Author William F. Wu steps into his character Jade Blossom for this fun interview.
Bill: Our guest today is fashion model, actor, and ace Jade Blossom. Welcome.
Jade Blossom: Yeah, whatever.
Bill: I’m sure we’re all glad you’re here. You have your hair dyed in your distinctive red and gold and I see you’re wearing your signature designer dress and platform shoes.
Jade Blossom: Courtesy Aquilano Rimondi and Jimmy Choo.
Bill: You have a major supporting role in the much-anticipated remake of Lord Jim. How did you land this role?
Jade Blossom: Really, dude, who the hell cares?
Bill: Uh, well, movie fans might be interested. Would you tell us something about it?
Jade Blossom: You ever see a straight-to-DVD masterpiece called Truck Stop Vampires 3?
Bill: Sure, I rented—uh, no. Not me. No way.
Jade Blossom: Uh-huh. That was the first time I did partial nude scenes. That’s the only reason I even got that crappy part, ‘cause I was willing.
Bill: You did full frontal nude scenes in Naughty Beach Nymphs 5. How did you feel about—
Jade Blossom: So you saw that one!
Bill: I, uh, I did some background to get ready for this interview.
Jade Blossom: Of course you did. Well, that movie was the absolute trash pit of my career.
Bill: I was about to say, how did you feel about the nudity?
Jade Blossom: How do you feel about the term “trash pit?”
Bill: Okay, I guess that answers that. In career terms, how did you choose these roles?
Jade Blossom: “Choose,” you say? You think I would have made those movies if I had a choice? I took what I could get. My agent told me I was killing my chances at a career, but I decided to keep working.
Bill: That’s a choice you made.
Jade Blossom: You want to know what almost killed my career? I walked out on a date with a guy who will go unnamed except his last name is Cosby. And I was at a Hollywood party when a studio chief groped my butt. He’ll go unnamed except his first name is Harvey. With him, I changed my density to aluminum, pretended to stumble on my Jimmy Choo platforms, and gave him an elbow to the side of his head while I caught my footing. Both those guys pull strings when a woman snubs them. So my career spent a decade in the toilet, but I refused to quit.
Bill: I think we all admire persistence.
Jade Blossom: Or they called me a stubborn (bleep).
Bill: Uh, why don’t we go to the big break you got on the American Hero reality TV show? You were in your early twenties, I believe. The show was only canceled recently, in its ninth season. But let’s go back to the first season, when you joined the show. You were preparing to be a fashion model from your early teens, right? While you were growing up in the Redondo Beach suburb of L.A. How was that transition?
Jade Blossom: Easy as laughing at a nerd. My agent, believe it or not, actually got me the gig right before I was planning to go to New York. I was twenty-two years old and fresh out of college. Excited and aiming high. But in Southern California, including part-time work during my high school years and getting my degree at UCLA, I already had more than six years of catwalks—meaning tyrannical directors, egotistical designers, and back-stabbing fellow models. It was perfect preparation for American Hero and all the egos and competition.
Bill: I never thought of it that way. That’s really interesting. Am I right that the national exposure made you a household name?
Jade Blossom: That’s no secret.
Bill: And that led to the movie roles during the years that followed.
Jade Blossom: So what? Aren’t you supposed to ask me questions, Brainiac?
Bill: Weren’t your first movie roles in mainstream movies?
Jade Blossom: Damn right, that’s how I know those two unnamed scumbags sent my career into the toilet. I started fast with small parts in four major-budget movies and offers for more—until about six months after I dealt with both of them. Suddenly roles like that dried up.
Bill: We keep jumping all over the place on subject matter. Jade Blossom: Try to keep up, okay?
Bill: You broke into modeling as a teenager, right? How did this come about?
Jade Blossom: I was a tall, scrawny fourteen-year-old when my wild card turned. After that, I got back at every bully whoever made fun of me. And the girls were even meaner than the boys.
Bill: Let’s follow up that thought. Your ace ability is the power to change the density of your body and anything that’s in contact with you, such as your clothes.
Jade Blossom: What about it?
Bill: How did that influence you?
Jade Blossom: I just told ya, Brainiac—revenge!
Bill: Could you elaborate?
Jade Blossom: What’s in it for me?
Bill: Okay, your modeling career took off when you were still young. What was that experience like?
Jade Blossom: My tiger mother saw I had the looks, you know, being tall and thin and having the cheekbones. She pushed me and the whole family. Entering the business, I was a novelty, still being in high school. And my ace meant that I wouldn’t be physically in danger from sleazy guys.
Bill: Are you close to your mother?
Jade Blossom: That bitch?
Bill: Well, okay, was she a stage mother-type?
Jade Blossom: You have to ask? As long as I was a minor, she pulled the strings. Once I turned eighteen, she had to bully me to go along with her and I gave in too often. But after I took the role in Truck Stop Vampires 3 she told me I had embarrassed her and the whole family. We haven’t spoken in years.
Bill: What about the rest of your family? Your dad and your brothers?
