Maybe it's the hair. Maybe it's the intellect.
No. It's the hair.
The sign on the door of the trailer says, "Farrah F. Majors, Resting. Under No Condition Disturb Me." But the magic kiss of a publicist's telephone call wakes her, and America's newly anointed reigning princess opens the trailer door. And there, it is, the hair. The hair! So fluffy, so billowy, so ultra-tawny. It cascades and tumbles to her shoulders like a water fall straight out of "Bambi."
Farrah Fawcett-Majors, 29, is told her hair looks great.
"Oh, it's awful!" she says, running a hand through it but failing to distupt it. "Do you know I have never in my entire life come to work without washing my hair until today? I like clean hair, and my hair looks terrific when its shiny, but do you know what time I had to get up today? Four a.m.! So I thought to myself, I'm not gonna do it. I'm not gonna get up half an hour early just to wash my hair. And now it looks awful." There is the suggestion of a pout.
Of course, the hair actually looks wonderful. Farrah Fawcett-Majors looks wonderful, in a loose-fitting sweat suit and little fuzzy-bunny slippers, sitting cross-legged in her trailer with two tennis racquets and a collapsible bicycle nearby. Sun is pouring through the windows; we are in Westlake, a sqe cast of "Charlie's Angels," the biggest new hit of the TV season, is doing location filming.
A few days earlier Farrah's press agent had told her that someday she will be "bigger than Monroe," and she just laughed. She shouldn't have. Lithe and bubbly and non-committal and innocuous, she absolutely epitomizes the outdoorsy '70s California ideal, at least as supplied by Los Angeles.
You can't walk down a street of New York City without seeing a Farrah Fawcett-Majors poster beaming at you from the window of a store. She is dressed in a wet red bathing suit and she is smiling like 36 Rockettes. "Farrah" is the fastest selling poster in the (See FAWCETT, B4, Col.1) (FAWCETT, From B1) country; Pro-Arts Inc., of Medina, Ohio, says it is now bigger than The Fonz" and selling "several hundred thousand" copies a month. One million have been pr"They wanted me in a bikini," Farrah says. "I said no.Then they wanted me looking out from behind a tree, you know, acting seductive. I said, "No, that's not me.' I wanted to be smiling. Happy. The reason I decided to do a poster was, well, if you don't sign a deal to do one, somebody does one anyway, and then you get nothing. Now they're calling me about puting my picture on bedsheets and pillowcases!" The thought of that makes her giggle.
She is asked if she knows she is a sex symbol. "If I am Iat it would feel like. I haven't done anything really sexy, you know. Sure, on ths show, maybe I don't wear a bar, but neither do the other girls. Neither do 90 per cent of the girls you see on the street. I go to Beverly Hills and look around and I sya, 'Wow!- Now my agent says my poster will be bigger than Raquel's. I just laugh."
And what does she think of the thousands of people buying and for all we know worshipping those posters? "I think, 'Oh, ho, ho - silly people."
Certainly it is the illuminated evanescence of Farrah Fawcett-Majors that is largely responsible for the success of "Charlie's Angels," the far-fetched adventures of three woman detectives and one of the most vacuous and insipid hits in TV history. People must be tuning in just to watch Farrah bounce aroun; on a recent show. one character likened her appearance to that of "pudding on springs." In recent ratings. "Angels" has consistently been among the top five programs, which puts it high above "The $6 Million Man," which is also on ABC and happens to star Farrah's husband, Lee Majors.
"I can't really put my finger on why the show is such a big hit," she says innocently. "People in the business tell me, 'That script was so bad, you couldn't follow it,' but there must be a lot of people out there who watch it and say, 'Gee, that was interesting.' I think people want to see some glamour, some clothes, some hairstyles, you know - they want to see girls."
Co-producer Leonard Goldberg has said of the show's three female stars, "We love to get them wet, because they look so good in clinging clothes," but Farrah says he was only kidding and that "Charlie's Angel's" is not the cool porno for middle-aged males some have said it is. She doesn't even think ths how is sexy.
"That's a little shocking. Is there that much, kind of, uh, sex on the show? I don't think so. Aren't there more sexy shows on or is ours the sexiest? We really don't have sexy things happening, do we?" This is ingenuous enough to break your heart, and she seems to mean every word of it. "I don't know, maybe people watch the show because they think it's good.
