So, I hear your family had a place in Malibu…with particularly interesting neighbors. ~ We rented for a year on Carbon Beach next door to Flip Wilson and then we bought further down the beach and stayed another six years. When we were with the realtor on the deck of the new house, we saw that there was a swimming pool next door and it was the only one on the beach – this was 1977. Mom (Connie Stevens) was like, “Who would have a swimming pool on the beach?” The realtor kind of tittered and said, “Debbie Reynolds.” So, we ended up buying the house next to Debbie thinking whenever [my father] Eddie would come to visit he could see Connie with me and Tricia here and Debbie with Carrie and Todd there! It happened once in six years.
Well, clearly Malibu played an important part in your life. What other SoCal beaches hold special memories? ~ Mom filmed the movie Back to the Beach years ago on Zuma, so I have this vivid memory of going down there and sitting in her trailer. It was November and chilly so they had bonfires.
Do you spend sand time with your daughter Skylar? ~ I take her occasionally, but I love it when my husband Chris takes Skylar to the beach because it is a really cool bonding thing for them. She’s six and calls it The Sea like out of a fairy tale. Skylar has started to collect shells and is putting them all over her
Who is your beach muse? ~ Gidget or Ursula Andress? My beach is much more poetic than that…more Hemingway-like. Like being wrapped in a big cashmere sweater, building a fire, making s’mores or writing on the deck. That’s what the ocean evokes in me.
Standard beach togs? ~ I’m a fake tanner – I put on a big hat and glasses. I have a big beautiful bag – sometimes the clear Louis Vuitton beach bag or sometimes LL Bean – filled with lotions from SPF 110 to oil. Then I have my iPod, an array of magazines and now, obviously, I also have beach toys and a bag for shells.
Of your five senses, which does the beach most tickle? ~ For me there’s something primitive about taking off your shoes and feeling the sand between your toes. It’s very emotional. I love to just stand there and feel the waves against my legs…especially at sunset.
Any special celebrations on the beach? ~ Tricia and I threw my mother a surprise 60th birthday party at Mariasol Cocina Mexicana on the Santa Monica Pier. We got a couple of rooms at Shutters and told Mom we were taking her to dinner. So, before “dinner,” Tricia said “Oh let’s go for a walk on the pier!” and when we got to the end of the pier and opened the restaurant door, 300 people yelled, “Surprise!” She was blown away!
If you were a fish, what kind would you be? ~ Can I say mermaid? I have a bit of a mermaid obsession and I don’t know why. No, no… I want to change, because I feel a little bit like an octopus – slash mermaid. I’m a “JoelyFish”!