Voice From the Past: Transcript of Rare Traci Lords Interview

Bob Ellison conducted this telephone interview with Nora Louise Kuzma who was posing as Kristie Nussman and working in the porn industry as Traci Lords, the biggest and soon to be the most controversial porn star of the 1980s.

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By Lords' 18th birthday, she had performed in more than 70 adult films, videos and loop carriers. Lords directed and starred in: Traci, I Love You, Traci Takes Paris and Traci Takes Tokyo. The plan was the series of videos would be distributed by her own production and distribution house, Traci Lords Company (TLC). Due to cash flow problems, Lords ended up selling the first and best release, Traci, I Love You, which in it's ten year distribution deal with Caballero, became one of the most talked about and viewed adult movies of all time.

Before the other two movies could be released under the TLC banner, word got out that Lords was underage for the majority of her career, having done her first nude layout at the age of 15. Every movie and magazine, with Traci Lords appearing in any way, had to be recalled and destroyed at an enormous cost to the producers. Lords always showed up for work with a government issued passport and a California issued driver license declaring her 22 years of age.

Though she carried legal identification, Lords frequently used different Social Security numbers on her model releases. Lords, who turned her back on porn and pornographers, cost the industry millions. Despite her falsified California driver's license and US passport, Nora Louise Kuzma, aka Traci Lords was never prosecuted.

Norma Louise Kuzma legally changed her name to Traci Elizabeth Lords. She's appeared in more than two dozen mainstream films, ranging from John Waters' Cry Baby to winning a Best Actress at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. She's also appeared in dozens of TV shows and made for television movies.

Lords also released a dance album "1000 Fires," which featured a song on the double platinum selling soundtrack to Mortal Kombat.

She's regularly appearing on the Science Fiction Channel show "First Wave" and is releasing her biography "Underneath It All" on HarperCollins.

Many people in the porn industry will be anxious to see what Traci Lords will choose to present about her past. Lords was known for being a nymphomaniacal woman-child who seemed wise beyond her years while simultaneously suffering from what some called the worst case of arrested development the world of porn had ever seen.

The transcription of this interview does not due justice to the truth found in the recorded telephone interview. In retrospect, Traci Lords circa 1985 was one seriously troubled teenage girl.

Q: I'm gonna do an interview with ya' for the magazines and you said that you would call as soon as you got back from your convention and all that stuff.


Q: So that's what I'm doing now. If you've got a little bit of time, we'll do it and make it easy for now.

TRACI: Okay.

Q: First off, the name Traci Lords. Do you like it T-R-A-C-Y or T-R-A-C-I?


Q: Okay because a lot of them are spelling it both ways.

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: You know, and it's screwed up. Uh, any particular pictures you wanna plug or promote? Anything you particularly feel, you feel strong about?

TRACI: Yeah. Um, Talk Dirty to Me Part Three.

Q: Great.

TRACI: And Sex Waves is good.

Q: Yeah.

TRACI: Let's see. What else? Ummmm. That's good, those two.

Q: Okay. You think you gave your best performances in this?

TRACI: Uh-huh.

Q: Good! Who among the directors have you found the best to work with? The most beneficial?

TRACI: Who do I like the best?

Q: Yeaaah.

TRACI: I like John Dirlam a lot.

Q: Okay, I've heard good things about him. Anybody else?

TRACI: Um, I like...Dave Dubay a lot.

Q: Okay. Aaaannnd, how about people working with? Who do you like working with the best?

TRACI: Like talent-wise?

Q: Yeah.

TRACI: Guys and girls?

Q: Sure.

TRACI: Umm. Guys, I like Tom Byron and Kevin Dean.

Q: Good people.

TRACI: Uh, Billy Dee.

Q: Okay.

TRACI: And girls, I like Ginger Lynn.

Q: Right.

TRACI: And I like. I like Ricki Blake. You know who that is?

Q: Sure.

TRACI: I like her a lot.

Q: She's very sweet, too.

TRACI: That's about it on girls.

Q: Okay, ha, well, that's enough of a list.

TRACI: [giggles]

Q: Uh, how old are you now? Nineteen?

