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Carmen Electra made a name for herself in the ’90s as lifeguard Lani McKenzie, who wore the iconic red one-piece swimsuit in the “Baywatch” series, and has since starred on the covers of hundreds of magazines, in addition to film and television roles.
Electra told Fox News Digital that she is reeling in what she calls some of her most exciting work to date with OnlyFans, the subscription-based online platform where users can pay for or sell original content without going through a slew of liaisons.
The former Playboy cover girl, who recently turned 50 years old in April, signed up with the social media site last month, and has since been in the process of reclaiming her image – one snap at a time.
“It’s a common thing that’s happened to me throughout my career. I mean, I’m talking in the very beginning,” she said. “I remember I would go to the mall here in LA, and I would just go walking around the mall. I didn’t have enough money to buy anything, but I would look in the store and people would walk up to me and say, ‘Are you an actress? Are you a model?’ And they would ask me the same things and would say, ‘You should get into acting!’ Or ‘You should do this, do that, and I think with OnlyFans, I heard about it multiple times to the point where I decided to look into it.
After investigating more into the platform and what it offers not only users, but also content creators, Electra took the leap and created her own page full of lingerie shots and bikini pictures. She hasn’t looked back since.
“What I realized is that OnlyFans is a safe place where you can be your own creator,” she said.
“I have become my own creative director, my own stylist, my own visionary. You’re one-on-one with the fans, so they can do requests, and I love it. It can be really, really fun. And I’ve had a blast creating photos, getting videos, and just allowing my fans to follow me wherever I go on these journeys in my life. That’s exactly what I wanted to do.”
One thing Electra loves about the site is that she has complete control over what she decides to release as “there’s no one telling you what to do; I’m my own boss.”
She added: “It’s intense and very empowering. It’s so self-empowering. And creatively, I’ve always had so many fun and creative ideas, and there’s been times when I’ve been able to follow through with those with different projects I’m working on.
“There are other times when that’s not what it is. If I’m shooting a movie or hosting and that’s just not what the vibe is, I love doing my job and that’s fine. But, now I feel like I’m almost like my own editor and I can pull out something I don’t like. You know, I can shoot for days, take a break, whatever … It’s entirely up to me.”
Electra had a few words of wisdom to offer up to former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Denise Richards and her daughter, Sami Sheen, 18, who recently embarked on their own journeys with the platform.
“Be honest about where you are and what your platform is and what your fans will see within your photos and your videos,” she said. “Be very honest, and be true to who you are. Stay true to your fans and the people that are supporting you, and have fun with it. That’s the message I’ve always had, and I always thought, if you’re not having fun, why do it?”
Electra grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and trained professionally as a dancer. Her sights were set on the bright lights of Hollywood or dancing at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, but Electra became a recording artist instead and pursued music under the guidance of the late music legend Prince, who helped her release an album and secure a recording contract through Capitol Records.
“I’ve always kind of gone with the flow,” she said. “And then there’s been times when things would get a little quiet. I went through that experience where I’m like, ‘OK, I’ve made this choice to be on my own. Let’s see what’s going to happen,’ and go through struggle and the passion that creates, you know, to get out there. And next thing you know, I was working for MTV, ‘Baywatch,’ I was getting booked for movies.”
Electra admitted she’s been on the cover of more than 150 magazines, but never earned the Playmate status on Playboy despite posing for the coveted publication a number of times.
She’s starred in dozens of film and television roles, including the “Scary Movie” film franchise, “Starsky & Hutch” and “Cheaper by the Dozen 2.” Her arguably most recognizable role as Lani McKenzie on “Baywatch” was also one of the most difficult characters she’s ever had to play.
“I had a lot of fun,” she said. “I never thought I would accomplish something I never thought I could do, like tandem surfing or diving off of a speeding boat, being part of rookie school and having the biggest wedgie of my life and running in the sand, diving over waves. That was so hard.
“If you’re new to it, and you’re not the biggest water sport person, it is really scary. But, I will tell you, getting through it and when you wrap that scene. It is the best feeling ever.”
While Electra and Pamela Anderson worked on different seasons of the show, they did get to connect during the reunion in Hawaii years ago. And while fans have pined for a true reunion for years, Electra briefly mentioned a possible “Baywatch” documentary that’s “hopefully” in the works, which was filmed during the pandemic.
“I think it brought the group of us closer that never worked together because we’ve all worked at different times on the show,” she said
When it comes to her career and making choices that benefit her happiness, Electra remained committed to staying true to herself.
“Throughout all this time, I’ve always made sure that I think for myself,” she said. “I always like to tell people – be prepared. Go out there and get it and don’t let anyone stop you. Don’t get in your head and if you ever need to break, do that for yourself. The best thing you can do to reset yourself.”