Traci Lords is back in action in a new project called "Swedish Dicks," and she'll be the first to tell you, no, it's not a porno.
While she first shot onto the scene as an adult film star (while underage), she later established herself as a serious actress, writer, designer and musician. With her gig on PopTV's new series from Peter Stormare kicking off this week, Lords spoke with TooFab about the new role, her "Cry-Baby" legacy and starting a "female boss lady"-led fashion line of her own.
"People are just so weird about it and so shocked by it," Lords explained of "Swedish Dicks." "I remember the first tweet I sent about it, I hashtagged it #NoItsNotAPorno because everybody was like, 'Oh Traci, what are you doing?' Oh come on! It's been a running joke. The penis power has been lost on this show. It's been amusing."
Lords appears on the show as Jane McKinney -- one of Stormare's rival private investigators -- in a role the "Fargo" star created with her in mind.
"About a year ago I got an email from my manager with a script attached to it and it was forwarded with a letter from Peter Stomare," she said. "He just wrote me this beautiful letter, I have this project I've been working on and it's about these detectives in Los Angeles and there's this female character who’s very much a boss lady and I can't imagine anyone but you playing this, please please please read my script."
And the rest is history.
Though Lords loves playing the character, she said she found herself "frustrated" with the limitations of the budget when it came to her wardrobe. Those frustrations led to her collaborating more on Jane's outfits for Season 2, using pieces from her own collection with Pinup Girl Clothing.
"Season 1, we were all trying to figure out what the show was, we knew she was a boss lady, we knew all these things, we had a very limited budget," she explained. "I was, quite honestly, frustrated with the limitations because I just saw her differently, I couldn't make that happen at that point."
"It was then I started thinking I want to design for my character, that was always something I’ve done for fun," she said. After teaming up with Laura Byrnes of Pinup Girl, the two worked together on the Traci Lords For Couture For Every Body line, a collection she's extremely proud of. Looks from the upcoming fall collection will appear on the show.
"I'm very proud of that because we're all female owned, it's a female CEO, owner, made in America, all those things that are really important," she went on. "Being part of this team of boss ladies is awesome. By the time Season 2 happened, the pieces started happening. Laura and I started really specifically cutting for Jane. These pieces will come out in the fall. It's been really powerful for me."
Though she's already "dabbled in a lot of things," the 49-year-old multi-hyphenate said her next big goal is directing.
"I've started branching out, little fingers of things if you will," she explained. I definitely see myself filmmaking. I directed my first short, I'm more and more into writing, I'm going to do my first feature this year. I'm going to direct. It's been good fun and then I'll start to do what Peter did, begging the actors to come in and work with me as a director."
The actress also spoke about her memorable role as Wanda Woodward in the John Waters' classic "Cry-Baby," a film she still gets love for almost 30 years later.
"At the time I didn’t realize how many people would find her inspiring and that was 28 years ago or something," she said. "I didn't think about that when I was playing her, but she was tough, she was beautiful, she was a badass, she was feisty, she spoke her mind and it was that whole genre of the way she was dressed, people really relate to that."
"Swedish Dicks" premieres with back-to-back episodes August 9 on PopTV.