SaRenna Lee Interview
The Marilyn Monroe of the 90's
She's known as the Marilyn Monroe of the 90's.
She is SaRenna Lee.
SaRenna is featured in the recently released Playboy Home Video, "Playboy's
We talked with SaRenna about the video and her career.
Q. SaRenna, were you ever in a Russ Meyer film?
A. No. Actually, I know he wanted to do a film with me, but we didn't
have an opportunity 'cause we were so busy. When I worked with Playboy is
when I got to know him personally.
Q. Did Playboy approach you about doing this video; did you have a representative
A. Well, you know they were looking for women that were really voluptuous.
Dani Ash had been in the magazine for Girls of the Internet. She was
in the magazine and well-endowed naturally. They asked her if she had friends
that were busty, etc., etc. Her website has every model that's ever modeled.
So, she told them about me, and set up an interview. The whole thing was
definitely thanks to her that I got it.
Q. Besides the obvious, what was it that Playboy was looking for?
A. Well, in the video quite a few of the girls are Playmates, and also
the Playmate of the Year is in it. They picked me because they decided it
was gonna be the 50's, the old glamour, because I'm the Marilyn Monroe of
the 90's. They did a Marilyn scene in the video. With them choosing me,
I think it had a lot to do with the Marilyn thing. With the other girls,
I'm not sure how they came to the decision to choose them.
Q. Is this how you bill yourself, as the Marilyn Monroe of the 90's?
A. Yeah. When I started modeling, I was doing photographs in August
'92, and my first magazine cover came out in the beginning of '93 and they
titled it "The Marilyn Monroe of the 90's." Following that cover,
everything was just like a domino effect; the Marilyn Monroe of the
90's, but ten times bigger where it's better. It just got huge. It got way
out of hand. I didn't plan it. It just kind of bit me.
Q. Had you been a fan of Marilyn Monroe?
A. Oh, always. Definitely. I think she's absolutely fabulous.
Q. Why do you think people of all ages are still fascinated with Marilyn
Monroe 35 years after her death?
A. Well, I think Marilyn Monroe is the ultimate sex symbol, like ever
in history. She had the ability to be so sexually enticing, but yet innocent
at the same time. There's a serious vulnerability that comes through in
her sexuality. I think the main reason people are still fascinated
by her is because she was taken at such a young age from us. There's a sense
of loss and like human nature is, we all have a sense of wanting to save
people. I don't think she would be as huge as she is now had she lived longer.
But, the fact that she's gone, we all miss her. There's a certain sense
of we want her back.
Q. People are intrigued by what was going on in that brain of hers.
A. Oh, she was extremely bright and super talented. She had created this
enormous image that even she could not get rid of, in order to be taken
more seriously. I think we all have a sense of guilt 'cause she was never
appreciated when she was living. Now, we know she was one of the best
actresses ever. We didn't give her a chance to do any serious roles that
she really desired. Back then, the studios owned you.
Q. Is that you on the cover of this video box?
A. Yes. Yes. Yes. Isn't it great? I can't believe they chose me for the
cover. It's the ultimate.
Q. Have you ever appeared in Playboy magazine?
A. Not yet, but I do have my sights on that. That's what I was so amazed
and thrilled about; they had me do this video for them, I got the cover,
and with the options they have, including Playmate of the Year, I mean you
talk about flattered. I hadn't been in the magazine yet, and I got the cover.
It definitely made my year.
Q. What do you hope will happen for you with the release of this video?
Acting work? Modeling work?
A. Well, the thing about Playboy is, a lot of people break-in once they've
done Playboy, because it's accepted by society, male and female alike. It's
just different than doing anything else of an adult nature. People respect
it. All of a sudden you're looked at differently.
Q. Because Playboy was the original?
A. Right and they handle themselves with more class. Playboy versus Penthouse
is something a woman could look at and enjoy, including the videos. Penthouse
is more focused on the male thing. I have a couple of movies I'm shooting
this summer. It's given me an opportunity in London. I have a great agent
over there now. It's definitely opened a lot of doors for me. And that
was before it was ever released. The minute you're associated with Playboy,
a lot of doors open for you.
Q. Do people recognize you offstage?
A. You know, when I was on tour, I really made it a point to be really
conservative and dress down, and wear enormous clothing. You would think
I was pregnant before you thought I was busty. I just like severely covered
myself. I got so much attention doing four shows a day. When I went out
in these cities, I had ads in the newspapers and I didn't really want the
attention. But, now that I'm not touring I enjoy going out and dressing.
But, I have to prepare myself mentally for it. So, now I have a different
take on it. I dress. When I go out, I don't mind the attention, because
I'm not doing it for a living onstage anymore. So, I enjoy it.
Q. Have you ever done any of these adult films?
A. No. I've never done a pornographic film.
Q. You made your living then by going around the country as what shall
we say a dancer, exotic dancer, stripper, entertainer?
A. Entertainer, I had 30 different shows. I guess you could say I was
a headliner. And, I made a big living by doing magazines, and then touring,
but, never the video market.
Q. How did you get into the business?
A. I moved to Houston, Texas from Florida when I was 17 years old. I decided
I loved stage. In fact, I went to the School of the Arts and I figured I
don't want to be a starving actress living in L.A. working as a waitress.
So, I figured, hey, I was born naked. I have no problem with my own sexuality,
and nudity, why shouldn't I benefit from it? So bam, I went out there and
into some contests and I started dancing. I made it a point to go and meet
the features at this one club when they would come to town. A couple of
'em just happened to be very helpful to me. They introduced me to some photographers,
one in New York. So, I had pictures taken, and things really took off.
Q. You danced for how long?
A. I started dancing in '89, and then in 1992 I decided if I'm going to
do this for a living, I'm going to make a career of it, and benefit as much
as I can financially. On January 4, 1993 I started my tour, and made a career
of it. Then I retired in June of '96, from actual full-time touring. I'm
not retired. I'm not going anywhere.
Q. You made enough money so you don't have to worry anymore?
A. Well, yeah. I have my own fan club, and I have my own website which
I make money on every month, which is consistent income that you don't have
to work too hard for. (Laughs). You gotta love it.
© Gary James All Rights Reserved