This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," March 4, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: "Fat Actress" (search) — all right, how did you come up with that title?
KIRSTIE ALLEY, ACTRESS: Well, sort of obvious, isn't it Greta? I gained weight. And I thought I would like to work and have a job so I thought one day I am a fat actress and that was a funny title.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you get to be a fat actress? I remember you from the days of "Star Trek" and "Cheers" — you were not a fat actress.
ALLEY: I think I sat on my ass and ate a lot. I don't think there is a big mystery to being fat, you know. People have asked me, do you have sympathy or empathy? I don't have sympathy or empathy for myself, so I don't with other people who gain a lot of weight. You do two things: You eat too much and you don't move. I don't think there is a mystery there.
VAN SUSTEREN: But it's amazing. You take this weight issue and you've made it a huge success: cover of People magazine, hot new show, brand new book. You've made it the greatest thing for your career.
ALLEY: Well, I knew two things: One, was I took the road where I took six or seven months to lose the weight and then proceed from there to create something funny out of the weight itself and the circumstance. So I chose to create something funny out of the circumstance so that I could be fat and work.
VAN SUSTEREN: And you mean fun with it — is this funny?
ALLEY: Well, you have to be the judge as to whether it's funny. If I'm having fun? Yes. I am having the best time of my life. It's the most liberating thing I've ever done because you spend most of your career. You know, even if you thin or fabulous looking, you're always like, "Am I think enough? Am I fabulous-looking enough?" There is a great responsibility behind being thin and fabulous. And when you're fat and not so fabulous, you can concentrate on other things. You can concentrate on what's funnier or what situations are funnier and you're not really thinking so much about how you look and that's sort of refreshing.
VAN SUSTEREN: The show starts very soon. It's starts when?
ALLEY: It starts March 7 on Showtime. That's a Monday, at 10 p.m. ET, I think.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which interferes with this show at 10 o'clock.
ALLEY: Does it? Well, we get to use a lot of nasty words, so I think we got you beat.
VAN SUSTEREN: TiVo. OK, is it a reality show?
VAN SUSTEREN: What is it?
ALLEY: The only real part is I'm fat. It's basically a comedy. It's an unscripted comedy — we get to improve. And it's about people's neuroses — especially women. People think, "If I was skinner I would be happier," or if I had better hair I would be happier, or if I just had a better husband. I think if you had all those things you would be. But anyway, it's about what women are neurotic about. And I think there are thousands of things. I think if it was only about fat, it would be a one-shot joke. I think the fat thing was good for seven shows. And now I am looking forward to the promiscuous thing. Because I sort of get to live vicariously. You know I always wanted to be promiscuous and I wasn't because I had to love people, which is very boring. So I want my character to be really promiscuous when she loses the weight.
VAN SUSTEREN: But wasn't it a little promiscuous in your last sitcom?
VAN SUSTEREN: It wasn't? With the lingerie?
ALLEY: No, not like this. I mean promiscuous. Like bang everything that comes down the pike. Like, I want my character — everyone she meets she has sex with. And she can't see the flaw in that. She can't see what's wrong with that.
VAN SUSTEREN: In the first seven episodes it's about weight primarily?
ALLEY: It's about weight, sort of. It plays a part. The first episode — definitely — all about it. The second episode is little bits and pieces about weight. But you know my character is sort of oblivious to the weight thing a little bit too, which was real in my life. I was a little oblivious to how much weight I was gaining.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you going up right now or down?
ALLEY: Down. I just lost 20-something pounds. I'll find out tomorrow — the something part of the 20 pounds. You know, I'm the Jenny Craig person now.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you actually weigh yourself? Do you pay attention to that?
ALLEY: I do now?
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you on your way up?
ALLEY: Apparently not. The way up? I'd have these skirts with elastic and I'd go, "this still fits" and "this still fits" Wouldn't have fit someone who weight 800 pounds, but it's just how big the elastic would go. I would say, "this fits" and "yeah, this looks good" and I wouldn't give myself the big once-over too much.
VAN SUSTEREN: Have you become a hero to women who have put on weight in Hollywood? Because everyone battles weight, or a lot of people do.
