Tara Reid on her career slump: ‘It didn’t make sense to get punished for having fun’


Tara Reid has a longer interview with Entertainment Tonight. She’s promoting a movie that she stars in and executive produces called Masha’s Mushroom. It’s a thriller and co-stars Vivica A. Fox, Beverly D’Angelo and Billy Zane. I went into this thinking that Tara sounds spaced out and like she’s “maintaining,” as Kaiser calls it. That’s when someone is just partially in the bag and is trying to act sober. Tara is a mumbler and it took me a minute to get used to that. However that just might be how she sounds and it could be due to her veneers.

Tara made some good points about how mean the press was to her in the early 2000s. Plus she was really classy and nice about everything, particularly about the incident in 2016 when Jenny McCarthy was mean to her on her show. Tara doesn’t have a DUI or any other arrests and the way she explained it she just liked to have fun. Given how we’re looking at Britney with new eyes, it may be time to re-evaluate Tara. Here’s some of what she told ET’s Deidre Behar and I’ve embedded the interview below.

On how she’s executive producing now
I love acting, it’s my favorite thing to do in the world. Becoming a producer has been so exciting. I didn’t realize how much goes into a film. It was getting slow for me. I was like ‘I’m not going to wait for a script. I’m going to create my own parts.’ I want to be a really good businesswoman. Not just acting and producing. Making my own brands. Getting into the fashion world.

She was asked if it was her goal to win an Oscar or have a number one movie
Definitely winning an Oscar. It would be amazing. Doing a movie with Meryl Streep would be really cool. Having another movie number one at the box office. You do know me well.

On her favorite 2000s memories
More celebrities hung out with celebrities then. I remember walking on the street [in New York] and [I saw myself] on four different covers. Doing the cover of Rolling Stone was really cool too. We had fun going to [events]. Just doing it all together was fun.

On if she’s still in touch with Paris or Kim K
Kim just sent me her new clothing line. That was really nice of her. Nicky Hilton I talk to sometimes. Paris. Everyone has had their ups and downs with each other. I’m just really proud of everyone because they’ve done so well.

On Jenny McCarthy’s mean interview with her in 2016
She was just a nasty person. She went places you just don’t go. I’ve never had beef with her or anything. I was thinking ‘what are you doing? Why are you picking on me?’ I was more in shock that it happened. [She hasn’t reached out to me.] That will not be patched. I’m over it and I don’t really care. [Amy Schumer was] so sweet that she reached out to me like that.

On how she was treated in the early 2000s by the press
I do feel like it’s slowly but surely changing. Women have a lot of power now which they didn’t have as much then. It’s refreshing that everyone is starting to talk about it. [Being unfairly labeled] has been going on in my career for a very long time.

That’s also why I started to do this, because if I don’t fix this, it’s not going to get fixed. People are going to realize how smart I am, how I’m producing, how I’m creating all these things. Then they’re going to have to stop because they can’t keep picking on you. It was almost cool to pick on me.

On if those labels hurt her career
Of course. It was definitely hard to get in the room for a lot of things. I didn’t work for a while. That was really frustrating. I didn’t really do that much. Danced on a table… I never got in trouble or [got] a DUI or did anything bad really. I felt really bullied by the studios and by the people and very misjudged. All the girls I did grow up with, they got rewarded for it. I was like ‘what’s going on, why am I the only one?’ It didn’t make sense to get punished for having fun.

[From ET Online on YouTube]

Once I watched this interview a second time to transcribe it I came away with a much better impression of Tara. She made a lot of good points. I think if Tara got sober and was open about that she might have been able to get a foothold on her career easier. The same is true for Lindsay Lohan. Paris Hilton has always been an a-hole, but she’s clear spoken and skilled at promoting herself. Tara’s career has struggled because we’ve seen her struggling, even up until a few years ago. I’m not saying that was fair. The interviewer brought up the fact we don’t treat men like that and Tara then focused on the fact that things are changing for women. I like to see Tara healthy and shooting her shot. I want good things for her.

Here’s that interview

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27 Responses to “Tara Reid on her career slump: ‘It didn’t make sense to get punished for having fun’”

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  1. Girl_ninja says:

    She was definitely dumped on because of her partying was. The way her body was objectified as well after her breast augmentation was disgusting as well. She was picked on and people got away with it.

    Jenny McCarthy is trash.

