From seemingly out of nowhere, Lynda Carter, known best for her ’70s role as Wonder Woman, turned up this week in Atlantic City to begin a three-week concert run at Harrah’s. I caught up with her this morning to discuss nude scenes,
boozing, this so-called "Wonder Woman" Sarah Palin, and, oh yeah, music …
Some of my readers might be surprised to learn that not only can you look really good in a sparkly red-white-and-blue suit, but you can also sing. How’d you get your start?
I had my first singing appearance on TV when I was six years old. I always sang. In everything. I just loved it. As a small child, if you have a gift, people react to it, and you do it more.
What can people expect from the new show? Is it a cabaret? American songbook?
No, I’ve done cabaret in the small venues. Harrah’s is a 1,200-seat house, so it’s a little difficult to call it a cabaret. And songbook sort of smacks of a particular genre. I can’t really say that I’ve got a genre. What I enjoy the most is the dirty blues. But every song I do is specific to me. I pick a song because I like it.
Some years ago, you came forward and revealed that you are an alcoholic. Do you worry about some of the young women in the limelight today who have their own struggles?
As far as Britney and Lindsay Lohan are concerned, I have a different point of view than you typically hear. What’s happening to them is what’s happening in your own backyard. In every high school. In some elementary schools. Every college. Every single one of them. And these women are more isolated than your children are. But they’re under a microscope. But the same thing is happening everywhere. Some people get tripped up by it. Some don’t. Some of it’s bad parenting. Some genetics. But everybody drinks for the same reason. You want a buzz.
How do you get a buzz now?
Ooh baby! I’m singing again. Last night I looked up and felt the lights. And felt the audience, and it just gave me such a thrill. There’s a connection, sharing moments with a group of people that will never happen again the same way.
When I Googled you, I found some nude images, some clearly faked but some that looked real, and I know you did once do a nude scene in a movie. How do you feel now, at 57, having your breasts bared all over the Internet?
I wish I had that body. It’s the most uncomfortable thing a person could do. It’s a zillion years ago. And it is what it is. I don’t apologize for it. I don’t justify it. Do I wish I hadn’t done it? Well, I think so. But the rebel in me, I still have the rebel in me. It manifests itself in lots of ways when you are young.
Okay, last question. I’m sure you’ve seen all the comparisons in the media and among Republicans of Sarah Palin to Wonder Woman. How do you feel about that?
Don’t get me started. She’s the anti-Wonder Woman. She’s judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they’ve got to live their lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness … that’s just not what Wonder Woman is about. Hillary Clinton is a lot more like Wonder Woman than Mrs. Palin. She did it all, didn’t she?
No one has the right to dictate, particularly in this country, to force your own personal views upon the populace — religious views. I think that is suppressive, oppressive, and anti-American. We are the loyal opposition. That’s the whole point of this country: freedom of speech, personal rights, personal freedom. Nor would Wonder Woman be the person to tell people how to live their lives. Worry about your own life! Worry about your own family! Don’t be telling me what I want to do with mine.
I like John McCain. But this woman — it’s anathema to me what she stands for. I think America should be very afraid. Very afraid. Separation of church and state is the one thing the creators of the Constitution did agree on — that it wasn’t to be a religious government. People should feel free to speak their minds about religion but not dictate it or put it into law.
What I don’t understand, honestly, is how anyone can even begin to say they know the mind of God. Who do they think they are? I think that’s ridiculous. I know what God is in my life. Now I am sure that she’s not all just that. But it’s enough to me. It’s enough for me to have a visceral reaction. And it makes me mad.
People need to speak up. Doesn’t mean that I’m godless. Doesn’t mean that I am a murderer. What I hate is this demonization of everybody but one position. You’re un-American because you’re against the war. It’s such bullshit. Fear. It’s really such a finite way of thinking about God to think that your measley little mind can know the mind of God. It’s a very little God that way. I think that God’s bigger. I don’t presume to know his mind. Or her mind.