TRACI: I'm twenty-two.

Q: You don't look even twenty-two.

TRACI: I just had a birthday, November 17th.

Q: [singing] Happy Birthday to you. How tall are you? Let's have some statistics

TRACI: Five foot seven.

Q: Weight what?

TRACI: 'hundred and fifteen.

Q: Okay. How would you describe the color of your hair? It's a rich brown to me but that's not good enough. Chestnut brown or something like that?

TRACI: Um, the color of my hair? Ya, chestnut brown, I guess.

Q: Ya, shoulder-length, I guess, would be the best.

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: Okay, how about the measurements?

TRACI: Okay, 36 on top.

Q: Yes. C?


Q: D. As in dangerous, okay?

TRACI: Uh-huh.

Q: Waist?

TRACI: Twenty-four.

Q: Okay. Hips would probably be about 35 or 36.

TRACI: Yeah, 35 or 36.

Q: Okay. What about sports, that sort of stuff?

TRACI: Different sports. Ice skating.

Q: Are you any good?

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: How good?

TRACI: Real good.

Q: Okay. Where do you skate?

TRACI: Where do I skate?

Q: Uh-huh.

TRACI: Usually, well, Dallas, Texas has a great rink.

Q: Okay.

TRACI: I like skating in Texas. And California I'm not too familiar with for ice skating places.

Q: How long ya been out here?

TRACI: For four years.

Q: Oh really? I didn't realize that. I thought it was more recent than that. What brought you out here originally?

TRACI: While I lived in New York for a while and I just got tired of it. The beach is out here.

Q: Sunshine, surf, sand, beach.

TRACI: Yep, I wanted to stick my toes in the sand.

Q: Yeah. Have you found it's everything you expected it to be?

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: What do you like most about the business?

TRACI: The business. I get paid for things I enjoy doing.

Q: Ha, ha, ha! How wonderful. How old were you when you got into the business? Was it a year ago?

TRACI: It was a year ago, I was twenty-one.

Q: Yeah. What brought you in to it? An ad or did somebody tell you or what?

TRACI: I just wanted, I just wanted, originally I was mo- I was a model anyway. And it got a little slow.

Q: Yeah.

TRACI: And I started nude modeling and then I got in to film.

Q: Okay. What lured you into films? The money? Or the fun? Or both?

TRACI: Both.

Q: Riight. I can understand that.

TRACI: It was for a piece of ass. I didn't have a boyfriend.

Q: Had you had one before that?


Q: Have you ever had one?

TRACI: Ohhh, I've had about five or six. I wouldn't say one.

Q: How long do they last?

TRACI: Not long.

Q: Month, two months?

TRACI: As long as instant breakfast lasts.

Q: Ha, ha, ha! That's funny! Is that your own line?


Q: That's funny. That's wonderful.

TRACI: It's in "Penthouse," too.

Q: Is it really?


Q: In the November issue or when you did the center thing?

TRACI: It was September, I believe.

Q: Is that when it was?

TRACI: Mh-hm.

Q: Because I saw the thing but I didn't read the text. I just glanced at it. How did you like the layout?

TRACI: Oh, I loved it. It was one of my best.

Q: Okay. How old were you when you first started having sex? Do you remember?

TRACI: Nineteen.

Q: That late?


Q: What was the occasion? What prompted it all?

TRACI: Why did I wait so long?

Q: Yeah.

TRACI: Because I was brought up that way. Lived with my Dad for a while...

Q: What's he do?

TRACI: ...that's just how he was.

Q: Soldier or somethin?

TRACI: No. What does he do?

Q: Yeah.

TRACI: He's an electrician.

Q: In other words he's not like a career man or something.

TRACI: No, no, no. But he lives in West Virginia and he's just real old-fashioned.

Q: Gotcha. How about your Mom? Alive? Dead?

TRACI: Yeah, my Mom's alive and very well and she's airline stewardess and she flys all over the country and I see her a lot.

Q: Are they separated?

TRACI: They're divorced.

Q: Oh.

TRACI: They've been divorced since I was about four.

Q: I gotcha. And he got custody then.

