Joanie's Second Playboy Chat
moderator Hello and welcome to tonight's chat with the amazing Joanie Laurer. Joanie's been busy promoting her Playboy pictorial, pursuing acting and running her own website, www.bodybyjoanie.com. We're pleased to have her here. Get your questions in now! Welcome Joanie!
rowndrick Hello from Argentina!
guest15 Hey Joanie, Larry from Cincinnati, Ohio. I just want to say hi. I want to know what are your plans for the future?
joanielaurer Film, television, future fitness videos, a Playboy documentary, which is the first documentary that Playboy has ever done, covering behind the scenes of the Playboy shoot and my transition from the wrestling world to the Hollywood world. And who knows? Maybe a Vegas show in between. Never say never with me. Do you have any suggestions?
guest36 Ain't life grand when you can buff up and make a mint?
joanielaurer Yes, absolutely! It's a buck per pound. [Laughs]
petersean What are your stay-in-shape secrets?
joanielaurer It's really no secret. I think it's even more mental than it is physical because it's having a dedication to live a lifestyle of fitness. Once you have the basics, you go from there. So I really try to teach people moderation, which is something that is very difficult in our society today. But anybody can do it, and that's why I continually go out there and promote. Everything I've done so far has gone back to my roots in fitness. That's what's made me succeed in everything I've done.
guest15 Hey Joanie, who has been the biggest influence on your career?
joanielaurer I didn't have an influence on my career. I pretty much pushed everything myself. I had role models when I was younger like Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman. I closely relate my career to Arnold Schwarzenegger because he came from another country, didn't speak English well, had a strange physique and wasn't a good actor, frankly. But people love him because he's a caricature, so to speak. And he has become a beloved star of our generation. So I certainly look to him as somebody who sticks out and can do it. Someone who's gone against all odds to be who he is.
guest15 Hey Joanie, I just want to say I love your second Playboy pictorial. You look awesome.
joanielaurer Thank you! I loved the second one, too, because I thought the first one was more traditional and made me feel tremendously beautiful, sexual, and Playboy is known for photographing the most beautiful women in the world. So even just to be on the cover of the mag was tremendous. The second time around I was able to have a little bit more fun, and it was that much more special because my name was on the cover, so I was really standing on my own two feet on this one, without the backing of a billion-dollar company. So it's scary because I don't know if it'll sell, however, I am prouder of it. I think it's a great piece. It's different, it's fun. It's very fantasy.
guest15 Hey Joanie, are you going to different places to promote the pictorial? joanielaurer Right now I'm in one of the best places I've ever traveled to. I'm in Montreal. I'm in a hotel called the Auberge du Vieux-Port. It reminds me of a quiet place on the harbor where somebody would go for their honeymoon. And the men are so chivalrous here, they've been kissing my hand, they sent flowers to my room. Everything's pine and wood with beautiful tapestry curtains. I just feel like a queen being here with Playboy, riding around in a limo, doing all the media. It really feels like I'm in a foreign country and of course, I love that. So yes, I'm traveling. I would love to be able to travel to many other countries with Playboy. The circulation simply is not there yet. I would hope that if they were to send anybody overseas or to South America that I'd be the one they'd send.
charlieg_ How is the website going? I was looking at it earlier and admiring all the photos. Do you have a particular photo that you like on your website?
joanielaurer The website, bodybyjoanie.com, has risen substantially in the last few weeks. I've been really trying to heavily promote it, and it's been very helpful with Playboy out there. It's my direct link to all of my fans. I was never a computer person before. I didn't even use email. Then when I left wrestling, I figured it was really important to have a site so my fans could track everything I was doing. It's impossible to go out and promote every single project I'm doing. I wanted to be able to interact with them, and the website was the only way. Now that I have it, it's growing rapidly and I really enjoy it. I'm the email queen now! [Laughs] The favorite picture of mine would be the cover. However, I'll be adding new pictures very soon because as a lot of people may not know, I did the cover with my black hair because I wanted people to recognize me, and I wanted to have it as a collector's item. But I have since taken all the black out of my hair and am now back to my natural color, which is blonde. I'll be adding new photos to the site soon so people can see my new look.
guest77 I'm glad to see you out there actively promoting yourself and getting as much attention as you would in the WWF. By the way, the WWF sucks without you. I think your website is really cool. Keep up the good work.
joanielaurer I'm amazed at the positive response that I've had after leaving the WWF. I believe that a reason that I was a success there is the same reason why I'm moving forward now. I wanted to be in movies and TV before I ever even started in wrestling. It just happened that I fell in love with wrestling in the meantime, and it was an opportunity I took full advantage of from a personal and business perspective. I gained a lot of knowledge from being in front of a camera, athletically. I made many, many friends I'll have for a lifetime. Indicative of my own personality, I moved on from that and continue forward personally, professionally and financially. Many fans have said it's not the same without me there, that there's a void. I have to say I agree. I do miss being Chyna. It was a very special part of my life. I think the product overall is a little different now as it is with wrestling since it's a cyclical business.
guest31 Have you been offered the role of Wonder Woman yet?
joanielaurer I have not been offered the role. Negatively, I'd like to say that I don't think I will be offered the role. As much as I think I'm a shoe-in for it, I'd be the only one to really go out there and be the new one of the millennium. It's a hard transition to move to Hollywood. It's hard to convince them I'm an actress, and it's difficult for them to take a chance on me. They'd want to go with a known name, like Sandra Bullock or Jennifer Love Hewitt for Wonder Woman. It makes me mad. I feel I've already proven myself. A lot of people don't understand the wrestling world and don't get it. That's OK, I might not get it, maybe I will, but if I don't, I'll get Bionic Woman. If I don't get that, then the female Terminator 3. Those are the roles I'd love to do. My aim isn't to win an Academy Award. My goal is to entertain people in the same fashion I did in wrestling. But I want to take that into feature films because I don't feel there are credible female women who I really could believe fight Arnold and believe it.
guest70 Hey Joanie, what do you think is your sexiest body part? joanielaurer I think even after all the work I've done on my arms and legs, I still have to say the typically feminine body parts, which are my eyes, my small waist and my feet. Those are the things I get the most comments on.
guest49 Being as busy as you are, how do you find time to keep in shape?
joanielaurer Sometimes I can't work out at all. This week I haven't worked out once because I've been starting at six a.m. and working sometimes till two a.m. I know that as I said before, fitness is a lifestyle, so even though I can't work out this week, I know that next week I'll go back to my same routine, get in there four or five days a week and work out very intensely for an hour at a time. And sometimes when I'm traveling I'll do push-ups or sit-ups, or the real "Rocky"-type of exercises that you can do anywhere. And I believe that you have to give yourself a break and not be obsessive about it because it's never going away unless you quit. So if you can't do it on a particular day or week, you'll always find time in the future. So I know I'll be working out when I'm 80.
gmarron1 Hi Joanie from Davis, California. Which Playmates are you very good friends with?
joanielaurer I'm not really good friends with any of the Playmates, simply because I don't know them very well. I have spent quite a bit of time with Stephanie Heinrich, who is one of Hef's girlfriends right now. All the girls are so adorably cute and beautiful. Most are big fans of mine. Because I live in the LA area, I do run into them at parties or when I'm out clubbing or something. They are lots of fun, all of them. It's true that when they say you are a Playmate, there's something special about you, not just looks. But Stephanie would be the one I'm closest with.
guest15 Hi Joanie, what was it like being on Fear Factor?
joanielaurer It was a horrible experience. [Laughs] But I loved it at the same time. We did it for charity, so that's the only reason I did it. If they'd asked me to do it for fun or paid me money, I wouldn't have done it because I've already proved I've got guts. The only reason I did it was for charity. I'd never watched the show before so I didn't know what to expect. I thought it'd be a physical activity like me playing tug of war with six guys on the end. But then I found out it was just a matter of guts. When I did the show, the same things that were scary to me were scary for normal people, and it put me on the same field as everyone else. The worst experience was with the king of scorpions, especially the one that took a nap on my face. Now I have dreams of giant scorpions attacking me at night. I'm so proud I made it through, even though I didn't win.
guest15 Hey Joanie, are you going to be coming out with another book?
joanielaurer I am in the process of writing another book. It will be a motivational book, still telling the story of my transition from wrestling into Hollywood. About my personal relationship and moving forward. About the new experiences I'm having in all aspects of my life. And how it feels to wipe the dust off, pick up the pieces and move on. That will be the focus of the new book. I'm trying to do it without a ghostwriter, so it may take a year to get it out there. I'm talking to HarperCollins about doing another book, yes.
guest74 You have really been an inspiration in my life, and I just want to thank you Joanie! joanielaurer Thank you!
guest15 Hey Joanie, who would you want to do a movie with?
joanielaurer As I mentioned, before I would love to do Terminator 3, that'd be a dream role. Yet, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I'd like to do Naked Gun 33 7/8 with Leslie Nielsen. I love comedy and am a total goofball. It's almost too much because I'm very slapstick and totally corny. The cornier the joke, the better. So I definitely see myself in comedy. I do have a feature film that's called Frank McKlusky, C.I., and it comes out in the spring.
guest74 What part of your career do you like the best?
joanielaurer I have to say right now that I like being on my own and making the decisions for myself. It's been a real growing process for me, and it's actually been more difficult because it's more comforting to have backup and huge promotion behind you, marketing you. I still haven't really found my new niche yet, I'm still in a transitioning process and have a whole other mountain to climb in front of me. I'm happier now just going out there. It's exciting to try something new. I look better than ever, feel better than ever and have really come into being my own person and woman. I have to say Playboy has helped me do that. It's shown all aspects of everything I wanted to be. Strong, beautiful, powerful, entertaining.
guest41 Joanie, you said you get a lot of comments on your feet. Are they ticklish at all? joanielaurer Yes, definitely! Sometimes when I get a pedicure it's hard because the lady always tickles my feet. [Laughs]
guest112 Are you still currently single or do you now have a new boyfriend, if I may ask? joanielaurer I'm newly single, after dating one of the other wrestlers for five years. I've been single since May, really. Now I'm dating myself and it seems to be one of the best relationships I've ever been in, so far. [Laughs] I'm definitely open to dating and have been dating a few men, but I'm definitely more aware of what I want, so I'm not apt to just settle down with anyone right now. It's going to have to be someone very special.
guest112 Have you seen any of your WWF friends since you left?
joanielaurer Absolutely. I spent six years developing friendships and some of those people will be friends for a lifetime, such as Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Kip Sopp who is Billy Gunn, Kevin Nash, Randy Savage. These are the people that I've matured with over six years of my life. I just move on businesswise, but personal relationships will stay in my life forever, hopefully. The guys very much support me not only in wrestling but they support my big move forward. They think it's great and it's good for everybody that I can move forward positively. It's something nobody's done from the WWF. They are all watching me every day, I've had many of them call me and tell me how beautiful Playboy was, and when they pass through LA, I have to sign copies of it for them.
guest27 Do you ever think you'll go back to wrestling in some capacity? Maybe guest announcer or guest referee?
joanielaurer It wouldn't be full-time because if I wanted to be there, I would still be there. It's kind of an all-or-nothing business, which is why I had to make a very difficult decision to leave. I couldn't have my cake and eat it too. The decision was long-term. I had to choose for the next five years of my life, and that's a long time. Probably the best years of my life, the next five years ahead of me. However, I love what I did and I still love wrestling and I would never pass up the opportunity if it were offered to me to go back for a onetime Wrestlemania or maybe a pay per view, like Jesse Ventura. This time going back as a superstar.
guest58 Have you ever met Lucy Lawless? Everyone I know said you look alike. She played in the show Xena.
joanielaurer I've never met her, I've only seen her on TV. I think that she's beautiful, and I think that she's portrayed a great image on TV as I did in wrestling. It's too bad that she's off TV because we would've been the best TV battle ever.
