This article was originally published by INK19 in September 1999.
by Sir Millard Mulch
Heather Kozar, 1999 Playboy Playmate of the Year is a really nice girl. She was a really good sport when I approached her with the idea of an interview, and let me conduct it via e-mail [even though she suggested phone… I wimped out, OK!?!?] So what was it like? She always types in ALL CAPS. Most people would consider that yelling, but she just probably doesn’t know any better. If it’s OK for so many people to type in all lower-case, why should this be considered any stranger? Getting to talk to a Playmate is really a thrill; you realize they aren’t just naked all the time.
Q: What has representing Playboy Magazine given you? Did you come away from the experience with any knowledge that you otherwise wouldn’t have discovered about yourself?
Heather Kozar: Representing Playboy has given me the opportunity to travel around the world. I have a wonderful life full of choices and experiences. I meet so many interesting people and go to places most people will never have the opportunity. I was raised in a Christian home. My parents instilled good morals and values in me and I still use them to this day. I was sheltered, overly protected, and taught not to show signs of affection in public. I wasn’t allowed to watch soap operas and movies with curse words or nudity. My self-esteem was low growing up. I feel by posing for Playboy I’ve discovered my own sexuality and beauty, and I feel more confident than ever. I’ve grown mentally through all I experienced in the past three years.
Q: When you have children, what do you think will you do differently from what your parents did in raising you?
A: I will not shelter them from the real world. I could never talk to my mother about sex, drugs, and drinking or even my own body. I was not allowed to take sex education when I was in fifth grade. Just a year ago, I asked my mother why. She told me she thought they were going to teach us to have sex. She had no clue [the class] was about reproduction, childcare, human emotion, and women’s menstruating (which I had to figure out on my own because I was too embarrassed to ask). I will be open with my children. I want them to ask me everything so they have the correct answers and have great self-esteem.
Q: Will you teach them to be open about their beauty?
A: As far as being open about their beauty, I would encourage them to dress nice so they feel good about themselves.
Q: How do you think you could raise a child in religious surroundings without being over-protective?
A: I will take them to a Christian church, and if they’d like to attend any other churches, we would do so for the experience and choice of belief. Also, if they don’t want to go to church, I will not force them. I may simply read Bible stories that they would enjoy.
Q: Do you think you will opt for private schooling or public schooling for your children?
A: I will teach my children the laws of the land and we will discuss their safety and common sense decisions when they are out with friends and so on. Depending on where I live when the child is old enough to go to school, my husband and I will decide which school would be best. And when the child is old enough, I will let them decide.
Q: I have many friends who were raised in strict Christian families, and many reacted very rebelliously once they were on their own. Do you think your strict upbringing (through reverse-psychology) led you to your career with Playboy ?
A: I don’t feel I am rebelling. I didn’t pose for Playboy to hurt my family, but for myself. I think my upbringing has had a positive influence on my life.
Q: What was high school like?
A: High school was okay. I did fine in my classes and never had any problems with teachers. But some of the students were another story. I had a mix of friends and never felt I belonged to a specific clique. I had boyfriends on and off. But there were a few girls who knew how to intimidate me. If I was a friend of their ex-boyfriends, they would give me dirty looks or come up to me with a group of their friends and say nasty things. One time, a girl came up to me in the lunch line and screamed in my face, saying I had said something bad about her (which I hadn’t). And another time, when I was attending the vocational school, I had half the school following me and my boyfriend down the hall. Kids can be cruel. But there were some great times, too.
Q: What do you think about college education? Do you feel it is important?
A: I feel that furthering your education beyond high school is always beneficial. Whether it be college, seminars, or vocational classes. Learning new things is important to daily life and furthering career opportunities.
Q: I noticed you are from Ohio. What do you like most about it?
A: I love Ohio. I was born and raised in Akron. I agree the weather is great, because you have all the seasons. I miss the smallness (compared to LA). I always knew where everything was located and always ran into my friends. I also miss simple things like drive-thru’s and less traffic. I still go back as often as possible to visit. Most of my family is still there.
Q: Who are some interesting people you have met out in L.A.? Have you gotten the chance to meet anyone that you’ve always wanted to meet?