TRACI: No actually. My Mom had custody.

Q: How'd you shift over to your Dad then?

TRACI: I decided to go see him. I took off when I was about twelve and I've been on my own ever since.

Q: I'll be darn. That's great! Great sense of independence. Has she seen any of the magazine layouts or anything?

TRACI: Yeah, she sure has.

Q: And what's her reaction?

TRACI: She answers my fan mail. [giggles]

Q: Ha, ha, ha! Is she here based out of LA?

TRACI: Well, she's usually not. But I see her. She comes into LA, probably, a couple of months out of the year.

Q: Oh, that's nice. That's nice. So she's a young mother, then, I would take it. She's probably not much over forty.

TRACI: She had me when she was about sixteen so she's about what? In her forties I guess.

Q: Yeah. But just barely into her forties. She's younger than Jim (South) for heaven sake.

TRACI: Yeah, she's pretty young.

Q: Yeah. Has she seen any of the videos?

TRACI: Kinky Business.

Q: How'd she like it?

TRACI: She liked it.

Q: Yeaah. She doesn't see any problem with it or anything else?

TRACI: Well, she's not thrilled with it. She doesn't like the movies but whatever makes me happy.

Q: Great, great. What don't you like about making the movies? Anything?

TRACI: Sometimes I get a lot of jerks as the director. You get on set. They tell you how to fuck. They tell you when to scream. And I don't think that's right. I think for the best results, you should just be able to go with what you feel and act how you want to act.

Q: Do you get the feeling that some of them don't know how to do it in their own lives?

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: Ha, ha.

TRACI: They need their own tips.

Q: Huh?

TRACI: They need their own tips.

Q: I agree with ya. You know the thing that bores the shit out of me on these things?

TRACI: What?

Q: The dialogue.

TRACI: Yeah, the dialogue. Really. I mean, people...

Q: People don't talk that way.

TRACI: They write a line with, like, "fuck," every other word, "Come 'ere baby. I wanna sit on your face. I wanna fuck you. I wanna fuck you. I wanna eat you. I wanna fuck you." I mean, it's nothing that you would say.

Q: Nobody talks like that.

TRACI: No one talks like that. I mean, if they want dirty talk, once you get into the sex and it'll just come out.

Q: Yeah.

TRACI: If it's a little nasty, the cock'll come out and they'll get what they want.

Q: And that'll make it much more romantic anyway.

TRACI: And it'll make it look like it's just not a staged set.

Q: Yeah. Ehhh...

(tape paused)

TRACI: ...you know what I'm talking about.

Q: I've told him and everybody else has told him, they're terrible. You know, cause people don't talk that way. And that's-- as you know, he's hard to explain anything to.

TRACI: Exactly.

Q: Which do you prefer doing? Boy/girl or girl/girl.

TRACI: I like boy/girl a lot better than I like girl/girl. Because there's-- I like girls a lot but there's very few in the business I wanna be with. There's not very many at all.

Q: How about in your personal life?

TRACI: In my personal life, I get to choose. That's a different story cause I get to choose. I'm not put with someone. When I get put with, something, someone, then it's easier to be with a guy cause you can close your eyes and it feels good anyway. But with a girl, you gotta, you go down, and, I mean, things like that. And if you're with a girl that's gross...then it just doesn't work.

Q: In other words, if her hygiene isn't good or whatever.

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: Her grooming...

TRACI: Then forget it.

Q: Yeah, tell me about it because what do you think I work with in my social life? Girls. Right? You know, I know exactly what you're talking about. Um, is there a type of woman and a type of man that you like?

TRACI: A type of woman...

Q: Yeah. And a type of man. We're talking now personal life/social life. Sexual life.

TRACI: Uh, I will not be with girls that are underdeveloped. Ha, ha. That's one of my strong rules.

Q: What do you mean? You like boobs?

TRACI: I like boobs.

Q: Really? That's interesting.

TRACI: I like boobs and I like asses and I like nice figures. I don't like fat at all.

Q: I can't stand it either.

TRACI: I like long hair. And I favor blondes. I favor blondes a lot.

Q: Do you have any idea why?

TRACI: I dunno.

