Janet Lupo Interview
(Playboy Playmate (Miss November 1975)
She’s been a Playboy Playmate (Miss November 1975).
She’s been a Playboy Bunny.
These days she runs her own website-----www.janetlupo.com.
Janet Lupo talked with us about what it was like to be a Playboy Centerfold
in the mid 1970’s.
Q – Janet, since you’re a native of Hoboken,
New Jersey, did you ever see Frank Sinatra walking around there or driving
A – No, but he was here many times. I never actually met him. I was
in The New York Times, back in 1975, maybe the beginning of 1976. I was
in The New York Times with him. We had a full-page. They placed us together,
separate photos of course.
Q – You say on your website that in April of
1974 you knew you wanted to be a Playboy Bunny. How did you know that?
A – Everywhere I worked I always had problems with girls. They were
all jealous and catty. I was really getting fed-up. I figured, well, let
me go out there where there’s Playboy Bunny’s and they’re
all busy with themselves-----which they were. They were so into themselves.
Q – So, you got to be a Bunny, but you didn’t want to be a
Centerfold-----at least not at first. What was said to you by Playboy’s
photographer, Mr. Pompeo Posar that changed your mind?
A – It wasn’t so much as what he said-----as what he didn’t
say. (Laughs). In his eyes you could see he was a very trusting fellow.
I could trust him, whereas the other photographers that came up eyed me
up a little differently. (Laughs). They looked at me a different way. Not
him. That day in the locker room, when I went down to put my costume on,
every single girl in the place was trying to be a Centerfold. (Laughs).
I thought if they’re all doing it, it can’t be that bad.
Q – I’m just guessing here, but, I would think it probably
was a bigger deal to be a Playboy Centerfold in the 1970’s, than it
is today. I’m just basing that on the opportunities that must have
come your way versus the opportunities today’s Playmates have.
A – I don’t know. You’re basically all by yourself there.
If you happen to run into other Playmates while I’m shooting, which
I’ve done-----but I never talked much about things they were doing.
I was just exited to be there myself. I guess the girls that I did meet
up with were not so much into being movie stars. They were just regular
(people). Nancie LiBrandi was my friend. She was Miss December 1975. She
went on actually to do probably every t.v commercial that you saw for baby
products. Every time I’d put the t.v on-----there she was. So, she
did tons and tons of t.v commercials. I think she was married to someone
in that business. That’s how she got wrapped up into that. I don’t
think she was looking for it. If she was, she didn’t tell me about
Q – After being a Playmate, what showbiz opportunities
came your way?
A – There again, I wasn’t looking for showbiz opportunities,
but, one did come my way. I don’t know if you remember ‘Billy
Jack’, the movie.
Q – Sure, I remember.
A – Well, him and his wife had called me up. They got my phone number
from Playboy I guess. They got my parents house and asked me to come out
to California to try out for a lead in a movie, as a CIA agent. I was a
murderer, a murderess. (Laughs). I wasn’t really that interested.
I just wanted to go to California to see Disney(land), which I did. I was
25, but, I guess back then I was a lot younger than I was in my brain. I
wanted things that I guess I didn’t have as a child. I can’t
explain it. I was so into Disney back then. I had to see Snow White and
the Seven Dwarfs. So, I got to go with his daughter. They sent us in a limo.
That was my thing. What happened with the movie is, at that time I don’t
think they wanted him in Showbiz, at all. He was hiring all sorts of people
that didn’t belong to the union or something back then. So, they didn’t
want him in that business. He was calling saying he was having a hard time.
He couldn’t get the movie going and that was the last I think we ever
saw of him.
Q – Didn’t he make a couple of movies
A – Oh yeah, but that was before me. He told me they were pushing
him out of Hollywood.
Q – So, you’re a hairstylist now?
A – No. I’m a Real Estate agent. I do have a license. I went
and got my license to be a hairstylist. Then, after I got my license I started
with Glamour cons. People were saying I was very collectible. The next thing
you know I had a website.
Q – Before you were in real estate you were
in the restaurant business? Did you own a restaurant?
A – No. I worked in restaurants. I was a bartender and a waitress
here and there-----mostly a bartender. I was a flight attendant. Jack-of-all
Q – While you were a flight attendant, you
had some problems with the other flight attendants? They harassed you?
A – Oh, yeah.
Q – Why didn’t you complain?
A – I did. They said they would get to it. I had an attorney and
all. As time passed on they (Air Florida) went out of business. They all
lost their jobs. Of course I went and complained. See, I’m not a squeal
pigeon. All along I probably should have said something. But, I couldn’t
win anyway. I was oblivious to the whole thing. I was hired by those people
that basically were the people that screwed me. They were the same people.
I could’ve complained all I wanted to, to those people, to management.
In fact I did go to management at the very end and then I realized that
she was in on it. I even said to her that day, ‘Oh, my God, you’re
in on it’. I didn’t realize it.
Q – They knew your background?
A – Yes. Well, they didn’t know my background from the get-go.
They hired me because they liked me. Then, I was on my very first trip.
Most flight attendants are on for a year before they get called on a trip.
So, I was sort of like a stand-by, but I forgot what they called it. I was
only on for month, ‘cause we were such a fast-growing airline. And,
then I already had my own line of travel after a month. The flight attendant
that was on there, on the same flight with me, was talking with the Captain.
He recognized my name on the sign-in sheet, the check-list. There’s
a check-list when you go on the aircraft. We check all the equipment to
make sure everything is running properly. The Captain doesn’t do everything.
We make sure everything is correct along the inside of the plane, not the
cockpit of course. He recognized my name and told. And when he saw me, he
recognized that it was me and told the Senior Flight Attendant. And from
there on in it was hell. She went to this place where you could make up
a fake magazine and put yourself on the cover. This was just very new. We
came to work one day, we were sitting writing for a flight to come out and
we were all sitting outside and they started to giggle. I said to myself,
what the hell is going on over here? They’re looking at me and then
she turns the book around and says, ‘Look, Janet – look what
I did’! She turned the magazine around and it was her on the cover
of Playboy Magazine. (Laughs). Like an idiot I believed if for a second.
I’m looking at her saying, ‘Wow, How nice’! Then they
all started to laugh. I said, Oh, my God. We did everything by hand back
then. We iced the glasses, the plastic cups by hand. There were no carts
unless we went internationally. Just around the State or even to New York,
we would do everything by hand. She just told the rest of the flight attendants
to sit down and relax and have me do everything. How could I get the whole
full plane drinks? By myself. We would go 30 minutes up and down the state
of Florida. You had to rush like you couldn’t believe with just 2
or 3 flight attendants. For me to do it by myself was impossible.
Q – They were jealous of you.
A – They were jealous, catty. You name it. It went a little deeper
than that. It’s really ridiculous what they did.
Q – Hard to believe that people can remember
the names of all the Playboy Centerfolds.
A – Well, I still get it today, believe it or not. How long ago was
I a Centerfold? People will recognize my name. It’s amazing.
Official website: www.janetlupo.com
© Gary James All Rights Reserved