I'm playing a WASP. I was a blonde Russian in Condorman, an Indian aging from 15 to 89 in Centennial. I feel Masada proved to people what 1 wanted to prove, that I am not just a glamor girl who wants to act but a real actress, and more an actress than a movie star.”
Photo: Spillane's noted for his tough-guy lines, one of the most famous of which occurs in I, the Jury. As she's being plugged by Hammer, the svelte villainess sighs, "How could you?" To which he replies, "It was easy." The torrid Carrera-Assante love scenes below don't look tough, either. Above and opposite, Barbara relaxes in the surf and a jeep, which, she said, made her feel like a schoolgirl on Saturday night.
High on Carrera's list of major peeves are the professional gossips who try to follow every move she makes with a decidedly mixed bag of eligible males. Actor Alex Cord, producer Robert Evans and the multimillionaire German aristocrat Maximilian von Bismarck dominate the roster of onetime suitors now relegated to her company of "very dear friends.” Barbara will admit under pressure that Max was a pretty serious liaison for a time, though she adds, laughing quietly, "he just recently married someone ... a Spanish girl by the name of Barbara." Carrera’s current crop of escorts, depending on which gossip sheet you follow, includes such headliners as shipping heir Phillip Xiarchos, actor Richard Gere and, often as not, the Russian ballet's defected superstar Alexander Godunov. Mentioning any name on her A list, however, makes Barbara bristle. “I love secrets,” she says, "and this gossip takes my secrets away. It's embarrassing, also an invasion of privacy. If you're seen together with someone, that's one thing. But then they begin to quote falsely what he said about me, what I said about him, making everything up, calling this man or that man the love of my life.
"The truth, sort of sad in a way, is that I know lots of men, all over. A world of men, so many men, but no special one that I want. It's like water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. I think I’ve never really found that, because a relationship has to work both ways. I don't know. When I'm feeling depressed, I sometimes wonder whether my generation even understands that kind of total commitment. Somehow, relationships aren't often taken seriously.”
Being beautiful, famous and self-sufficient may prove death to romance for a sophisticated girl-about-town, in Barbara's opinion. “It's the combination of all those things. Men get frightened, then do silly things that disillusion me. Maybe they see my house in Bel Air and think: Oh, God, I’d never be able to keep her ... or keep up with her way of life. The fact is, I don't need a man for how he can keep me. I make enough money. What I need is total love and mutual respect."
And what does a man need to win Carrera? “Power is the greatest attraction for me, absolutely. Men who are comfortable with themselves can handle me without being intimidated because they don't feel they have to prove anything. This isn't power in the sense of being a national leader or anything. Just the power a man has from believing in himself, from knowing there’s something he does extremely well. He may be artistic; I'm always attracted by that. I like a man with a sense of humor who stands on his own two feet."
Barbara’s notions about beauty are emphatically down-to-earth. “1 think some prejudice against beauty for actors is sort of disappearing now. I'm grateful for that. I'm blessed to be living in an age when people consider my sort of appearance attractive. Imagine if I’d been born in the days when obesity was the fashion? They'd have thought me very thin and ghastly'. But the fashion world's idea of glamor—where you're finished if you have one wrinkle or a blemish on your face—is an absurdity. I know it sounds silly to repeat, but beauty finally has nothing to do with looks. It’s the beauty Mother Teresa has. She's funny-looking, with wrinkles you wouldn't believe, but the look in her lace is beautiful; she's so full of love that everything her eyes fall upon becomes beautiful, too. I'm not stupid, so I take advantage of what I have. But in 20 years, I'd like to be that kind of beautiful."
Meanwhile, the Carrera career is at a high point where she's more apt to be studying her lines than counting her wrinkles. "Since Masada, which opened many doors, people have started to write for me, make deals around me—they send me scripts all the time." Working with such seasoned actors as Peter O'Toole and Richard Chamberlain has fired her ambition to try a Broadway play, though Barbara's immediate goal is to form her own production company and launch several cherished projects. “I feel I've paid my dues and am ready to do more exciting things. I'd like to play Maria Callas in a film. I know the book about her and her life-—a very passionate woman, whose passion drew people toward her but also had a frightening side. I'd like also to do another version of the life of Evita Pertin. So far, no one has done an Evita story with the flavor of a tango in it, and there's nothing so Argentinian as a tango."
More than any other idea on her agenda, Barbara yearns to do a remake of the life of Mata Hari. “Most of the earlier films about Mata Hari were done when censorship was very rigid, but the woman in her own right was a great courtesan whose allure was the way she got information as a spy—using her wits and her body ruthlessly. While I was filming Condorman. I stayed in Monte Carlo and met some people there who knew her. That was where Mata Hari lived and died—at the hotel right across the street from the Casino tie Paris, which was her hunting ground where she did all her numbers. Oh. l'd love to do that as a feature, which has always been so cleaned up that it becomes just a spy story. I'd like to tell the truth of it, with all the splendor of the era . . . you see what I mean, darling?"
Silting erect, her nails curved like the talons of some elegant bird of prey, Barbara already is Mata Hari. Or probably any brightly plumed creature she chooses to be. I see what she means. She means business.
[Source: Playboy Magazine, March1982, P.148-156. Copyright © 1982 Playboy. All rights reserved.]