Jade Blossom: Off the record?
Bill: Never mind.
Jade Blossom: I’ll put it this way. Nobody messes with anyone in my family. Period. They don’t always know I’m protecting them, but I do it.
Bill: What can you tell us about Lord Jim and your role?
Jade Blossom: Yeah, well, I play a woman in a local tribe. The female lead plays a British woman Jim knows.
Bill: Did you enjoy your experience?
Jade Blossom: Yeah, I was damned happy to be back in a real movie.
Bill: How well did you get along with the cast and crew?
Jade Blossom: Fine.
Bill: I’m only asking because—
Jade Blossom: I know why, Brainiac. You think I don’t know how to handle myself in a professional setting? In American Hero I got along fine. And I got by filming those movies I made out of desperation.
Bill: About those roles you don’t like, did you consider holding out and not accepting any roles until you got what you want?
Jade Blossom: Ha! After those two unnamed guys sabotaged me, there weren’t going to be any better roles even if I held out forever. I was just an up-and-comer with no clout. So I decided to take the work I could get.
Bill: Let’s go back in time again. On American Hero, you showed you can work with a team. What are some of your memories from that show?
Jade Blossom: One time the teams had to put out a fire in a building. I went to a very heavy density and held the fire hose. The force of the water was really powerful but I kept the hose under control.
Bill: Do you recall your team members on that challenge?
Jade Blossom: Stuntman and Diver come to mind. I liked them. Diver and I were the only women on the team in the early stage. I loaned her some of my clothes just a few times. You know what? I never do that. But I did.
Bill: Rumors, gossip of all kinds, are normal for this kind of show. Have you been asked about them before?
Jade Blossom: Back when the show was new, but that’s what, nine years ago? The whole game is recounted in a book called American Heroes.
Bill: So you read it?
Jade Blossom: I lived it, don’t need to read it. Okay, I looked up my own name. Skimmed a little. A very long time ago.
Bill: Would you say it’s accurate?
Jade Blossom: Get to the point. Who do you want to ask about?
Bill: Lots of rumors about Drummer Boy went around.
Jade Blossom: Sure, Drummer Boy was screwing every female in sight, me included. That’s no secret.
Bill: So how did you feel about Drummer Boy?
Jade Blossom: I felt nothing at all. Except when we did it. That was intense. I didn’t feel anything the way you mean.
Bill: Were you just one more tally mark for him?
Jade Blossom: He was a tally mark for me.
Bill: Some rumors were going around about you and Stuntman, too. Was there any substance—
Jade Blossom: I had a fling with him, too. I liked Jamal—I mean, Stuntman. Haven’t seen him in forever. We had a falling out, but so what? It never would have happened without the intensity of the show. All of us living together, teaming up, and so on. That fling would never have lasted after the game anyhow.
Bill: Let’s jump up to something much more recent. You spoke at a band camp for high school kids. A jazz camp in Texas.
Jade Blossom: Oh, puh-leeze!
Bill: You stomped a grand piano into smithereens? Is that right?
Jade Blossom: I had to go to that damn thing. High school kids! Can you imagine?
Bill: You said you had to go. How could anyone make you do something like that?
Jade Blossom: My appearance was arranged to raise my profile before Lord Jimcomes out.
Bill: An offer you couldn’t refuse?
Jade Blossom: Sure I could, if I wanted to tank my career a second time.
Bill: So you gave a talk, right?
Jade Blossom: There was an essay contest. The kid who won got me as a date.
Bill: You were the date of a high school boy?
Jade Blossom: Not my idea. Somebody else dreamed this up.
Bill: I heard a rumor that you had a soft spot for two or three of the kids.
Jade Blossom: Don’t believe everything you hear and don’t spread it around. I have a reputation to keep and that’s all I’ll say about it. You can read about the band camp in Texas Hold’em. Now move on.
Bill: What happened after this band camp? From what I understand, you did things that would definitely get people’s attention in this day and age.
Jade Blossom: Damn, you checked it out, didn’t you? All the videos the kids took wound up online. Youtube or wherever.
Bill: Well, I did background for this interview, like I said before.
Jade Blossom: So you already know the answer to your last question. And you must know I got a huge amount of publicity. Every time anybody mentioned me going to the camp, the movie’s name and release date are included, because that’s the reason I showed up.
Bill: But that has to be bad publicity, don’t you think? Jade Blossom: You never heard that all publicity is good publicity?
Bill: Maybe that’s not always true.
Jade Blossom: The studio’s happy, so I’m happy.
Bill: What’s next for you?
Jade Blossom: I don’t think I’ll be invited to any more band camps. Just as well, I say.
Bill: Do you have any more movie roles lined up?
Jade Blossom: Are you looking down the front of my dress?
Jade Blossom: Why the hell not?
Jade Blossom: Ha! Gotcha.
Bill: This has certainly been an unusual visit.
Jade Blossom: I’m bored. I’m outta here.
Bill: Thanks for coming. I think.
Jade Blossom: Whatever.
Bill: (privately) What have I done?