guest107 In Frank McKlusky, what was it like working with Dolly Parton?
joanielaurer I never actually got to meet her. We were on totally separate schedules. I wanted to meet her so bad because I think she's so funny and just everytime we see her she's fun-loving and looks like a million bucks. I don't even know how old she is, but damn, she looks good! I know her scenes are going to be very funny. There was a newspaper article written up here in Canada about the movie. They were making jokes about Joanie and Dolly's boobs -- from there you can make your own jokes. I thought it was so funny!
guest74 Happy early birthday, Joanie!! December 27th!
joanielaurer Thank you!
guest83 Joanie, I'd love to say I'm a huge fan but my husband has me beat. We've both said you're an excellent role model for young women, and we look forward to your next project. guest17 Just wanted to tell you that I think you are the hottest woman period, and I have admired you from the first time I saw you on WWF. You are my dream woman.
joanielaurer How nice! Thank you!
guest123 Joanie, would you be guest on Roger Corman's Black Scorpion TV series? joanielaurer [Laughs] As long as I don't have to eat the scorpions. Although for some reason I now have an aversion to the word "scorpion"!
guest29 If a man lifts beer with one hand and Playboy issues you've been in in the other...can he get in good shape?
joanielaurer [Laughs] Good try, but no cigar! You have to hold the beer and the Playboy magazine in one hand and lift me up with the other! [Laughs]
guest8 Did you like being on Howard Stern?
joanielaurer Yes, I actually did. I understand what Howard Stern is all about, and that it is still entertainment. I'm not the typical guest who would go on and be easily intimidated by Howard, so therefore he has to try a lot harder to make a very confident, secure woman feel insecure. I'm one of the only guests that'll go on and argue with him and not get offended. The more he badgers me and the worse he makes me sound, the more impressed people are when they meet and see me, so it actually only helps me. But I think he's very funny. It is hard when you are put on the spot like that, and you have to be a really secure person. If you aren't, he could mentally destroy you. He's a pro. That's what he's done for years and years and years. However, I can tell you off the mike, he's the biggest teddy bear and he loves me, always takes my picture with him, tells me what a great guest I am and a great sport. So yes, I play the game.
guest29 Joanie, would you date a man who doesn't maintain his body very well? If yes, would you get him in shape?
joanielaurer If he's willing to get in shape, of course. I think that some people have different things to offer at different times in their life. They may play a musical instrument or be incredibly intelligent or very funny. So I'm always willing to look at different attributes because you can always change the body.
guest8 What play did you star in?
joanielaurer It was coming up in Toronto. It was supposed to be the week of the 20th-25th. I did all the promotion for it, I studied and memorized the entire play, and then the financing didn't come through for the play. So it's indefinitely postponed. One of the lessons that I'm learning in entertainment. And instead, now I will be filming an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. So I took another job until they pay up! But I love theater. I'd love to star in a theatrical production. Was pretty disappointed.
guest29 Would you ever consider politics? Like that guy...whatshisname.... Jesse something or other?
joanielaurer No. I feel like I keep facing enough political battles, I mean that as a double entendre. But to get into the real world of politics, I'll leave that to someone more knowledgeable in that field, and I think it would be a battle that I'm not ready to face yet. guest112 Joanie, of the email you get from fans, do you ever read any of it?
joanielaurer Yes, I do read it. It's difficult for me to respond to everything, but I do respond to as many of them as I can. I want people to know that even if I can't respond, I look at that stuff every single day, and if you look on my website you'll see sometimes the emails I get are so special that I post some of them. I'd like to use some of them in my new book because I get some of the most incredible emails and mail that I've ever gotten in my life from intimate people I know. These are the people who motivate me. Sometimes it's very difficult, you feel like you're going against the world, you just want to give up and crawl into a hole. Then all of a sudden, the timing is right and I get all the support, which includes emails and letters, and it really motivates me to move on, that I've been affecting people the way I do. And they affect me. This mutual relationship I have with my fans is so very important to me, and I want you to know even if I don't respond, I'm reading every single one.
guest174 Hey Joanie, I've been a fan of yours from the beginning. You have made such a difference in my life. I'm sure you hear that all the time, though. Anyways, I wanted to ask what made you decide that you wanted to do a second pictorial with Playboy?
joanielaurer Playboy gave me an opportunity to show something different. For the men, I think that Amazonian, domineering women have been a fantasy since the beginning of time. I don't know any woman who doesn't want to feel as beautiful as they possibly can. For women out there, I think it gives them confidence and something to relate to. I felt ugly and felt I never fit the mold of what men find attractive. It affected me for most of my life. I finally looked around and saw the average woman doesn't look like the fantasy in Playboy. So even though it's entertainment for men, I wanted to show something different for the women out there. I think that's why it was such a huge seller. The reasons behind doing it a second time still are very much the same, although it was a blast to have fun, wear some crazy costume and play the role of warrior princess and mistress Joanie. And become a 165-pound sex symbol. I plan on not doing two, but three or four and continue forward with Playboy. They really stepped up to the plate and gave me an opportunity to show something different. Which I think goes beyond the pure nudity aspect of the magazine.
guest29 Would you entertain the troops in Afghanistan? I'm sure it would cheer the boys...and girls up!
joanielaurer I would love to! I wish somebody would say, "We're sending you over tomorrow." I'd go in a heartbeat. I had a gentleman write me from the Air Force, and he wasn't asking for anything in return, just wanted to tell me he's been watching my career and thought I was special. I was so touched by his letter that I went and got about 1000 pictures and I sent them to him personally and asked him to pass them out to the guys. He wrote me back, saying that he was the big superstar that day. That he got mobbed for photos and they all had my pictures hanging in their bunks. I was tickled. I felt like I did something special to make them smile. Maybe I'm not a big enough star to go over right now. I wouldn't even have to think twice, I'd just go. I don't know how I could entertain them, though. I'd have to clothesline them all if they invited me over. [Laughs]
guest15 Hi Joanie, what do you do in your free time?
joanielaurer I love to read. I love to read the trash, pure fiction. Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins. I play the cello, which is one of my deepest passions. If I could go to school full-time at Julliard or the Eastman School of Music, and just study full-time, in a second life, I'd be a concert cellist. So I do that in my spare time. My favorite pastime is to lay in my cozy bed, be lazy, do nothing and watch TV and be entertained myself. Nothing beats sleeping in and cuddling in your bed.
guest189 Hi Joanie, I have been a fan of yours since you entered the WWF, and I think you are the greatest person in the world. You are my hero and I look up to you. I just want to know -- are you comfortable doing the Playboy issue?
joanielaurer Very comfortable. At first it made me feel insecure because I knew the most beautiful women in the world had posed, the biggest celebs, the biggest scandals. I felt like a fish out of water. I felt that is also what made it feel distinctive, it also made me feel insecure. I didn't know how people were going to react. It was based on reaction rather than my issue with nudity. It wasn't a sexual thing for me, it wasn't about the boobs for me, it was about showing my body in the most positive and beautiful light. It was a dream for me because I felt I'd never be someone in the pages of a Playboy magazine. As far as feeling comfortable on set, once you begin, it's a little nerve-wracking. Sometimes you are shooting 12 to 13 hours a day. It's painful to stand in one position, hold a heavy sword up for hours on end. It's tough work. The last thing people are thinking about are your boobs sticking out.
guest29 Joanie, do you have any pets? Do you approve of PETA?
joanielaurer I own a mink coat. It was the first present I bought for myself when I did do Playboy, actually. I think that people take PETA too far. I feel there are a lot of celebs that could do something other than PETA. I'm not for beating seals over the head or intense cruelty to animals. I have two dogs that are a part of my family and I love them dearly. But I think that eating meat and wearing leather clothing, it's part of life and a part of our society. I think as much compassion that we can have, I think that's great, but otherwise I think it's almost a lost cause. I feel we could do more by feeding hungry or homeless people. PETA gets a lot of attention, so I'm not anti-PETA, I'm just pro-cancer research. I'm more pro-human, if that makes sense.
guest109 Joanie, do you think you will ever have kids?
joanielaurer I don't need kids to complete my life right now. However, if I meet the man of my dreams and I end up getting married and I have a very healthy relationship and my husband and I decide to move on to the next phase and have children, I hope that someday I'll get there. But if I don't, then I don't want that. I want everything to fall into place and I want to do it the right way. So hopefully yes, that'll be part of my future, but it's very difficult for me to see that right now because I'm not involved or married, I'm very focused on my career. I see that maybe five, eight or 10 years down the road.
guest74 Do you get mad or upset if fans still call you Chyna?
joanielaurer It is bothersome to me because my name isn't Chyna, it's Joanie. However, I realize that it's going to take some time because for six years the name of Chyna was fed on a promotional level nonstop. Everything I did was under the name of Chyna, unbeknownst to people that that wasn't my decision. Joanie didn't run the vehicle, Chyna did. I certainly appreciate now that people acknowledge my name. I think that's one of the reasons I chose to live on, I didn't want to live behind the character for the rest of my life. However, I don't really care what people call me on one hand, as long as they want to see me and I can entertain them. Legally I do not own the name and they are very adamant about me not using it, so it works out for us both.
guest193 What turns you on?
joanielaurer I love a man's hands, physically. I love chivalry and romance. I love humor. Sexually, I would like a man that takes his time with a woman and likes to make love. And likes to ingest every part of the woman. I'm a very monogamous person and a very loyal person, and when you have that feeling with a man it's a turn-on knowing that man is completely into you and no one else. It goes way beyond looks with those qualities. guest162 Joanie, I was curious to know if you like motorcycles? I think you'd look GREAT on a cruiser!
joanielaurer Yes, but I would have to ride on one and not drive one and that would be safe for everybody around me! [Laughs]
guest169 What was the most embarrassing moment you ever had?
joanielaurer Losing a piece of clothing while I was wrestling in front of 50,000 people. It happened over and over. It started to become a pay-per-view tradition. It's ironic that I could pose for Playboy and have no inhibitions, but if my pants came unzipped in front of a live crowd where I was performing an athletic activity, it was completely embarrassing.
guest182 What is your favorite meal?
joanielaurer A salad appetizer, a delicious salad. A filet mignon, because I like very lean beef. New York cheesecake and a delicious glass of red French wine.
guest58 Goodbye, love you so much.
guest112 Goodbye Joanie, and thanks for your time. xxxxxxxxx
guest15 Hey Joanie, I just want to say thanks for being here tonight, you were great in the WWF. Goodbye from Larry, Cincinnati, Ohio.
guest29 Joanie, it was soooo much fun chatting with you...BTW, could you wrestle me to the ground?
guest61 I just wanted to thank you Joanie for sharing this time with us.
guest169 Joanie, I want to say goodbye and take care, I wish you all the best in your future and I will always support you in whatever you do with your life!
guest171 I'm funny...marry me.
guest58 Love you, love you.
joanielaurer The hour went by way too fast! Hopefully all of my fans around the world know how much I love them and how much their support has meant to me. I hope that you continue forward with me in my journey.
guest196 Joanie...have a great Christmas and come to Georgia on your trips around the states.... We love you....
joanielaurer It's been fun! Happy holidays and I love you all!
guest70 Bye Joanie, love ya.
guest107 I just want to say thank you for everything you've done, it's helped me more than you will ever know and until we talk again, thank you and goodbye. Lots of love in Philly. Bye Joanie.
guest58 You are my hero -- all of my friends call me Little Chyna.
guest31 Looking forward to seeing you in Washington on the 27th. Hope to get there. guest169 Come to Ireland too. Merry Christmas babe.
guest163 We love you, come to Missouri.
guest70 Thanks for your time, you are my hero.
guest58 It was nice to meet you last week and talking to you now. Love you.
guest41 See ya, Joanie! I love your feet!
guest74 Thanks for answering my questions. I can't wait to meet you, hopefully someday my dream will come true.
guest109 Joanie, thank you so much. You have changed my life. I love you. You mean so much to me. I hope someday you get back to the WWF and you and HHH get back together, too. I love you. Bye.
