Pam Grier covers ‘everything’ in a new podcast of her career

Apr 20, 2022, 5:00 PM | Updated: 5:46 pm

Pam Grier doesn’t look back that often. If she did, she said this week from New Mexico, “I’d be drinking.”

But when Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz called to ask if she’d consider being the focus of the new season of his podcast “The Plot Thickens,” she knew she had to do it. She’d listened to and loved the previous season that explored the career of Peter Bogdanovich and had an idea of what it would entail. But the main reason she wanted to do it? Her death. Really.

“You never know when you’re going to kick the bucket,” Grier said.

At 72, Grier is not ready to call it quits quite yet. She’s in the new “Pet Sematary” prequel as well as a thriller with Damon Wayans and is hard at work getting an adaptation of her 2010 memoir, “Foxy: My Life in Three Acts” off the ground. She said it’s likely to now be a miniseries as opposed to a film and she already has some exciting people ready to direct episodes.

But she is interested in thinking about her career with the wisdom and perspective she’s picked up along the way. After all, it’s been 49 years since she became a star and a trailblazer with “Coffy,” Jack Hill’s 1973 Blacksploitation classic about a nurse out to get revenge against the men who turned her niece into a drug addict. Full of violence, nudity and action, the low-budget pic became a hit and even managed to unseat James Bond from the top spot at the box office.

She remembers getting a call from a theater chain owner at the time saying that, “People are going to be mad at you, Pammy. Your movies make a lot of money. They stay in the theaters too long, they can’t get them out.”

The theater owner told her that the theaters were full of college students, military types, white people, Black people, fathers, sons, mothers and daughters, and that people were coming back multiple times.

“The word ‘iconic’ is overused in this industry, but Pam has been a true revolutionary regarding the depiction of Black women in Hollywood,” Mankiewicz said. “Pam’s characters are unapologetic, tough and fiercely independent, just like she was when she started in Hollywood five decades ago and remains to this day.”

To prepare for their talks, Grier rewatched some of her early films and while she can look back fondly on what she accomplished, she’s also baffled by one aspect: “The fact that I did all those stunts, running and jumping without a sport bra,” she said.

Grier had her ups and downs in an industry that despite the early, unambiguous success, didn’t seem to know what to do with her. The podcast, which debuts this fall, promises to cover it all from “Foxy Brown” to her big comeback in “Jackie Brown” and beyond.

“It’s going to be off the hook,” Grier said. “I covered everything. Everything.”

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter:

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...

Associated Press

Saudi Arabia reducing global oil supply, could spell higher prices for US drivers

Saudi Arabia will reduce how much oil it sends to the global economy, taking a unilateral step to prop up the sagging price of crude.

1 day ago

This photo provided by Robert Wilkes, owner of a house boat management company, shows smoke rising ...

Associated Press

Houseboats catch fire while docked at Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell

More than half a dozen house boats momentarily caught fire at a popular boating destination on the Utah-Arizona line on Friday.

3 days ago

File - Women work in a restaurant kitchen in Chicago, Thursday, March 23, 2023. On Friday, the U.S....

Associated Press

US hiring, unemployment jump in May and what that says about the economy

The nation’s employers stepped up their hiring in May, adding a robust 339,000 jobs, well above expectations.

3 days ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Associated Press

Oath Keeper from Arizona sentenced for role in Jan. 6 riot at US Capitol

Edward Vallejo, a U.S. Army veteran from Phoenix, oversaw a “Quick Reaction Force” at a Virginia hotel that was prepared to deploy an arsenal of weapons into Washington if needed, authorities say.

4 days ago

FILE - U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz listens during a news conference, Jan. 5, 2023, in Washi...

Associated Press

US Border Patrol chief is retiring after seeing through end of Title 42 immigration restrictions

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol announced Tuesday that he was retiring, after seeing through a major policy shift that seeks to clamp down on illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border following the end of Title 42 pandemic restrictions.

5 days ago

FILE - President Joe Biden talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., on the House steps as...

Associated Press

House OKs debt ceiling bill to avoid default, sends Biden-McCarthy deal to Senate

The House approved a debt ceiling and budget cuts package late Wednesday, as President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy assembled a bipartisan coalition of centrist Democrats and Republicans against fierce conservative blowback and progressive dissent.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...

Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.

Pam Grier covers ‘everything’ in a new podcast of her career