QA: Suzanne Somers glad her sex symbol status was short-lived, glad she made up with Joyce DeWitt
Bestselling author Suzanne Somers' new cookbook, "The Sexy Forever Recipe Bible", serves up more than 400 recipes she says are delicious, healthy and are speciallyl designed to detox your system and lose those love handles.
Somers' big break was as the mysterious blonde driving around in a white Thunderbird in ‘American Graffiti.’ She then became a national sex symbol as the daffy Chrissy on ‘Three’s Company.’ After her abrupt firing, Somers reinvented herself as a health advocate, and has written over 20 bestsellers.
FOX411: You seem like quite an accomplished cook.
Suzanne Somers: I was actually going to be a chef before I got sidetracked. I used to make deserts for restaurants as a young teenage mother to make money. This is my 21st book, nine or ten of them have been cookbooks, and the rest have been about health and the human condition.
What I understand about health and the human condition is we’re eating chemicals; the downfall of humanity and what we don’t understand in this country is the insulin trigger. If you add carbs to a meal it triggers the insulin response and now all the food you eat is accepted by the body as sugar and it stores as fat because insulin is a fat storing hormone, that’s why people are gaining weight. It’s not the fat that’s making you fat, it’s not understanding separating carbohydrates from protein and fat.
FOX411: But Italians aren’t obese and they have pasta....
The Europeans are an older society. French people aren’t afraid of butter and cheese and they’re not fat and they’re not loading up on carbs. When you retrain your metabolism you can start adding some carbs with your meals. When you want to lose the weight you have to go cold turkey.
FOX411: Food and obesity have become very important issues.
Somers: Everybody focused on terrorism and rightly so, but over here there are a few of us lone voices saying wait a minute, do you understand that the real terrorism is from within? They have hijacked our food. Ninety-one percent of our soy and corn in this country is genetically modified. Food is sprayed with poison. We stopped cleaning our houses with lemon water and vinegar like our mothers did and we clean with chemicals. We’re breathing chemicals and then everyone wonders why cancer is the biggest killer.
It’s a serious problem; it’s what will do us in. I think we’re going to reach a point where there is so much sickness and so much death in younger and younger people that finally people will say, ‘Wait a minute.’
FOX411:You have an empire. You so easily could have become a "where are they now" subject.
Somers: I understood something way back when I was on ‘Three’s Company.’ When I got the part I was flat broke, I was so happy to get the part but I kept thinking, ugh dumb blondes are so irritating, how do I make her likable? I think that I achieved that. It took a while for people to realize I was acting.
I was fired when my contract was up because I asked them to pay me what they were paying the men on lesser shows than mine. I was on the number one show and they were all making a lot more than me and they decided to sacrifice me to make an example. I remember Roseanne said to me, ‘The reason I’m getting $700,000 a week is because of you,’ and I thought, I guess somebody’s got to be the patsy.
But I believe in the perfection of the universe. Had I been given that raise I would have stayed on that show forever. I had to scramble, I had to start all over again in an industry that ostracized me because I was labeled trouble, which I really wasn’t. I used my fame to go into the nightclub business and during the day I had nothing to do and that’s when I started writing books and the combination of writing the books and the experience I was getting in front of live audiences has all led to this kind of perfect storm where my career has been reinvented as a lecturer, health advocate and provided me an opportunity to absolutely enjoy acting.
If I was still doing sitcoms I’d be worried about my looks. Now I can make aging aspirational. Women can look at me and say, ‘What are you doing?’ and that’s essentially what I’m talking about. What I’m trying to explain to women my age, I’m 65, avoid pharmaceutical drugs unless absolutely necessary, replace your hormones with natural bio-identical hormones. If you’re not all pilled up you’re able to age well and access your wisdom and perspective.
FOX411: It’s hard for regular women to age. What's it like when you’ve been a sex symbol?
Somers: I like the way I look, I like the way I’m aging. Yeah I have wrinkles but I’m taking hormones which greatly lessen wrinkles. We can age differently now. It’s a very sexy time of life. I don’t look at young people with any kind of envy.
In that part of the business being a sex symbol has a short shelf life so you better not make your whole identity based on your looks. What I’ve been able to achieve is a complete reinvention where age is not an issue.
FOX411: When you were fired did the feminist movement back you up?
Somers: No the feminists had defined me as an irrelevant sex symbol and so they never backed me up. I went in, asked for what I thought I rightly deserved, and still do, and they fired me on the spot, no negotiations. It wouldn’t happen now. All these years later I still think, what did I do so wrong that I deserved to be fired? I was never late, I brought ratings to the show, I was responsible in some part, maybe a large part, for its success.
FOX411: You recently reunited with Joyce Dewitt in an interview on your website, www.suzannesomers.com. You hadn’t talked in 30 years.
Somers: When I was fired the producers created a sense of mob fury, you were either for me or with them, so everybody went with them. It created this hostile, negative environment towards me. Over the years all of them said terrible things about me. It made me angry and I really never wanted to talk to her again. So when this idea to interview Joyce came up I said, "I have no desire to ever talk to her again," and then I thought, what a great opportunity for a resolution. I can take another little bit of ick off the list. It was quite an emotional episode.