This is the transcript from her website:
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Joanie Laurer, the lady formerly known as Chyna. She played that character for the World Wrestling Federation. She wrote a "New York Times" bestseller called, "If They Only Knew." She has departed from World Wrestling Federation. There you see the cover of the book. And we will find out why. But for the benefit of those uninitiated, let's watch a little of the former wrestler known as Chyna doing her thing. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, WWF WRESTLING)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to burn those (UNINTELLIGIBLE) .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is what we saw, and...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't want to have any part of (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best selling issue ever in the history of "Playboy" magazine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You like hitting men? Is that is it?
JOANIE LAURER, FORMERLY "CHYNA" FOR WWF: I like playing the character of Chyna where I hit men and it was kind of the great equalizer, and when I see that, Larry I actually giggle a little bit.
LAURER: It is just meat to me to have been able to go out and make my mark, in what I always consider to mostly always be a male fraternity, and you know, I think that I took a character and because of my athletic ability, and love of entertainment I put the two together, and Chyna became a household name.
KING: Who picked the name?
LAURER: They did. It was just a character name.
KING: Do you know why particularly Chyna with a "y"?
LAURER: No I don't.
KING: Did you like it right away?
LAURER: I loved it.
KING: What gave you the idea to even go to the WWF?
LAURER: Well, Larry I was, as I say, I have always been athletic. I have been an athlete from the age of 15, 16, years old. I did every type of intramural could you imagine, very active throughout my college sports life. And I also happened to be an entertainer from time I was little. I danced on my toes, played a musical instrument and I love acting and all the flash, the hair, and the makeup and the costumes. And you put the two together, and I got wrestling.
KING: And you went to them?
LAURER: Yes I did.
KING: They bought it right away? The liked it right away?
LAURER: No, they didn't actually. I actually had to beg for that job. I faxed them my picture every day, and showed up at all the shows, and basically wouldn't take no for an answer.
KING: Why, then, did you leave? You had it all. You were top draw for them. Your cover of "Playboy" is the best-selling issue ever in magazine's history and that magazine has had an illustrious history, then you leave. What happened?
LAURER: Well, there are many reasons. One is the reality of it is that I didn't leave. I was released from my contract.
LAURER: Well my contract was up for renewal, and we just couldn't come to terms. And I feel that...
KING: Just purely financial is why you left?
LAURER: I don't think it's purely financial. I think there were many reasons. One of them is that Vince McMahon had just purchased WCW, kind of monopolizing the sports entertainment industry, and I was really their first big star coming up for renewal, and the contract which I was offered didn't allow me (a) to take advantage of all the opportunity that was coming my way.
KING: You couldn't do other things?
LAURER: I couldn't do other things. (b) I would have gone backwards financially, and (c) I have really milked that cow, and I wasn't going to move up, be the world champion, and I felt like I would have gone backwards to my career, and I don't want to do that to myself and I don't want to do that to my fans who have watched me.
KING: How about the scenario that had your co-star and boyfriend Triple H, real name Paul Levesque, leaving you for Stephanie, the daughter of Vince McMahon.
LAURER: What's the question, Larry?
KING: Is that part of this leaving process?
LAURER: Well it is true, that happened.
KING: Were you mad at that?
LAURER: Well I'm a human being. It hurt me very much. But I would like to say that I tried to be as professional as I could and didn't let that affect my decision or my negotiations with them. You know, first people come in and out of your lives, and any relationship hurts, whether you are a celebrity or not. But I had my career to take care and that is my first priority.
KING: What have you been doing?
LAURER: Well, I'm glad you asked, because, in spite of the situation, this is all been extremely positive, and I think all of this happening has really given me a big kick in the butt and I have gone out there and taken all the six years of what I have been doing, and putting that to use now.
I just signed for a play, a small theater in Toronto, it is called "My Darling Judith" which I will be doing in December. I just finished a Lion's Gate episode of "Tracker," their new syndicated show.
KING: You want to do movies, films, television?
LAURER: Absolutely and I'm doing that. And as you can see, in honor of the shirt that I'm wearing, that I assigned a new deal with "Playboy" yesterday, as a matter of fact.
KING: To do -- yesterday.
LAURER: To be the January cover girl.
KING: They are bringing you back.
KING: No hesitancy about posing nude?
LAURER: Absolutely not. I think one of the reasons why that issue was such a big seller was, one, because yes, I had a great promotion behind me and people loved the character of Chyna.
But. Larry, I had more women coming through the lines at autograph sessions, more minorities, blacks, gays, you know, all these people who I think you know really meant something for them to have somebody different take a stand and be put out there.
KING: This might seem difficult, but what do you think it is about the character? And you? That made it so appealing. Obviously, we will discuss the breast aspect and the silicone, but that can't be the only thing. What was the thing?
LAURER: I can tell you that nobody has ever come up to me and asked me where I got my breasts, but they do come up to me and ask me how long it took for me to get my physique and how hard I worked, and how they can get arms like that, and there are a lot of women out there who want to feel strength, and there are women, beautiful women of all shapes and sizes, and colors, not the stereotypical, what when think is beautiful in our society.
KING: Do you think you might represent the emerging woman?
LAURER: I think I do. I think I am the emerging woman. Maybe not the emerging woman, but an emerging woman that has had an opportunity to go out and strut her stuff.
KING: Our guest is Joanie Laurer. She formerly was the character Chyna for the World Wrestling Foundation and apparently you are going to be seeing a lot more of her including a deal just signed again with "Playboy." They are not stupid. Don't forget, it is time to log onto my "King's Quiz" at CNN.com/larryking. And we will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't like Ivory's chances here. Look at Chyna, standing six feet tall. Gosh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The end is near for Ivory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joanie Laurer, formerly known as Chyna, taking on the women. Was it fake?
LAURER: Oh, absolutely.
KING: The whole thing rehearsed.
LAURER: It is athletic theater, Larry, but I can tell you that one of the reasons why I was able to do what I did was because athletically I can handle myself.
KING: And I mean, you still had to be an athlete, right?
KING: You can get hurt.
LAURER: Of course, it is the most, we are stunt people. And I did that 300 days out of the year, and lucky for me the guys liked me that I worked with.
KING: True that you had a tough childhood? You were raped at the University of Tampa?
LAURER: Yes, you know.
KING: How did you get over that?
LAURER: I think that the book, "If They Only Knew," I think really there are so many celebrities out there and they write these autobiographies, and it is really a mask. They never allow people to really see them. And I think that by writing this book I talked about a series of events that happened in my life. Where I felt really, for many, many years, I constantly I let people do that to me.
KING: You blame yourself for your...
LAURER: I do, but I also -- I also know that that is the reason why I like myself now, and that I'm happy person, and I think all of those -- all those series of events, have led up to being a very strong woman out there. In the public eye and somebody that people can really relate to.
KING: You also had bulimia problems?
LAURER: Yes, I did which is really funny because if you look at me now you see a very strong, fit woman, but it has always been a love-hate relationship with my body.
KING: Do your parents approve of this?
LAURER: I am not even in contact with my parents. I have a sister who is my heart and soul, and you know, finally in my life for the first time a real good team around me.
KING: You had a rough time with your mother and father?
LAURER: Very much so, yes. Very dysfunctional, still dysfunctional, and like a bad marriage, I think that I have moved on from that, and...
KING: They are not proud you.
LAURER: I wouldn't even know, Larry. I would hope so.
KING: You did implants, right?
KING: And one of them burst one night during a match?
LAURER: One did.
KING: What was that like? That had to be a riot.
LAURER: It was very embarrassing. I was on 17 day tour, and one of the things that I think that people don't realize is that my unique niche that I held there, I had to go out I had to be this aggressive athlete. I had to look tough, and try and look pretty, and have makeup and hair and a little cleavage at the same time. And I say in the book that I just always had to make sure I landed boob up.
KING: This time you landed boob down?
LAURER: Yes, I did. But we are very physical. We are athletes, and -- accidents happen.
KING: Do you react to the question about steroids, have you every taken steroids?
LAURER: Absolutely not.
KING: You did this without help?
LAURER: Blood, sweat, and tears, Larry.
KING: And you wanted to be -- not manly, I don't want to say "manly," but tough, rough looking?
LAURER: No. And I don't think I'm rough looking at all. I think I am a lady with muscle. I think I display an enormous amount of femininity.
KING: Yeah, I'm not saying that, but the look is one of -- look is one of...
LAURER: The look is strength and I think to me, what is...
KING: Strength is a male word.
LAURER: Strength is a male word because I think that women are afraid to show strength because they get chastised for it, but I can tell you that there are so many women out there who have stood behind me and they love it. They want to be strong and feel that.
KING: Kansas City, Missouri, by the way, she will be on the front cover of the January "Playboy." She was on the fronts cover of "Playboy" in November 2000. That is a 13 month turn-around. Go ahead, Kansas City.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
LAURER: My name is Mary. Hi, Chyna. I'm your biggest fan and I just want to ask, are you ever going to come back to WWF? Are you intending, and if you don't, where will be your next match?
KING: How old are you?
CALLER: I am 12 years old.
KING: Twelve-year-old fan. Are you going to come back to wrestling ever?
LAURER: I would say never say never. I'm an actress, I'm a model, and I am a wrestler. Those are my roots and I loved wrestling, and when the opportunity presents itself, hopefully for, you know, one time shot maybe a Wrestlemania, or another promotion that pops up, absolutely.
KING: Joanie Laurer is not Chyna?
LAURER: Absolutely not. I think that that was one of my biggest, where we butted heads a lot, because like any other soap opera actress or anybody else that is out there in public eye, there is so much honor in Chyna, and I love playing the character, but I'm not willing to live it 24 hours a day. And I am Joanie. I'm -- you know, Vince McMahon put me up to bat and I hit the ball. And that is Joanie Laurer.
KING: Do you like him for that at least?
LAURER: I will be forever indebted to Vince for giving me an opportunity.
KING: We will be right back with some more moments with Joanie Laurer. It will not be her only visit to this program and then we will meet LeVar Burton, famed actor, literacy activist, donated a kidney to his mother. His mother will be with him. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was talking with Eddie (UNINTELLIGIBLE) back in the locker room and -- ooh -- the telephone rang and he said it was -- out there -- her autobiography is going to be out next month...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURER: These cuffs are too tight, hurting my hands.
Come on, I'm not asking you to take them off. Just loosen them a bit.
I like this! Miserable like this!
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Get her off me!
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Get her off!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joanie Laurer in "Pacific Blue." You like doing that? You like acting?
LAURER: Oh, it's so fun.
KING: Well, you've been acting. You're a wrestler.
LAURER: I have been acting, yes. Absolutely.
KING: Santa Rosa, California, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Joanie.
LAURER: Hi, there.
CALLER: I'm saddened to hear that you're leaving the WWF, but I've seen you on "Third Rock" and "Mad TV," and I was kind of wondering if you were thinking about becoming a sitcom star, or possibly, like a if a network has come to you and asked you if you wanted to do a sitcom?
LAURER: Well, I actually have been in discussions with NBC and Fox. I'm doing a couple moves of the week coming up, and I think the idea for me, I love comedy. But I also think that we could play off of my physicalitiy and give all of the fans who have been watching me six years, you know, just a different format of watching what they love to see. So the big goal for me was to take one promotion, and now that I don't have that promotion behind me, get another promotion behind me that will allow me to do that.
KING: Is there any difference in wrestling men and women?
LAURER: Very much so. The difference was is that most of the men are extremely experienced and I learned from them every day. And not only did they...
KING: Did they let men beat you?
LAURER: Sure, all the time. But they also let...
