|A Personal Interview|
Dance Artist from New York
Don't believe a thing when you hear Sweet, Sweet Surrender.
21-year-old Samantha Cole isn't prepared to endure much.
Nov. 9, 1998 Kuala Lumpur --
Cole is a gem! She's subtle and sarcastic, sweet and steely-edged. She's a New Yorker, and like her fellow troglodytes, pretty hard on everything in the free world.
What's great is her 'I don't care what you think' singer shit. What grates is this same dismissive huffiness, used when this writer tries to warm up to the subject of her sex appeal as a mini-skirted dance artist.
'I've got what it takes ... what's wrong with that?' she wanted to know.
Yet Cole hesitates when asked about her infamous affair with the man, supposedly architect turned model, who recently married Christie Brinkley.
She sits demurely, knees clapped together, hands in her lap. I watch as her tousled curls move with a life of their own. Cole always wears them down, it's a rare picture if you ever catch sight of her in a ponytail. This fanaticism for the loose is something she cannot understand herself. Today she's dressed in a cookie-cutter suit by Rampage and killer pumps by Bijou Bijou. Not exactly diva-esque, but her reasons for looking corporate chic is simply this: "I want the press to take me seriously."
The issue here is of forgiveness. When Cole visited Malaysia last year, she was a budding star with a major attitude. Much weight was thrown around. She left the country in a wake of unfavourable comments and icky reviews. Much attention was given to her snobbish and ill-tempered demeanour, as if we'd all opened her presents and licked her birthday bon-bons. Apparently she threw a fit in front of our reporters.
This time, nothing was going to shake. To make sure nothing did go wrong our interview was intruded upon by a third person, the worst kind: a PR handler.
Karen Jones, damage control specialist, flew down from Universal Hongkong to chaperon this New York celebrity with the shooting mouth. Sitting at my elbow and serving us tea, Jones was a pro at greasing the edges of my questioning; I have never been so put off by niceties in my life. Every time I got Cole talking about the evil smelly stuff in her life (which is more than the evil smelly stuff in Mariah Carey's life), Jones on my right hand would cough loudly and ask if anyone would like more tea, sugar, milk or biscuits.
So the 3 of us sat in an uncomfortable circle (if 3 makes a circle) and tried to keep from swearing out loud. We're being pushed into calmer conversational waters when suddenly a pair of makeup & hair guys enter from the adjoining bedroom. Mincing and swaying in the tighest stretch pants, they bend down and pucker goodbye to their pretty little boss.
'Go, go,' Cole motions them with an impatient sigh, refusing to give either one a farewell kiss.
I hear Jones groan inwardly and smile to myself.
Ah hah, a faggot-hater.
When I ask about the current love of her life, Cole flashes me her rings by way of an answer. So many?
A precious multi-circle platinum ring flashes a glint, it's a gorgeous piece from her ex, producer Ethan E. - he got it from Tiffany's. Her diamond earrings are even better, she says. They come with fonder memories, from a man now married to an old hag called Brinkley.
But we won't go there, see, we can't.
So I start talking about movies, the latest buzz being Godzilla. Cole doesn't quite see the big deal with a blockbuster plot about an overgrown lizard that systematically mangles New York on the big screen.
'It's all done by computers,' she huffs. 'You know it's not real.'
Uh huh, I think.
I ask if her very tony attire in Kuala Lumpur was arranged by the PR people.
Ah no, she says, it's just good taste. Cole takes the fashionista scene seriously. Her attire today was specially selected by design consultants in NYC. For her evening rousts, she would prefer the swathes of Richard Tyler, Gucci or Aleia Alledine.
Back home in New York, Cole's latest daytime fad is the ubiquitous athletic tracks made popular by Adidas, the sort that goes really well with trainers.
'I wear my stripey pants and a tanktop to do stuff like pick up groceries or lounge at home. Mine's got a silver line.'
Cole believes they match really well with mini tanktops. This meager attempt at disguise has apparently made her a target for New York men, who lick their chops whenever they see her. 'New Yorkers come right up to me and say whatever's on their mind. A lot of men say things about my body to my face, and it's not very nice.'
So she avoids mingling on the streets. "Whenever I travel by cab, I get the cab driver to drop me off at the entrance of the building," she says. "I'm not going to get out somewhere and walk! It's too dangerous."
Last night Cole performed at Damansara Utama at the old Ooh La La, a real cheapo joint. There she was groped in a sudden skirmish with a middle-aged and overweight Chinese man wearing expensive golf shorts. No one was supposed to get up on stage while the performance was on, but this guy seemingly broke the cordon with the force of his hard-on. The bouncers got him of course.
'It wasn't a big deal,' Cole denies graciously. "I get that stuff all the time.'
|In Stories you'll find interesting reports for music groups.|