Wild Thing: Kirstie Alley on Her Body and Career
Balancing a Family
LHJ: So is it just madness right now for you as a mom? You're dieting, which means everything is irritating, and you have your kids two-thirds of the time, which means you are living with a tween and a teen.
KA: My son is stone-cold funny. He plays the guitar, and has a great voice, but he's too embarrassed to sing right now. My daughter is very sophisticated -- go figure. She's really fashion conscious and a great designer. They're unique personalities. No matter what parents do, kids retain their uniqueness. It's fascinating.
LHJ: Are you able to find the time to do normal everyday chores with your kids -- like driving them to school, homework, things like that?
KA: I probably spend more time with my kids than the average stay-at-home mother. When I taped Fat Actress, we worked while they were at school. In fact, my contract stated that work had to be during those hours. Fortunately, I've been able to call the shots on that.
LHJ: So you're used to seeing yourself as the breadwinner?
KA: I've always aspired for things like mopeds and vacations and pastries and anything frivolous. That's what I wanted to give my children. I didn't feel much pressure otherwise, so I think that's how I've made a good income. Plus, I always feel like there is some dude out there with money that I could fall back on if I needed to [laughs].
LHJ: So do you always think of a man with money as your plan B?
KA: I say there's always somebody older, richer, more desperate than you.
LHJ: Are you actively looking for a serious relationship now?
KA: Now I have risen up to looking. I'm sticking with my new questionnaire: What do you donate to? What are you passionate about? What religion are you, really? What do you do for that religion? You can tell a lot about a person by how much he helps other people. It's like reeling in fish -- maybe you have to throw a lot back before you get that special trout.
LHJ: So your view has changed.
KA: For some reason I am one of those people who act like they were born and raised during the Depression. My theory of property is that if all hell breaks loose in the world, you and your 100 closest friends need to be able to go away and form a commune with a water supply, electricity, and your own food. And I view men the same way: You need the backup man in case you decide you can't take it anymore. I think the ideal marriage is to a multi-multi-multi-millionaire who is dying to take care of me if I need it.
The thing is to look for someone who has a complete life without you in it. And you look at how they live, their income, their children, everything like that. If you have a person you don't need for anything, that's ideal. Then you're just together because you really want to be. Every now and then, my ex-husband and I still have the occasional hideous fight, which I hate. I'm not down with that -- it's not going to happen anymore.
LHJ: So having a man is no longer a requirement, then.
KA: I know two things: that I am really happy by myself, and that if you have two really happy people, that combined relationship could be something extraordinary.
LHJ: You've been married before [Ed. Note: to Parker Stevenson]. With what you know, would you remarry?
KA: I love marriage. I mean, I failed at marriage, but I also believe that it's a great institution. The idea of "let's just be together" for me is, well, sort of a cowardly view of life. I'd rather go into anything -- a job, a business, a marriage -- with gusto and fail than go into it half-assed. I'm the kind of person who couldn't care less about sex unless I meet someone who I think is wonderful. I sort of feel sorry for the next man who gets me. I may just kill him with passion. He'd better be strong and have a good heart!