LAURER: Absolutely, but I think the most important thing that people never knew behind the scenes was that a bunch of those guys, who never wanted me there are afraid of their egos on television at first, then became my biggest allies. And it's really, you know, those guys that made me and helped me every day. And they are my most precious friends and family.
KING: Are you going with anyone? You have a boyfriend?
LAURER: I am now, currently single, but I can tell you...
KING: Were you married?
LAURER: No, I wasn't married.
KING: So you've always been single.
LAURER: Well, no, I was dating one of the wrestlers.
KING: Dating, I see. But single, I mean single versus married. You're single.
LAURER: Married by all other accounts, besides the ring.
KING: You're not involved with anyone now.
KING: Do you miss that?
LAURER: No, because I'm really having -- I'm not at a shortage of dates right now, and I'm actually having fun getting wined and dined, Larry.
KING: Bloomsbury, New Jersey, hello.
CALLER: Hello, hi, Joanie. I was wondering, my question actually is, in future if you were ever planning on having children, if you were to have a daughter -- I'm very much into weight-lifting, you're an inspiration for me, and I was wondering if you would push them to do it, or if you would be OK with that?
LAURER: Thank you, first of all. I think that I would encourage my daughter to be an individual and no matter whether she chose to lift weights, I would just hope that she wouldn't try and be as thin as she could possibly be and -- so much of this is body perception and body image, and I think we really need to be happy with ourselves. Be fit and healthy and accept who we are. That's really the bottom line.
KING: Is it true you wanted to be in the Secret Service once?
LAURER: Yes. I studied foreign language in school, Spanish literature degree, and I hoped to -- did internships with Organization of American States, USAID. And I was really heading towards government work. I just happened to land in the wrestling ring.
KING: Boy, what an agent you'd have been, huh? Who's that one up there?
LAURER: Maybe I could play on the show now, on a show.
KING: Thank you so much. We'll have you back.
LAURER: Thank you, Larry. Thank you.
KING: Thank you. Joanie Laurer, formerly known as Chyna. And don't get rough with her!
Jason: Joining us right now on the telephone is a lady who many people
remember for her days in the WWF. One of the most dominating females in the
world of professional wrestling. She went by the name of Chyna but we're
special, we get to call her by her real name. She is Joanie Laurer and she's
here with Jason & SA this morning. Joanie how are you today?
Joanie: I'm very good thank you. Thanks for having me.
Jason: We appreciate your time today. You've been very busy lately and you
know what I find funny, a lot of people when they leave the wrestling
business they kind of take it a little slow. You're the total opposite.
You've got a book out which is called "If they only knew". you've got a new
website called bodybyjoanie.com, you're going to be in Secaucus,NJ on
Saturday appearing for the Meadowlands Expo Center. How do you do all of
Joanie: Well I think when I, I wouldn't say faced with a career change
because I've been working towards the moment where I'm at right now my entire
life and throught my career with the World Wrestling Federation. I've been
working to get to this very moment where I can stand on my own 2 feet and go
out and continue to grow professionally. While I was traveling 300 days out
of the year, I was also taking my free days and going out to Hollywood and
writing books and trying to get magazines such as Playboy and trying to
really versify myself and do as many things as I possibly could, so being
busy for me is not an issue it's not letting the grass grow underneath my
feet and taking everything I've developed over the course of the last 6 years
and putting it into motion now.
Jason: You mentioned you were working 300 days a year with the World
Wrestling Federation. Now for those fans who are not familiar with the
situation, we don't want to beat a dead horse here, but you're not working
with them anymore, basically how did things end?
Joanie: Well I think what happened was my contract was coming up for renewal
in November and in the meantime Vince had purchased WCW which I really feel
puts a monopoly on the wrestling business, which changes a lot of things and
I was really the first big star to come up for renewal and I believe set an
example and we couldn't come to terms on my contract. I think that the thing
that first hit was that I was asking for this crazy amount of money and that
I was bigger than my britches and everything Vince had given me and believe
me I don't deny that, Vince McMahon gave me a huge opportunity, but as a
professional no matter what you do, whether it's wrestling, whether it's any
other athlete, whether it's what you do, my objective was not to go backwards
on my career, it was to go forward and with the offer I was getting, it meant
that I would go backwards financially and I wasn't willing to do that.
Jason: It's called bargaining power. When you deserve market value you should
be getting what you get, but when their's only 1 guy in charge it's really
hard to do that.
Joanie: Correct. It was a very amicable split and it was business and it
happens you see in sports all the time. I think the problem is for a lot of
guys there's nowhere else to go. I think Vince made me an offer that I could
refuse and I decided to like I said, I come to this point and I said, "well I
can sign for the next 5 years and go backwards, or I can really give it a
shot and go for it". I did that and I think since I've done that I've gotten
a huge amount of response. I'm very excited to move forward here. I already
am and if another wrestling gig comes up, I'll do it because I love wrestling
and I love where I come from and I will always consider myself to be a
wrestler but I gotta tell you on the other hand, it feels real good to be
able to be Joanie now and go out and do my thing.
SA: I'm glad to hear that for you Joanie and on the note of wrestling, you've
been the most successful woman in the history of wrestling in my opinion. How
does it make you feel knowing you've made a lasting impact on the profession?
Joanie: I think just as you say, anybody that's made their mark in wrestling
A) comes around full circle and B) I think that between the World Wrestling
Federation and myself, we made Chyna a household name. I think it went beyond
the world of wrestling which is allowing me to continue forward in my
profession now because I did so many things, which was my goal. I don't think
that I ever as much as I love it wanted to stay in the same position forever.
So, it feels good. I think no matter what I would do, I'm the type of woman
who likes to do it all. I like to do 50 things at one time. Sometimes I get
myself all flustered because I want to sing, I want to dance, I want to
wrestle, I want to be in movies, I want to do TV, I want to play my cello and
I guess that I would have to say that I'm real happy that I have options to
choose from rather than have only 1. It makes me feel good to know that I
started in a business where there were hardly any women. I was really the
first woman to travel on the road and become a part of the male fraternity if
you will and have those guys want me there and respect me as an athlete and
as a colleague. That's never happened before, I don't think it ever will
happen. I was the Intercontinental title holder which you know, what we do is
fake, but it gave me a position within that company. That's what that title
gave me. It told me that I have to hold my own athletically and in front of
thousands of fans, and have that be something credible and maintain an
athletic standard equivalent to that of most of the men there, so does that
make me proud? You bet it does and I think it's like Sylvester Stallone,
people know him as Rocky and I think forever and a day people will see me as
Chyna and I'll take that with me, I worked hard for that and there's honor in
SA: Now excluding yourself, what's your opinion of the women in wrestling at
this point today?
Joanie: My opinion as far as?
SA: As far as the characters, their development, such as you just mentioned
yourself being the former Intercontinental Champion. Ladies like Lita who are
getting some exposure now. What's your opinion on them and do you foresee
anything such as being Intercontinental Champion for ladies like Lita?
Joanie: No I don't. Reason being, and I like Lita very much. I think she's a
great girl and I think she'll be great for women's wrestling but I think the
one thing that was different for me was that I was blessed genetically and as
an athlete and like I said I lent that sense of credibility. Are there a lot
of 5 foot 10 180 pound females walking around out there who know how to
wrestle or are athletically inclined? Not really, truth be known. I think
that it's athletic theatre and I personally want to see Lita make a killing
in the women's division. I think she'd be great for that. You have a lot of
women in there who are really eye candy and I think that's great because I
think that's one of the wonders of wrestling that you can drink your beer and
scream and yell and watch a girl with big boobs on one hand and then watch a
girl who's a great athlete on the other hand. Do i particularly care to see
those girls wrestle? No I don't. Do I think it's fun for them to go out and
be a manager and take a bump once in a while? Sure, and if there's any more
women involved whether it be entertainment wise or athletically I think it's
good for the business. However, to me in my mind it's still a male dominated
profession and I think it always will be and for myself I like watching the
guys better too. I knew when my bread was buttered, that's why I wanted to
wrestle with the guys, if I could, because I think they're larger than life
and they're bigger and I like watching their work and their athletic bodies
and the women don't have the experience and they don't know how to wrestle as
good in my opinion.
Jason: Of all the angles you worked during your time in the WWF, which one
stood out the most for you?
Joanie: Well, I think obviously the one with Jeff Jarrett, the
Intercontinental Title Championship. I don't think that my skills were
particualrly as good as they were when I was finishing, but I think that that
was the great gender barrier match. We had a lot of fun and people were into
it. The girls were screaming on one end of the arena and the guys were
screaming on the other and we were hitting each other with toasters and I
even got a frozen fish for that match (laughs). It was just so much fun and
it's something that I gained enormous amount of respect for Jeff Jarrett
because Jeff Jarrett was a guy who had been working in that business for many
many years. His daddy worked in that business. It took a lot of guts for him
to go out there, fake or not fake, to go out there in the middle of the ring
in front of thousands of people and drop a man's title to a woman. There's a
lot of ego's that get in the way there and he did it no questions asked and
he loved it because it got him a lot of attention, it got me a lot of
attention and it's something that made history. I think that for me was
probably the most memorable.
Jason: You've made a big impact in other areas besides wrestling. As I
mentioned before, you have a book out that's has done very well in "If They
Only Knew", but one particular issue is the Playboy Magazine. It's one of the
highest selling issues of all time. When you heard the news, how did it make
you feel? Did it make you feel uncomfortable or did you expect it to do as
well as it did?
Joanie: Neither. I was not uncomfortable but I didn't expect it. First of all
I think that people are under the assumption that Playboy came knocking to
the WWF's door. They did not. I went and approached Hugh Heffner and told him
that I wanted to pose because I felt that female athlete's are beautiful. I
think we're healthy, and I think that's something we need to start portraying
out there to teenagers. I truly believe, without getting deep here that
athletics saved me from venturing maybe into a drug world or sex or identity
crisis when you're 16-17 years old and it was athletics for me. I look around
and see a lot of underfed women who I think we portray as the most beautiful
women and what we strive to look like and what we think is beautiful.
Especially in a magazine that's a premier men's magazine like Playboy. So I
said, you know what I'm just the next thing.I'm going to A) go and show these
people that I'm going to make my mark on Playboy magazine and 2) I wanted to,
you have to be really careful that when I'm on TV and 22 million people are
watching me every week with a starch look on my face, kicking guys in the
nuts (laughs), it tends to stereotype you a little bit. So I wanted to show a
part of Joanie and that was a lady with muscle and a very feminine side of
myself. You know, show some sexuality and show some femininity and that was
my goal and I give kudos to Hugh Heffner for taking a chance and look what
happened. That did surprise me, and I think no doubt it's a tribute to the
World Wrestling Federation for the extreme promotion and the vehicle that I
had behind me, but I don't think one of the other women, I think that's
proven, would've had the same success because I think there really was
meaning behind that and the majority of the the fans who came out for
signings, I'd say 40% were women. Doctors and lawyers and adult women who are
not wrestling fans but that I relate to you Joanie and we're proud of you.
SA: Not only did you change the wrestling business with your character as
Chyna, but as you mentioned you kind of changed the look of Playboy because
after you there was Gabriella Reese and now they're talking a WNBA Player
SA: Is there any future plans to do another shoot with yourself Joanie?
Joanie: We have been discussing it. I found out thru Hugh Heffner doing an
article in the NY Post saying that I was his most successful Playboy model
and now that I was not with the World Wrestling Federation, he would like to
use me more in his company in Playboy. Which I had read, somebody had faxed
it to me and I was extremely flattered and I definetly hope to do something
with Hugh Heffner in the future because I think it was monumental in my
career and I think it makes a great statement especially when you have a
certain view of what maybe nudity means or a magazine like that. I just think
it's funny that I made my mark in probably the 2 most chauvinistic things out
there - wrestling and a nude magazine (laughs). It's made the availability to
make it mean something so much more, so as long as I'm fit and healthy and
working out and proud of my body and the way I look and that I want to send a
very positive message out there, I would love to continue working with
Jason: We're speaking with Joanie Laurer formerly known as Chyna here on the
No Holds Barred radio show. Now Joanie, you have a new website out as I
mentioned earlier, bodybyjoanie.com is this going to be the new outlet for
you to keep in touch with your fans and for them to get updates on you?
