"Kitten" Natividad Interview

Thanks to Film Producer Russ Meyer, Kitten Natividad is famous the world over. She's starred in several of Meyer's movies. "Kitten" has also made a name for herself with her "live" dance routine.

Kitten Natividad talked to us about her life and what's ahead.

Q. Kitten, how did you end up as the star of both R and X rated videos, not to mention a celebrated exotic dancer? You didn't say as a little girl, "I want to dance nude when I grow up" did you?
A. Well, first of all I did love dancing and I did want to be a dancer. I thought of being an actress but that was really far-fetched. To tell you the truth dancing was my life, and I really, really enjoyed that a lot. Through that I met Russ Meyer and that's how it happened. The X videos came next because the people gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. (Laughs)

Q. Do you dance both topless and bottomless?
A. Yes I do. I'd rather dance bottomless because I have more freedom. Actually, they're both great but I started off as bottomless so I feel more comfortable with that.

Q. Do you remember the first time you took your clothes off onstage?
A. Yes. It was probably 1971.

Q. Were you frightened at all? Wasn't that just a little scary?
A. It was very frightening. My knees were shaking. You could hear the bones cracking. Just hearing the crowd go mad about me was also very scary and exciting.

Q. Do you ever hear the comments the audience will yell up to you? Does that ever get to you?
A. Actually the comments I hear from the audience are mostly positive. Maybe people will yell, "Take it off!" I go "In time, in time." They never yell bad stuff like "You old hag" or something like that, no. It doesn't get to me. It just gets to me 'cause they're trying to rush my act, and I'm a strip teaser. I'm supposed to tease. That's the only thing that used to get to me. They wanted me to hurry up and take it off. But then, it didn't bother me, it made it seem like yeah, yeah, yell for it.

Q. You were a film star before you danced. Is that correct?
A. Not correct at all. I was a dancer first. Russ Meyer came to see my show, and he liked me, and he asked me for the part of the Greek Chorus of One in "Up".

Q. Do a lot of women go from dancing to films or vice-versa? What's considered the usual sequence of events here?
A. All I know is I dance. If I get a movie offer I act. But, I go back to dancing because I have to keep making a living. When you dance, it's more permanent. A movie, you'll film from anywhere from one to four weeks. Russ Meyer it was eight weeks. Then you don't have anything going, so you gotta do omething. So, you go back to dancing.

Q. When you went to Hollywood, what is it that you wanted to do?
A. First of all, I was very young. I came to Los Angeles, not Hollywood, when I was 18 because I wanted a life. I came from a small town, El Paso, Texas. It was quite boring, very, very gray looking and I loved greenery. I saw Los Angeles' greenery. I didn't come to Hollywood to be an actress. I came here to get a good job and an education.

Q. Did you ever have a role model or someone you idolized?
A. There was an actress I used to babysit for, Stella Stevens. I wished I could be an actress like her. But, it was just a wish.

Q. How exactly did you team up with Russ Meyer and how many films did you make for him?
A. I was working at The Classic Kat. One of the girls who had been a star of his movies named Shari Eubanks was dancing with me. She told Russ about me. He came to see me, and we hit it off. I made three films for him. We had a wonderful love affair and he's still my friend to this day. He's a great man, incredibly loyal, wonderful man.

Q. Was it actually through those films that you gained recognition?
A. Absolutely.

Q. Were you the only member of your family to enter show business?
A. Yes, and that's all I'll say.

Q. Onstage you must love the attention you get, obviously, or you wouldn't be doing what you're doing. But offstage, when you're pushing a grocery cart through the store or waiting in line, do people stare at you and make rude comments?
A. When I'm shopping I'm not really thinking of "Kitten", the stage performer. There are people that do follow me through the aisles, but believe me they don't make rude comments. Even women stare at me sometimes. But when I go to the grocery store I don't dress to be looked at. So I'm just one of the normal people that go buy groceries. It just happens that some people are real smart and know my face. If I do dress sexy because I had an interview or something and go to the grocery store the only rude comments would be from women saying, "Her boobs are just way too big." To me that's a compliment, not a rude comment.

Q. You write, act in, direct, and produce what kind of films? Are they X-rated?
A. No I have never written an X-rated film. I have produced, directed and acted, and written a little bit in "An Evening With Kitten" but that was R-rated. It's sort of a Benny Hill type film. It was a lot of work. It took me about a year. It's still going strong. I sell it through my fan club.

Q. How many films on average can you make a year?
A. Sometimes I'm lucky. I make five. Sometimes I'll make two. Sometimes I make one a year. It all depends. You just never know. I just finished a film for a big time, cult producer, like RM (Russ Meyer) only in Germany. We went to South Africa for six weeks. Finally we had to leave because somebody told the government we were doing a porn film, but it was actually a horror, comedy film, quite over the top, quite bizarre. I'm leaving soon for Hamburg, Germany to finish off a film there. Then from there, I'll go to Berlin and try out for a stage play that's in German of like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" I speak German too. So I stay pretty busy. Then I have little, bit parts in horror films. They're no big deal. I don't even count 'em. They're only like one or two hours work, whatever. It's work.

Q. How many weeks out of the year do you dance?
A. Right now, I have a job here in Los Angeles. Whenever I'm there I work three days a week. I don't go on the road anymore. I burned out on that. It was hard man, carrying all that luggage. Then you get to a small town and they have no elevators and I have five suitcases and I have to lug them up six flights by myself 'cause they don't have a bellboy. That got old. It was good money, but I did it and I like what I'm doing now. I do films and I work at home. I have my Fan Club, which is doing really, really well. (The Kitten Fan Club, 5917 Oak Ave. #148, Temple City, CA 91780).

Q. What do you think of the explosion of topless, bottomless nightclubs the world has seen in the last few years? What's behind this anyway?
A. Oh, it's been coming forever. It's been there for a long, long time, I don't know where you've been. (Laughs) What's behind it? Its relaxation and sex is alive baby!

Q. In the 60's, Go-Go girls seemed to be the thing. Now it's nude entertainment.
A. Well, everything has its time. Who knows maybe we'll go back to go-go girls.

Q. What happened in Vegas with the nude revues? The city has changed to family oriented entertainment.
A. Gee, I didn't know that. To tell you the truth nude is still alive and kicking ass in Vegas. Big time! There's a lot of nightclubs. I don't know where you get your information. You're totally wrong.

Q. How'd you get the idea to start a Fan Club?
A. You get the idea when you're traveling and everybody wants to write to you. You figure why not have a fan club? So I started one with the help of my husband, who was my manager at the time. But, that's the past. I still have my Fan Club. It's a lot of work but maybe it keeps me out of trouble, (Laughs) like not getting married again.

Q. With your kind of lifestyle, Kitten, and all the traveling you do, is it hard to maintain a relationship?
A. No. If somebody truly loves somebody why should that get in the way? Business and pleasure are some other things. My boyfriend right now is in South Africa. We'll meet in Hamburg. I haven't seen him in three months, but it hasn't stopped me from loving him, or he, me. He has something very important to do there, and I have something very important to do here. But when we get together it's beautiful. It's paradise. It's heaven. It's between heaven and earth. It's orgasmic. If you truly love somebody, that should not get in the way.

© Gary James All Rights Reserved