Q: Why the boobs? What do you do with them? What's so special about the boobs?

TRACI: I just like the boobs. I like the way they feel. [giggles]

Q: What? Do ya suck on em? Play with em?

TRACI: Yeah, yeah. I like to play with them.

Q: Rub yours against theirs.

TRACI: Yeah, yeah.

Q: Who gives the best head? Men or women?

TRACI: In my experiences, I would say, probably men.

Q: Do you get off on giving head?

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: You do.

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: Okay. Cause some women, you know, simply don't. Period. At all. Do you get off better from getting head as opposed to blowing?


[long pause]

Q: That doesn't work for ya?

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: Blowing.

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: What's the wildest thing you've ever done sexually? Either on camera or...

TRACI: On camera?

Q: No, personally or on camera or whatever. Doesn't make any difference.

TRACI: Or the most dangerous. I probably say, on PCH we fucked on my Corvette on the hood, at night.

Q: In public.

TRACI: Uh-huh.

Q: Where at? Up on the hill or something?

TRACI: Yeah, overlooking all of LA.

Q: Who was working with you on that?

TRACI: No one worked with me. It was off-screen. And it was my boyfriend.

Q: So offscreen and the boyfriend thing. Uh, did that add a touch of excitement too?

TRACI: Oh yeah. Cause he was a really good lay.

Q: Yeah, but also the chance that someone may catch you and all that jazz.

TRACI: Uh-huh.

Q: But I like theaters.

TRACI: Uh-huh.

Q: You know.

TRACI: [small laugh]

Q: If you go to the Mann's Chinese Theater, the big one, in the back, on the left-hand side, you're homefree.

TRACI: Yeah...

Q: Remember that. Take notes on that.

TRACI: Okay. [small laugh] Left-hand side in the back.

Q: Yeah. Where do you think you're best at?

TRACI: What do you mean? What am I best at?

Q: Sure. Yeah.

TRACI: I like to give head.

Q: You think you're exceptionally good at it?

TRACI: Mmmhh, depends on what kind of mood I'm in. Somtimes I am but sometimes there's times I don't want to do it and it shows.

Q: Yeah. Would that be dependant on who you're working with?

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: How about him coming? Do you care if he comes in your mouth? Or do you want it outside or do you want it on the face or the boobs?

TRACI: Face. On the face first.

Q: You like it on the face? [almost sarcastic]

TRACI: Oh, yeahh.

Q: Why?

TRACI: Cause I like to see the dick in my face when it's coming.

Q: It gets you hotter then?

TRACI: Yeah.

Q: Oh-kay.

TRACI: I like the way it pulsates before it comes.

Q: Ah-ha, ha, ha! On the bigger, healthier ones?

TRACI: Mh-hm.

Q: Size. Does that matter to ya?

TRACI: I like the big dicks.

Q: Wide or long or just overall?

TRACI: Just all.

Q: Shit, I didn't hear you mention Hyatt (Ron Jeremy) or any of the other bigger studs, although Byron's pretty good.

TRACI: Yeah. I like Ronnie Jeremy, too.

Q: Yeah.

TRACI: You can put that in your notes. He played the ninja in one of my last films.

Q: Yeah, he's a nice kid. He's funny.

TRACI: He can fuck good.

Q: And he's got a good sense of humor, too. What don't you do?

TRACI: What don't I do? I don't do anal.

Q: Any particular reason why?

TRACI: I just don't like it on screen.

Q: Okay. In private life?

TRACI: Yeah, that's different.

Q: Okay, that's a different cup of tea. How about working with two guys simultaneously?

TRACI: I love to work with two guys.

Q: Socially as well as professionally?

TRACI: Oh, yeah.

Q: Okay, one oral and one vaginal?

TRACI: Uh-huh.

Q: Okay. What in terms of masturbation gets you off? Internal of external?

TRACI: Masturbation. My vibrator always gets me off. I'd say external.

Q: So you use it on the clit?

TRACI: Mmm-hmm.

Q: And you don't like it on the inside thing?

TRACI: But I do after a while. To begin with I like it on the clit then I like to stick something in and then I use