Ali Landry
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FHM - July/August 2000

It's rarely possible to pinpoint exactly when a person is catapulted into the public eye. Do you remember when you first became aware of Madonna? Or Bill Clinton? Or Puff Daddy? but Ali Landry is different. Her big moment came at halftime of Super Bowl XXXII, when a silence fell over bars nationawide as Ali sauntered across the screen in the first of her now infamous Doritos commercials. Never before had a snack food been the gateway to stardom Even though Ali had already appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful and won the Miss USA title in 1996, it was that Super moment that made her more recognizable than the triangular chip she was endorsing. "When people recognize me they say things like, 'Oh, I want to get a chip so I can throw it at you,'" she says. "Or, 'Can you wide your mouth just liek you do in the commercial?' It's been very positive for me, but you can see how that sort of thing could get annoying."

Ali plans to continue her highly successful relationship with the famous chip, but she wants to branch out into more demanding fields as well. In addition to a forthcoming movie release - Beautiful, alongside Minnie Driver - she is currently co-hosting USA's, a combination record label, web site and telvision show, which features such high-profile talent as Eminem, Dr. Dre and Limp Bizkit.

In Beautiful you play a former pagenat winner. Did they write the part just for you?
No. It might seem like it, but it just worked out that way. In the film, Minnie wins, and since I'm the titleholder, I have to give her the crown. It's pretty much what I do in real life as the host of Miss USA, which made it really easy.

What was it like being Miss USA?
It was cool, but I had a team of chaperones. There were these three women that I had to travel with; I don't mind because they were really cool. but I also had to live with someone, another woman. That wasn't fun. She was the house-manager, and no one - not guys, not even my parents - could stay over. i couldn't even close the door when I was in my room. It was like I was 12 years old.Doing all of those pageants, you must've been in a chick fight or two.
You know what, I was once, and that's so not me. But it wasn't at a pageant, it was a while ago. I had a boyfriend...I've always had a boyfriend, but I never date. I don't like to mess around, and I don't like to waste my time. I just meet a guy and he's instantly my boyfriend. But this guy was cheating on me. I caught him at my cousin's house with a girl. they were watching a movie, and I walked in. She was so much bigger than me.

Did you kick her oversized ass?
I'll never forget. i came around and slapped her. Then I had made up my little thing that I was going to say and I said it. I don't even remember what it was - just that it was well-rehearsed. It was like one of those things you see on TV, when they put in in slow motion. That's exactly how it was. The guy came back to me in the end, but I dumped him.

I guess he won't be living in the new house you've purchased.
Oh, no. I won't live with a guy until I'm married! I'm old-fashioned. For now, anyway, I have a roommate. She goes with me to get my pedicures. One time she talked me into getting waxed. let me tell you, bikini-waxing hurts more than anything in the world, and I'm no stranger to pain. I screamed so loud, you'd have thought they were pulling out my teeth.

What's the most pain you've ever felt?
I was in an accident on my way to work in San Diego just last year. Somebody hit me, then I hit the roadside barrier. i don't know how my car didn't flip, but I spun around the whole bunch of times on the freeway. I'm all right, by my back still hurts. Luckily the car's all right; it's the car I won when I was Miss USA. i still have it; it's a '96 Trans-Am convertable. It's not really my style.

Maybe you should drive a motorcycle.
I know how. It's dangerous, but it's really cool. I had a boyfriend who had one, a Harley, and he taught me how to drive it. People's jaws would drop when I'd pull up on that thing by myself. It was a big one, really tough and loud. i miss that.

So what was your toughest job?
I once had to do a show with the Taco Bell dog. Beforehad, they told me, "Ali, you have to go to his dressing room and meet him." Apparently if the dog doesn't like you, he won't go on with you. I couldn't believe it. Just feed him his treat and send him out. But no, I had to go to his dressing room and try to bond with him. So forgive me, but I'm not a Taco Bell dog fan. He wouldn't stop shaking. I guess Chihuahuas get really cold...I don't know.

Did he have a seizure while you were saying your lines?
No, but I had to sit like a statue while the dog sat on a little pillow beside me. They wouldn't even let me hold him. Every time I moved, he'd run away. They treated that dog better than me. He even got better food in his dressing room - chicken and hamburger. It was all sort of ridiculous. I understand the dog is making a lot of money, but come on. He had a stand in, a stunt dog. Please!

You were on that show America's Greatest Pets. What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen a dog do?
I've seen dogs ski, skateboard and sail. I've even seen dogs surfing by themselves. Do you have any idea how much free time you must have to train a dog to do that kind of thing? A lot. The dogs were cool, but I always wanted to see more about their owners.

Can you do any of those things?
You know what, I went to Bali last year and learned to surf. I got up the first time and rode in all the way to the beach. Everyone was really impressed. It's on tape, and it was on television too. It was for I! Wild On; I hosted it once.

Funny you should mention that. We spoke to Wild On's Jules Asner last month. She said that's the one place she wishes she could've gone. She was so jealous.
I don't blame her, it was the most amazing experience ever. She can hate me - that's OK. We had our own two-story villa mad of bamboo, a sort of open-air thing. Our bathroom was outside, and there was this beautiful stone shower with a marble tun in its own little hut. You could go nude if you wanted to. My sister and I did; she wouldn't stop. I couldn't get her to put her clothes on when it was time to go. It's such a beautiful thing, and it's such a natural thing, it's not a big deal. When you're there, you just want to become as much as part of nature as you possible can.

So instead of working, you spent your days running around naked?
Let me just tell you, I'm from Louisiana, and I know Voodoo. I'll put a curse on you if you repeat that.

Will you really?
Actually, I've never cursed anyone. Although I might have done a little love spell or something like that. I think it worked too.

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