Joanie: Absolutely. I have always wanted to have my own website but I
couldn't do it in my own name. So it was really a thrill for me because now I
can do whatever I want on there. I can put fitness tips and workout tips and
have my own chats and if you look on there right now there's about 38
appearances listed throughout the country.
Jason: Yeah you're booked all over the place.
Joanie: Yeah. I'm very excited and it's a way, it's another outlet for me to
stay in direct contact with my fans. That's really important to me because I
did my first appearance outside of the World Wrestling Federation last week
and I have to admit all the sudden you don't have this vehicle behind you and
it's like when Arnold left bodybuilding. I think most people forget that
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bodybuilder and that he started out in the world
of bodybuilding and he left and the bodybuilding fans were mad at him. They
said "Well, you're leaving us" and Arnold said "Well I won Mr. Olympia 8
times what else am I going to do".
SA: What's left to prove.
Joanie: He said "Be happy for me that I moved on" and now he's a $20 million
dollar per movie movie star, with still doing his bodybuilding., Arnold
Classics and what not in that world. He's one of the very few people who I
look at as a role model, who has grown tremendously and now you almost forget
that he was a bodybuilder.
SA: Now switching gears a little bit Joanie. I don't mean to switch the
subjects so fast off the website, but on to the book "If they only knew".
Now, what was the reason behind writing the book and what are some things
that fans will be surprised by in reading your book?
Joanie: Well I think the company had been doing different books and they
approached me about writing a book. A couple of years before I tried to write
my own book and again we came up with the whole issue of if it was not a
wrestling product than I could not do the book as Joanie. I had always wanted
to write an auto-biography because I felt the position that I held was very
intriguing for many people. I felt that Chyna had made her mark as a
character and I felt that it had been long in the running to get there and
stories that I felt people would really like to hear. So I decided to take
that opportunity, but I didn't write a wrestling book. The outside of the
book says Chyna but the inside of the book is all about Joanie Laurer and I
think that when you read it there's not one particular instance that you
could think of but it's just a compilation of many getting to an end result
of self acceptance, being grateful for who you are and opportunities and it's
given something I think that fans can definetly relate to and I am now in the
process of writing my second book now.
Jason: When will that be out?
Joanie: Well I don't know. I'm probably about 50 pages in and I'm talking
with Harper Collins about a release date for the new book. So you're talking
about a year down the road but it took me a year and a half to write the last
Jason: Now maybe you can help me out with this. I don't remember if I read it
in the book itself or somewhere else, but I know I saw it somewhere. It said
that at one point you were dating a member of N'Sync. Was that rumor true or
was it false?
Joanie: Well that actually was not in the book. You probably read that in
Star Magazine right after it said my boob exploded or something
Jason: So that wasn't true?
Joanie: Well I don't know if you would call them romantic dates. We have been
out before and Joey is a friend of mine. I don't know if I'm supposed to say
that because you'd think I'd pick something like AC/DC or something else. Am
I going to get beat for saying I like N'Sync?
Jason: Not at all. You know what it is though, people look at you and see
this big dominant female and then you see N'Sync and you think boy band,
younger guy and you don't put the 2 together at all.
Joanie: I know it but you know it's funny because if you met me right now,
the first thing everybody says to me is "Oh you're not so big" or "Gee you're
really pretty" or "Oh my gosh", and I think it's just so easy to see
something on TV and I think when people meet me they expect to see some 300
pound gorilla or something I don't know. But they still want to arm wrestle
me. Just to see.
Jason: They don't win though.
Jason: I've got some lighthearted stuff for you.
Jason: Who would win in a tag team match, The Backstreet Boys or N'Sync?
Jason: I realize it would probably go 60 minutes.
SA: Maybe a time limit draw in this match.
Joanie: (Laughs) N'Sync.
Jason: You've got to go with them. If you're friends with Joey you've got to
stand up for them.
Jason: Some other stuff here. This one I've always been curios about. Triple
H & Stephanie McMahon are they really an item or are they not?
Joanie: Yes they are really an item.
Jason: You know I saw Vince McMahon talking about that one time on UPN saying
they were official but you can never believe what he's saying when he's doing
interviews because he likes to twist things a lot to make you wonder. I never
knew if that really was the case. Wow, that's surprising.
Joanie: That really is the case.
Jason: Now 2 years ago at the MTV music awards you had your pants split on
stage. When it happened, what went thru your mind?
Joanie: Well first of all I'm glad they split in the front and not the back.
The night before, I have this great leather designer, her name is Carla Berle
out of New York City, an up and coming designer and she knows I like leather
a lot so she says "Joanie I'm going to make you this great outfit". There
were these little coins, a very intricate design, these pants were awesome
but I said to her when I saw them "Oh my gosh, are you sure you triple
stiched them" because their was not even room for a hair between the pants
and my leg. She said "I triple stiched them" and I said "You don't understand
if you watched every pay per view I've ever been involved in I've split a
zipper or lost some type of clothing item and it's just par for the course".
She said "No don't worry about it" and well I'm presenting that night with
Richard Hatch and I bent down to give him the low blow which was horrible and
as I bent down, bam I must have flexed my quad and the pants split open right
down the front. I was som embarassed, I didn't know what to do, so I just
posed and made a complete ass out of myself in front of millions of people.
SA: With the MTV awards, speaking of movies, have you begun working on any
film projects yet and if the Terminator 3 project happens, will you be
involved with it?
Joanie: Well yes I just finished my first feature film. It's called Frank
McCluskey C.I. It's a comedy, it's a disney movie and that will be released
in the spring. I actually also did a cameo on the N'Sync movie called "On the
L", which is not very long but the Frank McCluskey movie was a pretty good
role and lots of fun and I was very excited about that because I think my
goal from the time I was a little girl I wanted to be a movie star and then I
had embarked on my first feature film and it as pretty exciting.
Jason: What name do you have in this movie?
Joanie: My name is Frita Pain.
Jason: Frita Pain?
Joanie: Frita Pain.
Jason: We're definetly going to have to look for this one now.
Joanie: That's right. Now if Terminator 3 comes up, and it's not official but
Arnold knows that I want to do the movie. I think that it would be the most
perfect role that I possibly could think of for myself and being a huge
Arnold Scharzenegger fan and loving Conan from the moment it came out, I
would love to do it but nothing's official yet.
Jason: I'll tell you what, if that movie comes out and you & Arnold are in
it, it's going to blow up at the box office big time. You will definetly have
a lot of people going out to see that movie.
Joanie: We're going to blow it up.
Jason: As I mentioned earlier you're going to be in New Jersey tomorrow
Saturday at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus. Now what time will you
be appearing there from?
Joanie: Well I'm going to be appearing at the Meadowlands Exposition Center
from 1pm-3pm and then I am heading over to video game central in Howard
Beach,NY so I have to zip right out of there and I'll be there from
6:30pm-8:30pm so I actually have 2 appearances on Saturday.
Jason: So you're booked like crazy huh?
Joanie: I am booked like crazy.
Jason: We want to wish you the best of luck because you have really been a
pleasure to have on the show. I you keep the same work ethich that you had in
the World Wrestling Federation, I'm sure you'll go places.
Joanie: Well thank you very much and I thank you guys and for all the fans
who have been so unbelievably supportive and this is the end of Chyna but the
beginning of a whole new career and I'm very excited. Thank you very much
Jason: You're welcome.
Joanie: You have a great day.
Jason & SA: You too.
Joanie: Ok goodbye.
Still Rockin' After Leaving The WWF
Interview by Chauncé Hayden
Formally known as WWF superstar, "Chyna" Joanie Laurer, 29, is out to prove to the world that yes, there is life after wrestling. The 5'9" 165lb. dark haired phenomena has left behind the blood and sweat of the ring to pursue a career in Hollywood as an actress.
Dubbed "the Ninth Wonder of the World" Laurer has used her remarkable physique and charismatic presence to turn a life around that started out with enormous challenges and obstacles. Laurer recently reveled those challenges to the world in her best selling autobiography, "If They Only Knew."
Before the lights, cameras and million dollar contracts, Laurer began her life in Rochester, New York. There her household was filled with alcoholism and domestic disputes. To cope with the stress she sought refuge and release through body building. The rest as they say is history.
Laurer has proven that women don't have to fit traditional stereotypes to be feminine and sexy. Her video, "Chyna Fitness: More Than Beats The Eye" is still a popular rental among fitness buffs and fans alike. Laurer has also appeared on virtually every talk show and entertainment magazine show around the world. Her face has been on the cover of dozens of magazines from TV Guide to Playboy.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Laurer about her new life and also about the life she left behind.
Chauncé Hayden: You recently left the WWF, and in the process gave up the trademark name Chyna, to pursue an acting career.
Joanie Laurer: That's right.
Are you afraid of the risk?
It's scary. But you don't get anywhere if you don't take a risk in life. My whole career has been based on taking risks. It's also scary to think of signing another contract with the WWF for five more years, and then at the end of those five years that will be it. I'll be done. That's even scarier.
It wasn't that long ago that another WWF female star by the name of Rena Mero, aka Sable, did the same thing and nobody has heard from her since. It seems like you might be making the same mistake.
As much as I like Rena, and I do like her, the problem with her was that she was a dime-a-dozen of a woman who was trying to leave something that she was very popular at, which is being a sex symbol. When you try to make it in Hollywood without any acting ability or experience, it's like going out and being fed to the lions. Plus, she left the WWF on bad terms, period. She sued the WWF when she left and it just wasn't going to work like that.
Has there ever been talk of a wrestling match between you and Sable?
No. People don't see me in the same category as Rena. I don't mean I'm way above her. I'm just different. I wrestle guys. My level of experience is just different than hers. I even tried to wrestle some of the other women before I left the WWF. But with many of those girls, especially the new ones, it was be a disservice to them and to me. It was also a disservice to the fans. They expect more and they wouldn't get it if I wrestled the other girls. I wouldn't want to deliver a shitty product to the fans, and that's what they would be getting.
Would it be fair to say that you didn't leave the WWF on bad terms?
Exactly. That was what I was just about to say. The difference with me is number one, my decision to leave the WWF was a mutual one. I had done so much in the wrestling world for six years. I made Chyna a household name. Not only did I do Playboy magazine, but it was the number-one best seller in Playboy magazine history. I also wrote a book that was number two on the New York Times Best Seller list. I did a fitness video that won international awards for best content. I fought men on an equal par. I am completely different than any other woman that has ever been involved in professional wrestling.
It seems that you had everything going for you at the WWF. I have to ask, why leave if things were going so well?
I worked very very hard to get to that point. The problem was, where do I go from there? Opportunity started to come my way, and just like you, I want to wake up and be able to know that I can grow professionally and financially. I just got to a certain point in wrestling where I wasn't able to do that anymore.
So are your wrestling days over for good?
I can still wrestle when I want to. But I can also take advantage of those other opportunities. I would be a fool not to do that.
Okay, let me tell you what the word on the street is.
Many who follow the WWF are claiming that the reason you left the WWF is because you were dating fellow wrestling superstar Triple H.
And the relationship fell apart.
That is correct.
Did that have anything to do with you leaving the WWF?
No. It was very difficult for me, but the rumors are true. If you want me to be more specific, that's okay too. But I think my main objective has always been my career. And in spite of what happened between me and Triple H, I walked in and held my head up high every day at work. I did my job 110 percent, and I fulfilled my contractual obligations and I knew that my personal life was a separate issue. Whether I feel that it was handled correctly or incorrectly, or whether it was right or wrong, I had a job to do. What happened behind the scenes is something that, by looking at my face, you would have never have known. I would never let something that happened to me personally affect my career. I got into wrestling when I wasn't with Triple H, and I left the same way. I will continue to be a success without him.