"Of course, everybody appreciates watching women. I know I have a big following among young little boys. Now that can't be all sexual, can it? We just changed our phone number but before we did, these little guys would call up and put on a deep voice and say, 'This is, er, James with the William Morris Agency' - they're smart, these little kids. Then I'd get on the phone and the voice would become this little adorable squeak.
"And I'd say to them, "This is very wrong, to say you're somebody else," and they'd say, "I love you. You're the most beautiful person in the world!' Now how can you be mad?"
Farrah can no longer rush home at 7 p.m. each day to fix dinner for husband Majors, the way she likes. She's hired a housekeeper to do it instead, "although I still sort of supervise things." Nor can she stroll as frequently or as freely in public. People want to touch the wiry tube goddess for themselves.
"I guess I have a memorable face," she says with brazen understatement. People recognized her on the street previously from her 100-or-so TV commercials. But they didn't always know her name, so they'd call out "Hey, Ultra-Bright!" or "Hey, creamy!" (Noxzema skin cream.)
Now they know her name, but not all women are thrilled with the characterizations on "Charlie's Angels." The three heroines take orders from the voice of John Forsythe, who as Charlie is perpetually attended by cuties and honeybunches. Farrah does not find that discomforting.
"I know I am still limited as an actress and there are things I cannot do, and one of them is play Christie Love with guns blazing. God made men stronger, I think, though not necessarily more intelligent. He gave women feminity and intuition. If there's something I want and I can draw somebody in with my femininity and catch them off guard and get it, well, what's wrong with that?
"I don't think all the flak this show gets from women libbers is justified. I don't think it would be a better show if we went around karate chopping everybody. We're females, not males.
Farrah offers a tangerine from a basket. the trailer is filled with flowers and fruit and sunlight.
"After all, we do have a show with three female stars, and that's a step forward for me and a lot of girls who happen to be pretty. Thank goodness we're not just decorating the background. I got so tired of people saying I was 'too pretty' to play a waitress, or telling me, 'No one will believe your husband left you.'"
The only changes she wants made in "Charlie's Angels" are expansions of the character she plays, so she'll be more than pudding on springs. "I want them to start showing she's had some hard knocks, too, and cries, and is sad. Who's gonna care about her if all she does is say, 'Ooo! This week I get to play the hooker?"
Being a bigger hit on TV than her husband Majors has not been a problem, Farrah says. "Imagine the pressure it would have put on him if I'd had a bomb!" Do they watch each other's shows? "Well, we watch his more. He kind of falls asleep in mine. But I love his show. I never really think he's bad. I'm still a lot of notches behind him as an actress."
If Majors loses at ratings, he still wins at tennis - when he plays against his wife. "Let me tell you, I have much better strokes. But he is a man. I can't beat him. When he socks the ball real hard, I just cannot keep up. How these women think they are equal to men I do not know."
Once bored with her husbands tales of high ratings. Farrah now finds herself fascinated with her own. Once addicted to eating chocolate chip cookies and Cheetos ("the hard kind," not the pully kind) in bed, she now finds herself craving high protein foods like tuna and pot roast. "Something very physical is happening to my body," she says. She is getting less sleep and she has less time for domestic rituals like making big deals out of Major's morning departures. "He'll say, 'Darling, honey, I want to kiss you goodby,' and I'll say, 'Oh, goodby already!'" Things like this happen when you become a star, a symbol and the nucleus of an industry all your own.
"We'll still see Farrah in an occasional commercial. "I have one more Wella to do. I like doing commercials because they spend all day lighting you and making you look terrific." The California sun is lighting her as she talks - and fiddles with the toes inside her fuzzy-bunny slippers - and she does look terrific.
Movie scripts are coming her way and she likes the new luxury of picking and choosing. She was in "Logan's Run" ("Oh, but that was so awfull") and wants to do a "picture with real woman's emotions" about an "emotional woman" wh has "women's emotions." No, it wont be Lady Macbeth. Told that only the sky is the limit for her, she just rolls her crystal gray eyes and laughs. ABC executives naturally don't like her to be told such things. They want her to stay at the same job. At the same price. They want her to be satisfied with "Charlie's Angels."
Oh, ho, ho - silly people.