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'Carlawood' Carla Collins interview: From The Soo to Tinseltown

By Anne Brodie Mar 25, 2010, 19:38 GMT

'Carlawood' Carla Collins interview:  From The Soo to Tinseltown

Carla Collins and her husband Tyrone Power, Jr., courtesy of Canwest Original Productions for Carlawood

Carla Collins is a powerhouse.  The long-legged Canadian born blond bomber can get audiences rolling in the aisles; she’s funny and audacious.  She’s been a weather caster, a news reporter, an actress, and writer but she is always authentically herself. 

Born in Sault Ste. Marie in northern Ontario, Canada, Collins is living a long cherished dream in Hollywood, starring in her own reality series called "Carlawood," making movies and doing her stand-up – and she married Hollywood royalty! 

Collins has just published her first book, a winning mix of comedy, inspiration, and observation called Angels, Vampires, and Douchebags.  In the interest of full disclosure, I once worked with Carla and I promise you, she made us laugh until it hurt each and every day. 

What makes you so funny?

Carla Collins - I fear what I have may be mild dementia or slight insanity.  Yup, it’s probably a disorder instead of any kind of skill.  I think my sense of humour comes from my nutty and wonderful family.  There was always a lot of laughter in our home and my brother and I were constantly encouraged to speak our minds.  Our parents were also very supportive.  This instilled a sense of fearlessness in me until I got out into the real world.  Still, I learned very quickly that putting a humourous spin on things made people feel better.  I also blame my parents for allowing us to watch Mel Brooks’ movies when we were far too young.  Mel’s bawdy and inappropriate brand of humour imprinted me in my formative years.

You divide the world into Angels, Vampires, and Douchebags in your self help/comedy bio – perfect!

CC- It’s my firm belief that we’re all OK; it’s the rest of the knuckleheads out there that we need help with.  I’m a big fan of format and structure - except in my personal life… the book is designed to be an easy read, like Google Maps for your soul.  It will almost get you where you want to go but you’ll be at least 10 minutes late.

How much courage did it take to write? 

CC - I could use some courage at the moment because I’m shaking like a Chihuahua at the thought of people actually reading this.  Now the book feels like the world’s biggest drunken Tweet!

Your bawdy humour seems so opposite from your sweet Canadian girl self which is authentic.

CC - It’s the sweet Canadian girls you have to watch out for!  Don’t forget, I’m half French, it’s in my nature. Sex is funny…especially in our house, just ask my husband.  Sex is universal, rarely polarizing and it doesn’t hurt anyone.  Unless you want it to, and that will usually cost ya more…  But I’m pretty tame.  I’ve never done drugs, I didn’t lose my virginity until I was almost 22 and my biggest crime thus far has been a speeding ticket. 

Meanwhile, many of my “conservative” friends are free basing Vicodin off the bathroom floor and frequenting swingers’ clubs where they engage in 8-ways with other couples and the odd midget.  My hugely sexual humour is my super hero persona.  I’m basically a big nerd who gets to embody an alter ego on stage….and fight crime at night.

How would you compare life in Hollywood and life in your small northern Canadian hometown?

CC - I would argue that the Soo and Los Angeles are quite similar.  Both are one-industry towns.  In Sault Ste Marie, it’s Algoma Steel and here it’s showbiz.  Bingo figures prominently in both locations.  My aunts ran the Joan of Arc Bingo in Sault Ste Marie and here in LA, I co-host a charity bingo night in West Hollywood with a drag queen called Bridget of Madison County. 

There are just more taxis in the Soo!  The big difference?  It seems like everywhere I go, someone is from the Soo whereas no one is from LA.  Well, my husband was actually born here but he’s been asked to leave several times…When I’m walking on the beach with the dogs, I often think of how, as a child living in Northern Ontario, I dreamed of sticking my toes in the Pacific when my snot was freezing on the way to public school.

You married Tyrone Power’s son Tyrone.  That’s rather amazing!

CC - I wasn’t terribly aware of the Hollywood legend Tyrone Power which is odd because I’m such an old movie buff.  I love anything in black and white.  I was familiar with the name of course and remembered it from Lana Turner’s autobiography. 

When a mutual friend brought Ty to one of my comedy shows, he kept warning me that Ty looked just like his father.  This meant nothing to me.  Our friend was concerned that I may be thrown off by Ty’s presence in the front row.  I noticed him immediately but actually recognized Ty from the Cocoon movies.  Fortunately, I had a random joke about Cocoon in my act and delivered it straight to Ty.  When I told my Mom that I had a date with Tyrone Power, Jr. she immediately burst into laughter.  Mom has long known that I’m not bogged down by facts.

Once we were together Ty introduced me to some of his fathers best movies, like “Witness for the Prosecution”, which is brilliant.  That’s when I discovered that Ty looks exactly like his father, to an astonishing degree.  Even the mannerisms are similar which is amazing considering that Tyrone Power died before Ty was born.  At first this freaked me out because I don’t look like either of my parents.  Although I’m a dead ringer for my Mom’s boss.

What further adventures can we expect to see on Carlawood 2?

CC - The usual shenanigans and this season my ex-husband comes to visit, we have a couple of new additions to the family, and my search for an assistant nearly gets me killed.  Plus tattoos, pole dancing, jockeys and celebrities figure prominently.  I will tell you this, during the final week of shooting, sadly tragedy struck.  So the end of the season is extremely emotional, heart-breaking, and poignant.  Even my camera man (whom I adore) was in tears.

Isn’t it time you did an international concert tour????  Just sayin’

CC - That’s my other life-long dream!  I want to immediately embark upon an international “Angels, Vampires, and Douche Bags” tour.  I just need the proper sponsor.  Do you know anyone at Summer’s Eve?

 



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Further Reading on M&C

Carla Collins Biography - - Carla Collins Movies -

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