ALLEY: I can't speak for other people. I can say this, we have become extremely obsessed about the physicality of ourselves. If we worked half as hard on the spirituality as we do on the physicality, we would all be levitating. So I think there is something very funny — you know since all these bodies are going to croak in 80 years, or whatever — we're working so hard to make them so fabulous and they're the thing that croaks
VAN SUSTEREN: In your book you mention 12 diets. Did you actually try all 12 of those diets?
ALLEY: I've probably done 80 diets.
VAN SUSTEREN: How many diet books have you read? Do you have any idea?
ALLEY: I don't have the book, which is sort of the problem. I sort of read the concept and say, OK, I get it.
VAN SUSTEREN: You've done Atkins?
ALLEY: I did do that. I used to fall on Atkins. You know, if I wanted a good steak I would be on the Atkins diet basically. Cause you get to eat a lot — butter and steaks. But then I would mix the Atkins with other things and then of course it didn't work. Jenny Craig is the best for me because the goal for me is to eat whatever I want to eat, but not tons of it. You know, I was an athlete and I had such a high metabolism. I've always eaten like eight eggs and half a loaf of bread...
VAN SUSTEREN: You can eat that much?
ALLEY: I could.
VAN SUSTEREN: If you sat down at a meal right now, tell me, what is the most you could eat?
ALLEY: If I was just having a good time? If I was having breakfast I could have four eggs and four slices of toast and six slices of bacon.
VAN SUSTEREN: Lunch?
ALLEY: Oh, I could have a chicken potpie if it was really big. And cakes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Cakes or cake?
VAN SUSTEREN: Could you eat more than one piece of cake?
ALLEY: No well, I could eat a piece of chocolate cake and a piece of lemon cake.
VAN SUSTEREN: Would that be one piece or two pieces?
ALLEY: That would be two pieces, but one of each kind.
VAN SUSTEREN: So that would be better than two chocolate? To have one of each?
ALLEY: Yeah, what I'm trying to train myself to do is to have whatever I want but not the whole thing. Because my metabolism is different. I was a swimmer going out. And I would work out four-five hours a day. And genetically my family is sort of thin and muscular and I got a free ride until basically I was 50, and then it was all over. Then it was like I didn't realize I wasn't moving around so much and I wasn't as active. But the food intake was staying the same even though I wasn't working out a couple hours a day.
VAN SUSTEREN: So is the Jenny Craig food, good food? Do you like it?
ALLEY: Really good food. All my friends that come over to my house. I have to have tons of it because. Today is an example: If someone is doing my hair and makeup and the stylist and we are all getting ready to do the show, everyone is eating fettuccine. My fiend Kelly Preston came over the other night and went nuts over the food. And when we did the premiere in Los Angeles, I could see her talking to the press and all she was talking about was the fettuccine
VAN SUSTEREN: And she is thin?
ALLEY: Like that— and she said do you have anything sweet? And I gave her one of the cakes. And she was happy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Any temptation to have three Jenny Craig meals in a meal?
ALLEY: The first three days, yes. I had to be very disciplined. I'd say I had to be very disciplined the first week because I was used to consuming so many calories. I was used to having whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And so I was sort of cranky the first week.
VAN SUSTEREN: You write at the end of your book, "it's not fun to be fat." You don't recommend it to people.
ALLEY: No, I mean it wasn't fun for me. I mean it was fun to get there. It's sort of like if you are a boozer, you go to 20 parties and you have a great time and then one day you wake up and say, "Hey, I have a little problem with this alcohol." I got to the point where I wasn't as agile as I wanted to be. I wasn't as quick as I wanted to be. I am a speedy kind of a person. I wasn't maneuvering as fast as I wanted to. I didn't like that part of it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Exercise? You play sports or anything?
ALLEY: No, I wouldn't say sports. I do love yoga and dance. I am doing circuit training because it's fast. Anything to loud music, I'm in.
VAN SUSTEREN: The tabloids sort of had a field day with your weight until you took command and got successful with this "Fat Actress." Was that hard on you?
ALLEY: In the beginning it was hard because you know you are fat and you know — these new shows. The game is they get the ugliest shot that they possibly can of someone.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did they stretch those? Were those real pictures?
ALLEY: You know? I have no idea. You have to be the judge. Digitally, you can do anything.
VAN SUSTEREN: But when you look at those did you think, "Oh my god, they've exaggerated it"?
ALLEY: Yes, I think they are exaggerating.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was that they are ignoring the obvious or is that a fair assessment?