So whose heart was broken here? From what you're telling me, I get the feeling it was your heart that was bodyslammed to the mat.
My heart was absolutely broken!
Isn't there a no-date policy with other wrestlers at the WWF?
No, but I believe this, I don't think there's anything wrong with dating the people you work with, because those are the people who you're around every day. You can't pick what happens. I think there was a certain point in time when Triple H and I were wonderful for each other. It worked very well. I have no regrets. I think he got so involved in this business that he started to fall out of love with me and started falling in love with Stephanie McMahon [the daughter of WWF founder Vince McMahon]. He was surrounded 24 hours a day with his storyline and what he was doing on television, and that's what he lived for.
That's also what she lives for. The only thing I can say now is that we've all moved on. It sucked when it happened. But now I can say that maybe it's best that the two people that love the business the most are together. The truth is, it will be great for business.
I can tell by the tone of your voice you're still very hurt by what happened between you and Triple H.
It hurt me at first, but I'm okay with it now.
How do you think you're perceived by the public?
It's difficult to say, because I think the public's perception of me has changed over the last year or so. I think that at first I was considered to be horribly aggressive and masculine. I think people thought I was a nasty woman who had an overly developed body and I just kicked guys in the nuts a lot. (Laughs) And it was important for me to be that way at first to gain credibility and to be able to do what I did. If I had walked into that arena the way I am now, I would have never have made it to where I am today. So that negative early perception actually helped me. Then I got the chance to be Joanie a little bit more, and to talk about me and to talk about what I want to do in life, like Playboy and television shows. And none of those things were handed to me, by the way. These are things that I got by going out to California on my days off and meeting with people like Hugh Hefner and others like him, to ask if I could do all this stuff.
Why did you feel so compelled to be in Playboy and on television? Why wasn't the WWF enough for you?
I wanted to make a statement. I keep going back to Playboy. I wanted to be different, and I felt that I was different. I think so often we expect women to look a certain way and to be a certain way and act a certain way. I was just so opposite from all that. And I just wanted the chance to talk about it, and once I got that chance, people started to look at me very differently. It's like that first person that takes a step forward and talks about something that they're not supposed to talk about. Then other people come out and go, "Yeah, what she said!"
You're referring to your body size, and the perception that you can't be feminine and at the same time be a large, muscular woman?
Yes. Now other women are coming out and saying, "I want to wrestle too!" or "I want to lift weights!" or "Gosh, you really are beautiful!"
Why do you think you've been able to change the typical stereotype of big, strong women?
I've given people a different perspective, and some of that was due to the things I spoke about in my book about my childhood. People can relate to me. The book completely changed my image. Not just for wrestling fans, but for everyone. Even if you never watched wrestling, you can still read my story and say, "God! It's amazing what that girl did!"
At 5'9", 185...
I'm actually only 165 now. Which goes along with that whole image thing I was talking about. People just think I'm this Amazon woman who weighs 300 pounds.
I heard you on Howard Stern a few weeks ago, and Howard gave you a pretty hard time. In fact, he even compared you to another WWF wrestler who's also a regular on his show, Nicole Bass. You sounded angry by the comparison.
Nicole Bass is another very muscular woman who has wrestled for the WWF, and has become famous for her connection to the Howard Stern Show as well. What's your opinion of Bass?
(Deep laughter) Trouble! Scary!
Can you elaborate?
She's a woman who has completely altered her body ... (Pause) There's a difference between working out and gaining muscle and genetically having a form that's still very beautiful and artistic and sculptured. But she's completely altered her body to an unneccesary level. I think a lot of women will look at me and like me because they like my strength and my power. But you look at her and all she does is ruin that image. You can't look at her and say I'm proud that she's a woman and she's strong. She's always in trouble and she has no wrestling talent. What else can I say?
Do you ever wish you weren't so masculine?
No. Absolutely not. I'm very proud of who I am. It sets me apart. I think I am the epitome of the overall woman.
What is the overall woman?
I think that you should have strength, beauty, and intelligence. I've always aimed at having all of those things. Trust me, I don't have a problem getting a date. Things like Howard Stern ... (Pause) Let's face it, it's an audio show and I'm not the typical beauty. I'm not going to take my top off and be drunk out of my mind. So what is he going to do? Try and upset me and make good radio, and I came for that. That's fine with me. It's not any different doing that than somebody who goes through rehab and goes on the show, or that's dated 50 people. We all have our jugular vein that he can go for.
So then you're saying that your size is your jugular vein?
Not for me, but maybe for him it is. He was just hoping that was my jugular. It's all for radio. Off the air, he kept telling me how incredible he thinks I am. It's all entertainment. I'm just very proud that at one time what I have was thought of as an oddity, and it's now a very marketable, unique commodity. I'm very proud of that.
Let's get back to the WWF for a minute. Most would agree that Vince McMahon had a very bad year. First the XFL falls flat on its face and loses millions, then McMahon goes on Bob Costas' HBO talk show and gets into a very heated argument about his own character, then he loses you. What did you think of his appearance on the Bob Costas show?
Um ... I don't know. Sometimes I don't know myself whether it's for real or for show. In fact, some of my main problems with the WWF was that I was never allowed to be myself. I always had to be a character. I had to be Chyna. Everything in wrestling is fake. It's a story and I never aim to tell people otherwise. I don't want to be Chyna, I want to be Joanie. I think a lot of those people at the WWF, including Vince McMahon, have a hard time telling when they're being real or the character. As far as the Bob Costas show goes, I think in Vince's mind, he thought it would make for great television ratings.
Real or not, the interview Costas did with McMahon was certainly compelling to watch.
I feel the same way!
Why do you think Vince McMahon is so strict about all his wrestlers staying in character and not letting their real personalities show off the mat?
It's odd. Vince McMahon sees the characters of his wrestlers as the promotional vehicle. So realistically, he doesn't want me to go out and be Joanie. He wants me to be Chyna, because that promotes his vehicle more. It's difficult, because I love going out in front of all the crowds and having people saying they love me. It gave me an adrenaline rush like there's no tomorrow. But when I went home, I felt like I still had to be Chyna. They wouldn't let me be Joanie. I wanted the fans to meet Joanie, but that couldn't happen. I kept saying "My name's Joanie" and everyone kept saying "It's Chyna!" It started to be very upsetting. The storylines got crazy. Sometimes I felt like a clown going out there. Like the Vince story. We never know what's real or what's fake. By the way, a lot of the guys don't want to be themselves. If you talk to Triple H, he'll tell you he doesn't want you to call him Paul. He wants to be Triple H, because that will lead him to the next Pay-Per-View or the next TV commercial.
Well speaking of Joanie, you turn 30 this year. Does the big three-o bother you?
Maybe for a second. But I feel that I look better than I ever have. I feel more confident, and I'm excited to be moving on to the next phase of my life. It's just very exciting. So the number doesn't really bother me. I mean, I wouldn't have these same opportunities at 25. And I would never want to start all over again. Thirty is the perfect age and perfect timing. Everything is falling into place right now. Especially since it started off as something really sad. I was very sad and upset to leave my friends who I consider my family, and who I traveled with nearly every day of my life for the past six years. Especially when the guys have been calling me non-stop, telling me that they miss me.
Did anyone try to talk you out of leaving the WWF?
Nope. I think they all knew it was time for me to go.
Are men intimidated by you?
I think they were at one time. Now I think they're more intrigued. For the most part, men love me. But then again, that's just the men who are approaching me. I think for a lot of guys, it might be easier for them to go after the typical eye candy. But there are a lot of men who love my personality and love the way I take care of my body. They think it's cool that I can go out and wrestle and also pose nude for a magazine. I think it's cool, too.
What about you would surprise people the most who don't know you?
That I'm very girly. That's what surprises people the most about me. People are shocked that I'm very beautiful and very feminine. I just happen to be a lady with muscles. I still like getting the car door opened for me. If I meet you, I won't kick you in the nuts. (Laughs)
Good to know. Here's some names, tell me your first thought. The Rock?
The future of wrestling. He's the next big star.
I love him. And I'm going to have a very long relationship with him and Playboy in the future.
Last question. One hundred years from now, how would you like people to remember not Chyna, but Joanie?
As a well-educated, fun, happy person. Somebody who smiles a lot and people enjoy being around. I want to be remembered as somebody people looked up to. I want people to think of me with respect.
Chyna, the New Catwoman (courtesy etonline.com)
June 12, 2001
If you think it is difficult to wrestle with CHYNA in the WWF, just wait until you see how hard it is to wrestle files from her in Touchstone Pictures' upcoming comedy, 'Frank McKlusky C.I.' Chyna tackles the role of Freeda, a menacing gatekeeper of the company's classified files with a very unique fashion sense.
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: Explain the catsuit.
CHYNA: What do you mean explain the catsuit? I don't know what you are talking about. It is just another day in the life of JOANIE (LAURER, Chyna's real name). Now people get to know the real me. This would be a typical house-cleaning outfit -- easy to clean with a little Windex.
ET: Describe what you are wearing.
CHYNA: This is a latex outfit. And believe me when I tell you this baby is skin-tight. What you see is what you get because there is not an ounce of air between the latex and my body. I feel very, very naughty. (Imitates a cat hissing.)
ET: Is it comfortable?
CHYNA: It honestly is so much like a second skin that if it is cold, I feel chilly, and when the sun comes out, I feel really warm, so it is really weird temperature-wise. The weird thing is the cap. It gives me tunnel vision, so I am tripping over everything and hitting everybody because I can't see what I am doing. It is very Freeda. It goes with the character.
ET: But you are not Catwoman?
CHYNA: What I am is a woman with very, very bad taste. The best part in playing Freeda -- for me Joanie -- is I happen to love costumes and makeup. In this movie, I get to wear every kind of costume and imitate celebrities very badly. I wear a little MADONNA outfit, the famous JENNIFER LOPEZ dress and the Catwoman outfit, amongst other very horrible outfits.
ET: So you are satirizing celebrities?
CHYNA: I am doing a satire on different celebrities and it is a blast, it is so funny. I don't have a huge speaking role, but just the outfits say a whole lot in themselves.
ET: Describe the Madonna outfit.
CHYNA: I wore a peach corset with a very pointed bosom, and I had my hair up with the braided ponytail and I wore some black stockings and boots. I felt like I wanted to vogue, it was so Madonna. It is funny because all of the outfits are kind of the cheesy imitations. That outfit was one of Madonna's very first outfits. The shot starts out and all you see are these pointy boobs sticking out at you. It is very comical.
ET: What do you mean by the Jennifer Lopez dress?
CHYNA: As most of us know, Jennifer wore this very, very risqué dress to the Grammys about a year and a half ago. It was very low cut. I think people were wondering how she even kept the dress on. I wear kind of my own version of the Jennifer Lopez dress. You have to understand that I am wearing all these outfits in an office atmosphere. This (indicates catsuit) is how I would typically dress to go to the office. And I throw everybody who walks in and out of the office for a loop.
ET: Your knee is all scraped. What happened out there?
CHYNA: Can you believe it? Here I am talking about the real me and that is definitely showing my true colors. Here the big athlete comes on set and falls on her face in high heels, but the ground is real uneven out there and I am wearing five-inch heels. I am hurt, not so much physically, but my feelings are hurt.
ET: But you are still working with your injury?
CHYNA: It happens. Doing what I do, I have been physically abused on a daily basis, so a little knee scrape isn't that bad. I am not worried about my knee but the outfit -- I ruined my outfit.
ET: Considering all the fighting you've done in the ring, what is the worst injury you have had?
CHYNA: I've had shoulder surgery, rotor cup surgery, broken my nose many times, broken my ankle and broken my tailbone. It is all part of being an athlete and trying to look good doing it, too. That is the hard part -- being an athlete and entertainer all rolled into one.
