Traci Lords doesn’t talk a lot about her past, but she makes allusions— especially when referring to Vancouver, her new home. “I’ve never seen so many junkies and messed up girls,” says Lords, 32. “It’s so sad. I’ve been there, done that and made it out. Now, it’s a personal mission for me to help.” The former adult-movie star, who began that career at age 15, says she plans to work with girls who have been lured into prostitution and drugs. And Lords knows she’s a good model for turning one’s life around.
Gone is the buxom blond look. Lords recendy reverted to her natural red hair colour and cuts a muscular figure with a personality that is a mixture of charm and self-confidence. “I’m ready to conquer the world now,” she says. “I spent my 20s trying to prove to the world that
I wasn’t really who they thought I was. At 30,1 feel terribly self-possessed.”
More than a decade after her last pornographic film role, Lords is now considered a respectable actress. When Martin Scorsese was casting the female lead for his 1995 movie Casino, it came down to Lords and Sharon Stone. The part eventually went to Stone, who received an Oscar nomination for her performance.
Although she does the occasional film role, Lords is currently regarded as a television sci-fi heroine. She starred on NBC’s Profiler for two seasons and this year joins the cast of First Wave, which airs on Space: The Imagination Station in Canada, as Jordan Radcliffe. “She’s Laura Croft meets Linda Hamilton,” she says of her character, “with some Traci Lords in there somewhere.”
Kotto’s new ride
When Yaphet Kotto speaks of Virgin Mary sightings, he can appear very convincing—an impression enhanced by his imposing six-foot, five-inch presence. Recently, the 62-year-old American actor and his wife built a house in Marmora, Ont. near a farm famous for spiritual occurrences. Despite his better judgment, Kotto is now a believer. Once, Kotto says, he saw the sun come whipping down from the sky as if it was the end of the world. “I’m a Jew, I didn’t expect to be caught up in any of this.” says Kotto. “But that backed me right up.”
Kotto moved his family to Canada in 1993, believing it was a safer place to raise his children. An actor for more than 30 years, he is best known for
playing Lieut. Al Giardello on the critically acclaimed television series Homicide: Life on the Street. Kotto’s new project is a
Canadian TV movie about taxi drivers called The
Ride—it airs on Showcase on Aug. 27. Kotto says the show’s portrayal of vulnerable men drew him to the project—his
character is a boxer-turned-cabbie batding a psychological disorder. “My character is weak,” he says. “I doubt whether I could play a part like this on American TV.” But as he discovered in Marmora, in Canada anything is possible.
Folk-rocking teenage twins
Twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin are musicians with a unique folk-rock style, to which they came by a circuitous route. They started piano lessons at age eight, and took up guitar in a conscious rebellion against classical music. At 15, they had their own punk band, however when they were unable
to pay to repair a broken amplifier, Sara resorted to an acoustic guitar—and the sisters’ current sound was born.
The Vancouver-based 19-year-olds have released two albums—the second on Neil Young’s California-based Vapor Records. They are now touring North America with Young and The Pretenders, promoting
their latest CD, This Business of Art.
Yet the girls are not completely caught up in living out the rock n
roll fantasy. “It’s hard relating to people who have spent their whole lives wishing for this, because I didn’t,” Sara says. “I’m really happy to have it, but it’s not the only thing I hope I do.”
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