  2. Digital Unicorn says:

    Tara was def someone who at one point was on the same path as Lohan, am glad she is in a better place now and all the best to her.

    And yes, the press treated her disgustingly. The sh!t she got for her breast implants was just awful.

  3. Angh says:

    The part about publicly asking Nicole Kidman to be a part of her movie made me cringe so hard.

  4. Noki says:

    Oscar ? Her acting is absolutely not oscar worthy. I think theproblem with Tara was that she was a sloppy drunk/user. Paris H and Kim K were also club hopping during that time but they had their eye on bigger things than short term fun.

  5. Wilma says:

    I just don’t think her acting was good enough. She’s usually the weakest link to me in the things I have seen. And there just is a lot of competition in the acting world, lots of actresses you can choose for your project instead.

  6. Emily says:

    She was certainly typed cast.

    I wonder if the partying hurt her career because it was bad enough to effect insurance vs. bad PR?

    I remember when she was dating Carson Dailey and was in American Pie. She was poised to be a big deal.

    • Tiffany says:

      I remember when E gave her a show about vacationing and partying and then cancelled it because she was *checks notes* vacationing and partying.

      I also remember Tara being one of the first to get a taste of Ellen Degeneres mean streak on her show. Tara never called back or came back to the show and the show made a mean sketch about it.

  7. Willow says:

    As soon as I read her name, in my head I immediately started judging. And I read your article, and you mentioned Britney Spears, and it just hit it me so hard. When are we going to stop sabotaging women? I didn’t even think about the nasty direction of my thoughts, I thought I was a better person than that.

    • guilty pleasures says:

      @Willow, well said, you captured my discomfort perfectly. I started with an eye roll, thinking, ‘here we go again with this silly woman,’ then I got hit with a dose of how real she is. She’s a person who got raked over the coals, run over, repeat.
      I, too, was ready for another attack on her, which I would have read, and felt holier than thou because I don’t actually create mean content. This smacked my face with the fact that I am just as bad.
      Keyboard cruelty is hellacious.

  8. SarahCS says:

    I am so pleased that we’re having more conversations about how people were treated in the press/industry and the gender differences particularly.

    It’s also nice to start the week with a story about someone who we have seen struggle publicly who is now in a better place.

  9. reef says:

    That Jenny McCarthy interview is iconic. “I hope your knees stay wobblier than they already are” is a hilarious line. I’ve never listened to the entire interview but the last minute of that interview was top notch passive aggression.

  10. Bibi says:

    In those years, media outlets would pick and intimidate some people and they did with Tara. She got picked for being a heavy party goer and they also focused on body shaming her. She partied like a lot of others. It was cool and and badboyish sexy for men but for women it was being disheveled and drunks and unprofessional and sluts. And they’d get judged and misunderstood and nobody would ever think of trying to give them some time to explain. It’s about time we right the wrongs of the past. I don’t even like reading comments about how some people think her dream of get an oscar is out of reach. We all started somewhere. So did madonna. So did oprah. So did so many people. Totally unacceptable to be slashing someone’s dream like that.

  11. AppleTart says:

    I think she was judged more harshly than other party girls. She was just too sloppy about it. And was a pap feast when the boob fell out of the dress moment. She was a flash in the pan and age and not great acting skills does not get you a solid long term acting career. While Sharknado was a goof. It really did put her back on the map. At least she is trying to build off of it. I hope the best for her.

  12. LeonsMomma says:

    I went on a late 1990s/early 2000s movie binge this weekend because I am tired of the fairy/magic/etc. movies with the absolutely same plot that are constantly being shown.

    Anyhow, Tara Reid was in a few of them. She had a great energy about her in the roles and was definately on her way. I think she was at that age where she got famous, had lots of stuff thrown at her, and she liked to have fun, as she said. She made mistakes and the press crucified her. I know you are comparing her to the other It girls of that era — Paris, Nicky, Kim, Lindsay (another one with great energy on screen), Britney, Christina — but none of them, maybe Nicky, came out unscathed.

    Also, don’t forget, one of the top celeb magazines — US weekly — was run by two women, at separate times, during this time — Bonnie Fuller and Janice Min — who lead the slut shaming charge.

  13. chimes@midnight says:

    Tara Reid is not entitled to a movie star career. She isn’t even entitled to her own show on E! Entertainment Television.