A: I’ve met so many fascinating people and celebrities. I’ve met Jim Carrey, Jack Nicholson, Drew Carrey, Dan Akroyd, Donald Trump, Shaquille O’Neil, George Clooney, Aaron Spelling, Ben Affleck, Yasmine Bleeth, Don Adams, Tony Curtis, Gene Simmons, Jerry Springer, Charles Barkley, Sammy Sosa, Alyssa Milano, and the list goes on. But especially knowing [Hugh Heffner] is such a pleasure. It’s nice to meet so many talented people, and when you live in LA, it becomes a part of every day life. For example, I spotted Chris Rock at Rite Aid on Sunset Blvd., Cuba Gooding Jr. drove past me at a light, Jamie Lee Curtis was walking down Beverly Blvd., and Mike Myers was at a plaza on La Cienega. It just goes to show that they lead somewhat normal lives also — and being in the entertainment business is their job.
Q: What projects are you currently working on? Have you done any acting?
A: Right now I have committed myself to Playboy for most of the next year. Promotions, signings, meetings, and events. Yes, I have acted and have been taking classes. For example, [I did] a national Wendy’s commercial, an episode of Rescue 77 (Spelling Productions), and a couple specials on E!, to name a few. I don’t have time to go on auditions, so acting is temporarily on hold.
Q: Speaking of acting, did you see the new Star Wars Episode One yet?
A: I haven’t had a chance to see the new Star Wars episode yet, but I can’t wait!
Q: Queen Amidala was pretty tough. What do you think about gender-role issues ? Do you think the girls should get tough and the guys should get wimpy? I see a lot of that going on lately.
A: Some people like to be told what to do and others would rather be in control. I feel everyone is equal; after all, we are all human!
Q: What do you think are the most important traits for a man to have?
A: To me, a sense of humor is the most important. Life shouldn’t always be taken too seriously, and I love to laugh! Also a focus or direction in life and a “go-for-it” attitude. Someone who is faithful, compassionate for others and animals. An at-least-equal or better provider to me. He must love me as much as I love him. He also has to be willing to share household and personal responsibilities. And we are equal.
Q: I know a girl who reads books who thinks she is superior to everyone. Do you enjoy reading? If so, what authors?
A: I read as much as I can. Since I’ve been involved with Playboy , I don’t have as much time to read books. The last book I read was a fiction by Anne Rice. I’m currently reading an Ernest Hemingway. I also enjoy reading facts, such as informative magazine articles.
Q: How much sleep do you get on average per night?
A: I like to sleep. I usually sleep 8-9 hours when I can. Now when I’m working, that’s another story. Anywhere from 3-6 at most.
Q: Good Will Hunting or Titanic ?
A: I liked both movies a great deal. I’d watch them both again.
Q: If you could only do one of the following for the rest of your life, what would it be? a.) Read, b.) Sleep, c.) Watch Movies
A: If I could choose one of the three to do for the rest of my life it would have to be watch movies. I grew up watching movies on television (my mother called me a TV Bug). Although right now I’ve been reading this great book that’s tough to put down. It’s called A Widow For One Year by John Irving.
Q: If you could have the body of any other woman, who would you pick? Did you idolize any beautiful women when you were young that you wanted to be like?
A: I’m very happy with my body. Sure, I’d like to be a little taller…so that’s why I wear high heels. But I wouldn’t trade with anyone.
Q: Who would you rather go on a date with, David Lynch or Tim Burton?
A: I’m engaged, so I don’t date.
Q: They are both kind of strange anyway. What is the strangest thing about being a playmate? Was there anything that happened that you would have never expected?
A: Being a Playmate is so much fun. I love the fact that people are excited to meet me, have my autograph (I guess that’s a little strange for the average person) and enjoy seeing my images. A few years ago, I would have never imaged I would be doing everything I am now.
Q: Perhaps some day you will become Oriental. Have you done any research on Eastern philosophies, Taoism, Buddhism, etc.?
A: I’m a Christian, and my mother encouraged me not to research those subjects growing up. I may be interested in learning about them now. I took a seminar called Landmark Forum, which consists of some different philosophies and some Zen.
Q: It is good that you have an open mind. It is good to grow and change. How are you different now from when you were ten years ago? Where do you expect to be in ten years?
A: Well, ten years ago I was 13. I was in 6th grade at Green Middle School. I would’ve never imagined I’d be in Los Angeles and Playboy ‘s Playmate of the Year. My life is so wonderful, now that I’m enjoying each day, so I don’t let it whirl away. But in ten years, I’d like to be on a show like Entertainment Tonight , be married, and possibly having my first child. Maybe I’ll be living in Europe. Who knows? When I look back on my life, I’ve done things that I at one time never knew of.