ALLEY: I think the tabloids are so corrupt I think it is a fair assessment to think they alter pictures toward something.
VAN SUSTEREN: And how do you see them? Going to the grocery store you spot yourself on the cover?
ALLEY: Sometimes you've be in a restaurant and someone will have one and they'll go "Can you sign this?" And you're like, "I don't think so."
VAN SUSTEREN: You've been asked to sign those?
ALLEY: Oh yeah. Like, "Can you sign this?" And you're like, "Where? Would you like me to sign on my ass?" They really go out of their way — they lay on the ground to take photos. I have friends who are actresses and they look nothing like that. And you can have a picture one day taken — I'm not talking with makeup or without makeup — who gives a sh_t? Oh, they don't look like that. It's sort of an evil game.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do they dog you? Do they sit in the bushes and wait for you? What's the story with this dog and pony show?
ALLEY: Since we announced "Fat Actress" they have been on me 10-12 hours a day every, single day.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do they know where you live?
VAN SUSTEREN: You walk out the door and there are the tabloids?
ALLEY: There are six cars.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you walked outside FOX News did you expect to see anybody?
ALLEY: Oh, they're out there. They just followed me in.
VAN SUSTEREN: They did? Did you talk to them?
ALLEY: Are you kidding? They all act friendly. They say, "Kirstie, gimme a shot, gimme a shot!" You know, it's like Saddam Hussein going, "Kirstie, Kirstie! Remember me? You love me, don't you?" You want to go pooooom! But, you know, we can't use weapons. I wish we could.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, you wrote your book. It was your first experience writing. You liked it?
ALLEY: I loved it. I had fun. I am not a solitary person. I like being with groups of people. I sort of had to go sit over here where there weren't people around me and write this. And is was so animated when you really start thinking about the past and about stupid things that happened in your life. It's very animated you know. It was very fun for me. I can't wait to write another one. I had a great time.
VAN SUSTEREN: Seven shows are in the can. What is the sort of run on these shows? Indefinite? Do you expect to do seven more? Twenty-one more?
ALLEY: I hope so. I hope to do a billion more of them. You know my partner and I foresee sort of arcs the first seven was the fat thing. If that's all there was, the jokes would be over soon. So we see the next arc as something else. Seriously, the next arc, I want to be promiscuity.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you go to the set of these things, they are not scripted?
ALLEY: No. There is a tight outline. You know what is going to happen in this story. You know where we're leading. Like in the first episode I am in bed with Mark Curry and he's saying all these things to me: "L.A. face — Oakland booty. What's in 'Veronica's Closet'? Look at all those groceries back there." He's making all that junk up. None of that's written.
VAN SUSTEREN: You've done drama — you've done all sorts of things in your career. Is it harder to do comedy?
ALLEY: I think it's harder to be successful at comedy. I don't think it's particularly hard to get someone to cry. I think it's very hard to get someone to laugh.
VAN SUSTEREN: What if you're not in the mood to be funny?
ALLEY: Too bad. It's the job.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you can still be funny even if you don't feel like being funny?
ALLEY: Yeah, you have to be able to be. But most of the time I feel like being funny. You know, it's my purpose. My goal is not to be dramatic and make people weep and feel sorry for themselves. My goal has always been to make people step outside of themselves and see how stupid they are acting. And maybe laugh for 30 or 40 minutes.
VAN SUSTEREN: It seems fun?
ALLEY: I am having so much fun. It is totally liberating. I mean right now, if you could take off your jacket, mess up your hair, have no makeup on.
VAN SUSTEREN: Most people think I look like that anyway when I'm not. So I don't think that would be a huge change.
ALLEY: Then you can do whatever your idea of sort of liberated physicality. That's what this feels like. It's freeing. I don't know how else to put it.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you're at the top of your game?
ALLEY: I am and you know it amazes me because I thought the top of my game was the end of "Cheers." I thought I was at the top. Then I had another top that I thought was the top. Then I thought, "Wow, I've never been this happy creating something." I mean, isn't that the goal? To be working in something that you love and be happy while doing it? I feel really lucky that I and others have helped me create that.
VAN SUSTEREN: You have a hit show, brand new book. Looks like everything is terrific. Good luck and congratulations.
ALLEY: Thank you.
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