ET: Considering all the fighting you've done as entertainment, is it true that you've never gotten into a fight in real life?
CHYNA: I have always been very competitive all my life. I was an amateur boxer and the wrestling and, even now, I love being physical. I love that physical competitiveness, but from a personal standpoint, I am probably very sensitive. I would cry and walk away before I would ever hit you -- unless you made me really mad. So, I have never ever been in a physical fight. That is probably how I learned to hit guys in the nuts. Whoo! I learned from being smacked around over and over that hitting them in the privates takes them down every time.
ET: Are you at a crossroads with the WWF -- there are not a lot of women out there to challenge you.
CHYNA: I think I am definitely at a crossroads with the WWF. I am one of those people who are extremely happy for their roots. I know what that platform did for me, and I think I really have been able to display a strength and a power and be a real inspiration to women out there in the television industry, but there is only so much I can do now. I don't mean this in a bad way, but so many women are not in the same league as me. I have been training and wrestling men for five years. Now it is very difficult. I can't go through the top guys -- ROCKY would never let me beat him. It is very difficult for me to develop a program with the women right now, too, so the best part about the Chyna character now is she is more of an attraction than anything. I think the more acting skills I get under my belt, or the more modeling that I do -- as Joanie -- just gives me an opportunity to progress in my career, which is what I want to do as a person.
ET: Is it important for you to separate Joanie from Chyna?
CHYNA: Absolutely. I always have to remind people because that is what they see on TV every week. You start to become known as your character, and I make no bones about it, Chyna is just a character. My name is Joanie and I am a completely different person from my character. I would like to be me.
playboyhost Please welcome Chyna to the chatroom!
chyna Hi everyone! Let's get right down to it!
guest13 Chyna, hello!
rootnl2k Saying hello from Edmonton, Alberta!
guest85 What got you into wrestling?
chyna I originally wanted to be a movie star, but because I was always very big physically, that wasn't really possible for me. So I started wrestling because I thought it would be my niche, and it was.
XSTREMCORD You have a tattoo on your left shoulder that looks to be written in an Asian language; what does it say?
chyna It's actually a band of flowers.
guest47 Have you competed in bodybuilding tournaments, and if so, how did you fare?
chyna I did one bodybuilding competition, but I'm not really a big believer in the sport. I believe in looking fit 365 days out of the year, taking my strength and using it for something else.
guest47 Are you a trained gymnast? When did you learn the round-off/back handspring combination? That is truly impressive for someone of your height.
chyna No, I am not a trained gymnast; I learned to do that in preparation for a fitness competition. I'm very agile, learn very quickly and am not afraid to try new stuff.
guest101 Who were your idols as a little girl?
chyna I didn't have any as a little girl. I always really stuck out and never saw other women like me.
However, I started exercising with the Jane Fonda videos, so I would have to say that Jane Fonda has definitely had an influence on my life.
guest278 I think it is a great thing that you have shown that you do not have to be a toothpick to be a superstar.
chyna Right. Not only a superstar -- I consider myself to be a power beauty.
guest47 What feature(s) of your physique are you most proud of?
chyna My arms and my small waist. The symmetry reminds me of a statue.
guest194 Who influenced you most to join the World Wrestling Federation, and who encourages you the most to stay?
chyna I influenced myself the most to join, and nobody wanted me there in the beginning. Gradually the guys began to respect me, and now everyone encourages me to stay and is very supportive. But it was a difficult road.
guest497 I saw you on a Discovery Channel show about wrestling school; it showed you with Triple H as though you were married, but in your Playboy story you say you're single. What is the deal with that?
chyna I am single.
guest468 How do you get on with the male wrestlers?
chyna As of late, great. They support me and are very proud of all my accomplishments.
guest526 Recently Stone Cold has come back to the WWF; how do you feel about that?
chyna Stone Cold is a very good friend of mine, and I have to admit I wondered if he would ever return to wrestling. It's great for his friends and for all of his fans that he can come back and open up a can of whoop-ass!
guest113 Have all the WWF wrestlers seen you in Playboy?
chyna Yes. Most of the guys giggle about it and don't look me in the eye. (laughs)
bethanyo I used to lift weights and guys thought I was scary and freaky. How did you get dates before you got to know wrestlers?
chyna Well, guys thought I was scary and freaky too. I had to show people that you have to be your own woman. And by the way the magazine has been selling, it looks like there are many men out there who like a built woman.
guest35 I love all your pics -- thanks for being an inspiration to look up to.
chyna I always appreciate a comment like that!
guest101 What would you like to say to all those who said you'd never make it? You obviously proved them wrong!
chyna I wouldn't have been happy until I did that; there are so many women who would like to have built bodies, but they are afraid of how people will look at them and what they'll think. You have to be very secure and very confident in yourself. If you keep a vision in your mind, things will start to fall into place.
I think by doing the things that I have done on television and by posing for Playboy magazine, I've really broken the ice for a lot of other women to look how they want to look.
guest278 What are your next goals, now that you have done Playboy?
chyna My book, which comes out on January 29, answers many questions about me and is a very detailed description of my life and how I got here. It's a very emotional book and very inspirational.
The title is If They Only Knew.
jaebyrd1 What has been your favorite match in the WWF?
chyna I would probably say this year's WrestleMania. It was the point in my career where I really started to blossom. I had a great match and a killer outfit. (laughs)
And I won!
I love to fight and I love being physical, but I'm still a woman who loves to dress up in costumes. The best part is being able to kick butt and look good doing it.
Where else could I get away with wearing flashy leather and crystal outfits?
guest174 Do you have any more TV guest spots planned?
chyna I do, but I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to do them. I think my next step is to do feature film, because I am already on one of the best TV shows around.
guest246 How did you come up with the name Chyna?
chyna They came up with it for me; it's a very boring story.
We chose "Chyna" because we thought it was the opposite of what I represent. It's delicate-sounding, and I am this big, powerful woman. So I'm more like the bull in the Chyna shop.
guest404 What does your daily diet consist of?
chyna I believe in moderation. I eat lots of lean, high-protein meat. I try to eat five or six times a day, and I take it easy on the sweets except that if I'm at a nice restaurant, I always treat myself to a piece of New York cheesecake.
guest102 What got you to pose in Playboy? Nice pics!
chyna I think we show too much of the same type of women -- there are women of all different shapes and sizes. And it also allowed me to show my feminine side.
guest47 Do you have to have your clothing tailored to fit your awesome physique?
chyna Absolutely, without a doubt. I have a very difficult time with clothing. I have very wide shoulders, a very tiny waist and big legs. So everything I have either has to be really stretchy or custom-made.
guest526 Eddie is your partner -- are you really attracted to him?
guest810 How are you treated by the other ladies in the locker room?
chyna I think the other ladies look up to me, and I have definitely set a standard in our business for the new women who come in.
guest738 Do you want to pursue comedy roles, or action roles like the Rock did with The Mummy?
chyna I think the object is to find a good story that suits me, and that means good writers, directors and producers. So I don't have my heart set on one type. It just depends on how good the story is.
guest278 What went through your mind when your leathers ripped on the MTV Video Music Awards?
chyna "It figures!"
For those who don't know the story, while I was onstage, I bent down and my pants split open at my thigh. That would only happen to me! But I had to laugh at it, and I did. And it turned out to be the talk of the night.
It seems as if on every pay-per-view I'm losing my pants now! That's the hard part about looking good in wrestling.
guest582 Do you have any regrets in your career thus far?
chyna I don't think I have any regrets. All of my experiences have made me the person I am today. I still get frustrated at times because women still have a long way to go, but I think we're finally getting there.
guest47 Chyna Doll: It seems to me that you have shed a considerable amount of muscular bulk over the past couple of years. If this is the case, was this an intentional endeavor, and how have your measurements changed?
chyna Yes, I've been trying to streamline my body. I wanted a different look. When I first came into the WWF I had to make it look credible that I could fight men. Now that I've done that, I can start to streamline my look a little bit.
bethanyo If it isn't too personal, what is the scar on your lower abdomen from?
chyna It's not a scar, it's another tattoo. It's another band of flowers.
I was 23 when I got my tattoos. A good friend of mine was studying to become a tattoo artist, and I was the guinea pig.
guest14 Have you ever considered getting your navel pierced?
chyna I did have it pierced once, and then I saw that everybody was doing it so I took it out.
guest47 Chyna, I hope this isn't out of line, but how do you categorize your sexuality?
chyna I think that I am one of the most unique forms of femininity around.
guest194 Who do you feel should be most proud of his/her accomplishments in the WWF?
chyna I don't know. Who's to say what people have experienced personally? I know that for myself I've broken milestones in our business, and I'm very proud of that. I also think that I'm very deserving of all the success I've had or am having.
guest194 Do you feel that expectations of you in the WWF are too high or too low?
chyna I think the expectations are very high. I've had to work with men, compete at their level. I've had the pressures of looking good at the same time, and I have to work almost 365 days out of the year.
As the old saying goes, after you make your bed, you have to lie in it. So I choose to do this, but I have to do it the same way all the guys do. And that's hard.
guest101 Chyna, thank you for being my inspiration. I am a recovering bulimic and started working out for the first time in my life to your video. Thank you for helping me take the first step to recovery.
chyna Good luck! The video was a special accomplishment for me, and I hope that many people get great results from it.
guest939 Of all the ways to impress Chyna, what would be the best?
chyna I like people who take care of their bodies. I like funny people, people with a sense of humor. And I like people who stand up for themselves. That impresses me.
guest142 Chyna, now that you've been in the WWF, do you think you'll ever feel comfortable around folding chairs again?
Yes; I just have an urge to hit somebody with them when I see them!
ChatPuppy What do you do to relax?
chyna I don't relax now. And that's the truth! However, if I could, I love to read books. I love water sports, sailing and being entertained by shows, musicals and concerts.
guest779 Who is really talking for Chyna, because I am watching her on TV right now?
chyna We tape SmackDown! on Tuesdays.
guest564 What is your idea of the perfect man?
chyna The perfect man would not necessarily have to be big, but would take care of his body, treat me nice, be romantic and respect me. I do believe in instant attraction.
guest47 Were you ever perceived as shy, especially during your formative years, or have you always been outgoing?
chyna I wouldn't say I am shy. However, I'm very careful about who I choose to give my time or my personality to. Time is precious to me.
When I know someone, I'm very funny and social, but it takes me a while to get to know them.
ChatPuppy What did you do for a living before you hit the big time?
chyna Just about everything you could think of, from singing telegrams to selling beepers. I've done it all.
blood_shadowx What has being a Playboy model given you that you would not have gained otherwise?
chyna I think it shows a definite side of Joanie. So often people stereotype me, and they constantly see me as this mean woman beating guys up all the time. Playboy has allowed me to show Joanie as a power beauty.
rootnl2k What's your opinion of Jesse Ventura?
chyna He is one of my role models now. I'm quite good friends with Jesse, and I respect him.
bethanyo If you used to do singing telegrams, do you have a voice we might get to hear you use again for WWF or on an album?
chyna I used to sing in a band. Unfortunately, after getting clotheslined in the throat many times, my voice isn't as good as it used to be. So I'm not looking for a singing career any time in the near future.
guest1074 Was it easy to take your clothes off for Playboy?
chyna Yes. I had no reservations about showing my body.
guest697 Do you want to have kids someday? Would you let them watch wrestling?
chyna I'm not sure. I believe that when you have children you should have the proper base -- a marriage, a loving relationship. I have a lot going for me right now. It's not the right time for me, but it could possibly be in the future.
