Model, actress and environmental crusader Pamela Anderson is on a mission of rehabilitation.
Reached at her home in Ladysmith, B.C., she says the goal at hand is to overhaul the six-acre Vancouver Island property where she spent her earliest years and now hopes to establish as a multi-generational haven for herself, her parents and her sons. It’s the focus of her new HGTV Canada reality show, “Pamela’s Garden of Eden,” which premiered Thursday.
At the same time, the Hollywood star says she’s been hit with a burst of introspection: while on the property she wrote a memoir due for release at the end of January and she is preparing to release a Netflix documentary about her life.
As much as the large-scale home renovation is a work in progress, “I’m a work in progress,” says Anderson.
“Coming back here was really triggering. For me, it’s very emotional,” Anderson says of revisiting roots to a childhood she’s described as difficult.
“When I came home, I think I was not as happy as I normally am. I came home to really face some things. There’s certain things in your life that you just kind of push aside and it was just so healing for me to come home and it took me a while to kind of grasp what I was putting myself through.”
Further details about her early life and colourful celebrity career will be revealed in the upcoming memoir and streaming project, she assures, acknowledging that the recent reset to small-town life is worlds away from the tabloid-grabbing exploits of her ’90s heyday.
“I’d never been on a plane before when I left this island. You know, I left the island and I went to Vancouver and then I moved to L.A. and then I went around the world and south of France for a year before I moved home,” says Anderson, who first rocketed to fame as a Playboy pin-up and “Baywatch” TV star.
“I was restless when I was here. And I had to learn how to be comfortable, just relaxing and enjoying and putting all my creative juices into this project, making this an art project, listening to other people’s ideas.”
Anderson says she bought the property about 30 years ago from her grandmother, believing she “just needed some Canadian roots” and that she would move there one day. It would take longer than expected, she suggests in a first episode that briefly alludes to years of an “overwhelmed” life in Los Angeles, a busy career and multiple high-profile marriages.
She says it was “gut-wrenching” at first to return to the sprawling waterfront property, which includes three buildings known as the roadhouse, the boathouse and the cabin.
“I felt like this place was like a broken heart, which I really had to kind of turn around.”
These days, Anderson says she relishes the new creative chores that occupy her time – painting, repainting, pottery and vegetable canning among them – while discovering her personal design style.