    I’m sorry people were mean to her and I’m glad she is in a better place personally. But she wasn’t shunned because she came out of the closet. She wasn’t sabotaged because she spoke out about abuse. She was a sloppy drunk party girl. The press showed her being a sloppy drunk party girl. She didn’t stop being a sloppy drunk party girl. She seemed to be inebriated in public appearances and interviews, right (I’m not a Tara Reid expert so I’m just drawing from memory) ? And she was an okay actress who was in a number of flops, so her career fizzled. It happens. What is Shannon Elizabeth up to these days? Mena Suvari?

    I think it does kind of a disservice to people who suffered real abuse, to women who were unfairly portrayed or sabotaged, to have this mentality that everyone who was ever drunk on the pages of People Magazine is now owed a career resurrection.

  14. LillyfromLillooet says:

    I love a comeback story. Rooting for you Tara!

  15. ce says:

    So, I as many of you vividly remember when these party girl stories originated. And while I *do* recall the sexist, over-the-top coverage as being icky, there was another side to it no one seems to want to recall where you would get photos of these women completely plastered, and then the next day reports from their film shoot/photo shoot/video shoot that they were several hours late, couldnt perform, couldn’t finish etc. The aggressive coverage was one thing, but the unprofessional behavior WAS an issue for almost all these people and no one wants to go back and remember that part I guess? Like culturally we were very into party culture back then and there were real repercussions from those choices.

    • AnneSurely says:

      Yeah, it doesn’t matter what job you do, if you’re out sloppy drunk partying every night and then showing up to work either still drunk or hungover and unable to perform, you deserve to not work. This is not difficult. And in some industries, you’re a legal liability to your employer. Tara Reid was a whole adult back then. Not an impressionable teenager guided by bad parenting into a life of drugs.

  16. Meime says:

    Sorry, I just can’t get too high up on the sympathy train for Tara Reid. She had minimal talent, and was a stereotypical “hot girl” that got her fame, celebrity status, and access to parties. Unfortunately, she sort of pissed it away. I’m sorry, but to me she just seems like a vapid dum dum who lacks any self awareness about this. She wants to to jump on this trend of apologizing to all of the ladies of the early 2000s, and while I get that the rampant misogyny was gross, it was still her getting sloppy drunk and courting the paparazzi. I’m not saying “she asked for it,” but it’s just a more nuanced situation than say, Britney Spears, who was very much abused by the media just for being a pretty female pop star with mental health issues.

    • emu says:

      I agree. I feel like she was only famous because of her looks – she is not a good actress.. at all. Like even the Sharknado movies (which I campily loved) she was obviously bad in – that dude from Melrose made her even worse in comparison. And I’m sure she stopped being cast for being unprofessional (or being drunk/hungover along with bad acting) – not because she was having ‘fun’.

    • Jules says:

      Yea, I recognize her name but can’t place one thing she’s been in.

  17. Marigold says:

    Jenny McCarthy is trash. That’s all.

  18. Veronica S. says:

    I think women definitely get more shit for partying, but honestly, I think a lot of it was just not prioritizing her career properly. When you’re at an age and talent level where you have a narrow range with a lot of competition, you have to hustle constantly. Tara Reid just…didn’t lol. You have to know when to put down the cocaine and get serious, and that group she was in just partied its best years away. Those drugs take their toll, both on the body and in personal opportunity.

  19. DiegoInSF says:

    I actually don’t suffer from second hand embarrassment usually but her begging Nicole Kidman to be in her movie and her agent actually telling her sorry she’s booked for the next 2 years, that was cringeworthy💀. Also, the interviewer was clearly trolling with calling her iconic and so on. I think partying would have been fine if it didn’t interfere with her jobs but do agree tabloid culture in the early aughts was brutal!

  20. coolspray says:

    Hmmm…. an OSCAR? A movie with Meryl?
    I’m all for a comeback and full sympathy for how she was treated, but let’s have some perspective: the press’ sins really cannot disguise the fact that she has zero acting talent. Partying aside, perhaps her lack of talent had some impact on her career slump?

  21. Silvie says:

    I think Tara had some addiction issues and an eating disorder, and probably didn’t have the right people around her to protect her when she was young (same as Lindsay, etc.) So much of being long-term successful in LA is having powerful people surrounding you who have your best interests in mind. Her career should have been on fire after the Big Lebowski. I’d love to see her find success now.