I would probably let them watch wrestling when I felt that they were at the appropriate age and I was watching with them.
guest14 When you are in public, you are always Chyna. No matter where you go you are a celebrity. How would you feel if you were in public and a fan called you by your proper name, Joanie?
chyna Many fans do, and that is my name, so it doesn't bother me.
guest554 Do you like wrestling as much as when you started?
chyna I was actually not a fan of wrestling when I started, and now I absolutely am. I can appreciate what goes into it and how entertaining it really is.
guest369 Are you friends with Lita?
guest1278 Would you ever consider jumping ship to the WCW or even ECW if given the chance?
guest440 What's your favorite band?
chyna Black Sabbath. I saw the reunion show with Ozzy and it was fantastic.
guest47 How much rehearsal time goes into making an episode of RAW?
chyna We really don't rehearse. It's just such an incredible production. Usually, I don't even know what I'm going to be doing until a couple of hours before the show. It makes for a very hectic day!
playboyvoyeur When you're done with wrestling, do you think you'll be a manager?
chyna I think that Chyna as a character has the unique ability to wrestle or manage or cross over into other television or movie projects, etc. The door is open for me to do many things.
guest1119 I learned that you hold a college degree in Spanish literature. Would you be interested in learning other languages or types of literature?
chyna I studied Spanish, French and German in college. If I had time, I would love to learn Japanese.
As much as I love to read, now that I'm done with school, I prefer to read my books in English.
guest1278 How is the SmackDown Your Vote campaign going?
chyna We have registered more than 100,000 new voters in the past two months, which I believe is truly impressive! And I am one of those newly registered voters.
guest73 If you were in a small town and there was no gym there, what would you do?
chyna People always accuse me of either being on drugs or not being normal for the amount of muscle I have. I think they don't realize the many hard years of work that I've put into my body and the dedication that I've had. I always say that you can take every weight away in the world, every supplement, and as long as I can do a push-up, pull-up or sit-up, you can't take what I have away from me.
guest964 When is the WWF coming to South America? You have a lot of fans here.
chyna I for one am very anxious to go, specifically because of my Spanish ability. However, because we have been so successful lately, it's difficult for us to travel overseas or to foreign countries.
guest916 Since neither Gore nor Bush has taken the SmackDown Challenge, will you be voting for either one?
chyna I'm not sure yet how I'm going to vote. I've been disappointed in both of them, quite frankly. It is a shame that they have not accepted our offer, because it is the perfect platform for them to speak.
guest812 I really enjoy the outfits; who chooses them?
chyna Julie Youngberg makes most of my wrestling outfits, and I have other designers who make the clothing I wear outside the ring.
guest81 Who is your biggest supporter?
chyna Besides myself, it would probably be my sister, Kathy.
guest633 Do you plan on doing any more photo shoots for Playboy?
chyna I enjoyed it very much, and I would love to do another issue.
guest1137 Have you ever considered changing your hair color?
chyna I am actually a redhead. But when I had red hair, I looked too apple-pie, so I dyed my hair black to look meaner and ended up liking it.
guest916 Do you have a fan club? If you don't, it would be an honor to start one for you!
chyna I'm aware of different Internet sites about me, but I don't believe I have a specific fan club.
guest16 Mamacita, if you were voted the President of the U.S., what would be the first thing you change?
chyna (laughs) I wouldn't even attempt to be President of the U.S.! I think there are so many things to change. But I wouldn't be qualified to make the first decision.
Maybe everybody would get a free piece of cheesecake!
guest874 Will you have your own website?
chyna Yes, the WWF is making a separate Chyna website now.
guest564 What was the most difficult obstacle in your life?
chyna One, my physique; two, my home life with my parents.
And three, that I was my own worst enemy and that I was very difficult on myself.
guest1465 What is your favorite city you have traveled to with the WWF?
chyna I think the best crowd is in Chicago. They are a happy, loud, fun crowd. I also enjoy New York and Los Angeles.
guest874 Did you enjoy doing the Howard Stern show?
chyna Yes. Howard was difficult on me, but he is in entertainment just as we are. It was all in good fun. I thought that the interview was quite entertaining.
guest508 How can I get an autographed photo?
chyna We have signings all over the country. So hopefully you'll be able to attend one of those.
guest174 Come back to Milwaukee! We'll show up those Chicagoans!
chyna All right! We accept the challenge!
guest1514 Chyna, your pictures are beautiful! Would you like to be the WWF heavyweight champ and, if so, who would you like to challenge for it?
chyna I would love to be the World Champion. I don't know if the world is ready for a female champion, but if there was one, I would like it to be me. It wouldn't matter who I fought; it would be more the principle of holding the title.
guest872 Who would you like to wrestle on MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch?
chyna Is that that show with the clay? Calista Flockhart. (laughs)
guest73 Do you go to church? Do you believe in God?
chyna I have faith, but do not attend church.
guest1465 If you could meet any figure from history, who would it be?
chyna Hitler. I find it amazing that one person could have so much control over so many people.
I would like to see for myself what it was about his personality that was so compelling to many.
guest47 Would you mind disclosing your measurements?
chyna I don't even know them, to be honest.
guest547 Would you consider being on an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess?
chyna No, I think that I am way beyond that now.
guest1465 What current celebrity would you like to meet?
chyna I'm a big Cher fan, I'd like to meet her.
guest564 Right to Censor has been badmouthing you a lot. Will you be taking on one of the members soon?
chyna I already have taken on a couple of them: Val and Steven. Hopefully we'll be done with them very soon.
guest916 Have you had any injuries from wrestling?
chyna Yes, though I've been one of the lucky ones. I've broken my tailbone, broken my nose, torn my rotary cuff and received many aches and bruises.
guest278 What does it feel like to know there are people who want to know everything about you?
chyna Sometimes it's very intrusive. You lose an incredible amount of privacy. However, I understand that when you are in the public eye that people will be curious.
bethanyo Do you consider yourself a feminist?
chyna No, but I do have very strong views on how women should be treated. Women should be paid equal amounts for equal work, and there should be more women involved in politics and upper-level jobs.
I also believe that women such as myself can look strong, be strong and be beautiful at the same time, and work just as hard as the men do.
guest293 Did you, HHH and Perry Saturn train with Killer Kowalski at the same time?
chyna No, Perry and Triple H trained with Walter before I ever started. However, that is how I met both of them.
guest1278 How do you feel about the current line of WWF videogames, and are you big on games?
chyna I'm not very big on videogames because I don't have the time to play them. But from what I understand, the new videogame is very cool and has some great graphics.
And I hear that I kick butt in it!
guest729 What charities do you support?
chyna The Doberman Rescue League, Make a Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics.
Yesterday at a signing in Baltimore, a young man gave me his Special Olympics gold medal. That was an honor for me.
guest871 I bought the Chyna comic, will that be an ongoing thing?
chyna Yes, that was the very first issue.
guest1526 What was the most dangerous match you've been in?
chyna I don't think one has been more dangerous than any other. Every time you go into the ring you take a risk. Sometimes it's the littlest things that hurt you.
XSTREMCORD WHO RAN OVER STONE COLD?
chyna I'm waiting to find that out myself. It was probably a guy because guys are bad drivers. (laughs)
guest872 The stories of the Mansion are famous -- do you have one now?
chyna I don't have one yet. However, I will soon be attending a dinner there for the very first time, and I am looking forward to seeing Hef again.
guest1458 I heard you say on Jay Leno that you once busted one of your breasts. How did that happen?
chyna (laughs) It's funny how that story keeps popping up, pun intended!
Yes, it's true. One of the wrestlers clotheslined me along with one of my brand-new breasts.
guest1432 Did the male wrestlers ever try to be protective of you, or did they know they didn't have to?
chyna It's funny.... I think at first, I wouldn't say they wanted to hurt me, but they were stiff with me because they felt intimidated that I was in the ring with them and thought that was not my place. They were going to teach me a lesson.
But now most of the guys love and respect me. And now they are afraid to hurt me. If they feel uncomfortable in the ring with me, it's for that reason only.
guest1681 A lot of wrestlers take steroids and end up hurting themselves severely in the long run. Have you ever used them?
chyna No, and that's a falsity. "A lot" of wrestlers do not take steroids. Most of the guys work very very hard on their bodies and are in the gym all the time. People have to remember that these are guys who are physically abusing their bodies in the ring every night of the week. They have to take care of themselves. Plus, the WWF has a very strict drug testing policy.
jaebyrd1 Are you going to dress up for Halloween? As what?
chyna I will be working on Halloween, so I will dress up as Chyna.
guest1637 What would be your dream creative/performance project?
chyna How about...the WWF as a musical. (laughs)
Wouldn't that be interesting? And horrible at the same time!
guest293 If you could have front-row tickets to any concert ever, which would you choose?
chyna I would like to see the Nutcracker, the Boston Ballet or something like Cirque du Soleil.
guest1662 Describe the perfect romantic evening.
chyna Flowers. A great dinner. Dancing. Lots of laughter. And a goodnight kiss. That would make me want to see the person again.
guest47 I'll try to make this tactful, but if your natural shade of hair is red, was that actually your body (south of the border) in the Playboy pictorial?
guest1893 Are you satisfied with the pictures?
chyna They're beautiful.
guest1462 What do you think about the career of Mick Foley?
chyna He is one of my best friends. I think he's an extreme talent. He's witty and smart, and he has done things that most people would never dare to do.
guest1658 You look hot in those pics. What does your family think?
chyna I don't have contact with any part of my family with the exception of my sister, who thought that the pictures were great and that I looked beautiful in them.
guest1867 Why don't you have any relations with your family?
chyna Hopefully they'll get the book and read about it, but I did have a very dysfunctional childhood and feel that I have been better off on my own.
guest1839 Do you like to take charge in the bedroom as you do in the ring?
chyna I like a little of both.
guest1885 What can we expect from you in the future?
chyna You can expect a wonderful book that I would like to make a movie out of. I think I have a very successful career to maintain in the WWF and hopefully another pictorial with Playboy magazine.
guest1662 While Chyna gets the fame and fortune, how does Joanie feel? Are they in competition and how do you separate the two?
chyna Sometimes it is very difficult to separate Joanie from Chyna, because fans usually see me only one way. However, because of the opportunity to do projects such as Playboy magazine, writing a book and other television shows, I can show many more facets of myself. So it gets better all the time.
guest1658 When is your birthday?
chyna December 27. My birthday is never celebrated, and I never get birthday gifts. It sucks!
guest1885 Are there any plans for marriage for Chyna and HHH?
guest1839 What will you do for New Year's Eve?
chyna Probably have a glass of wine, watch the Dick Clark special on TV and toast the new year with my sister.
guest1861 Are you going to the San Diego show? If not I won't get tickets!
chyna Yes, I am going to be in San Diego.
playboyhost We have just a few minutes left, everyone, so get your goodbyes and thank-yous in!
guest1957 What is your email address?
chyna You can always get on the WWF website and write to me from there. I don't have an email address now.
guest1991 How long do you want to stay in the business?
chyna As long as I continue to grow professionally. I do love what I do.
playboyhost Thanks, Chyna, for a great chat!
guest278 Thank you for taking the time to share yourself with us. It has been a pleasure, and I truly admire and respect that you have brought dignity to the power beauty. Thanks again.
guest2017 You seem to be a real person and someone I could learn a lot from. I admire you and your courage.
guest174 Keep up the good work! I finally have a goal to aspire to while I'm working out!
guest1785 All hail Chyna!
guest872 Thank you for being an American beauty.
guest1828 Bye, Chyna, you look great love!
guest1991 Bye, beautiful! Can't wait for the next pictorial!
guest14 Thank you for being sweet, kind, smart and beautiful! You are a legend and hero!
chyna Thank you all for signing on to the chat tonight. I hope that you will come out for a Playboy signing or a book signing soon, because I do enjoy meeting each one of you.
guest363 Thank you, Chyna! May you continue to have a wonderful career, and may you continue to have the happiness that glows from you!
bethanyo Bye, Chyna, we love you!
Credit to playboy.com for the transcript!