miss february has a career that's about to explode
I'm warning you," says Stacy Fuson as she sits down to a mozzarella salad and a plate of pot stickers in a Sunset Boulevard restaurant, "I eat a lot." But, then, she needs the nourishment. Ever since moving to Los Angeles from Tacoma, Washington two years ago, Stacy has been on the go -- modeling, doing shows for Ocean Pacific swimwear, traveling the world, taking acting classes, appearing in a music video and on a couple of episodes of Baywatch, calling her mother every night and occasionally checking in with her boyfriend, who, inconveniently, lives in France.
A veteran model at the age of 20 (she started appearing in beauty contests when she was four), Stacy is enjoying her whirlwind life and focusing on an acting career. Of course, she finds time to play, too. "You should tell your readers," she announces midbite, "that I love my bird."
Q: Your bird?
A: My cockatiel, Pretty Bird. I love her. She's so smart. She can pick up her claw and wave at you. She's tame, but to get a bird to be that tame, you have to spend a lot of time with it.
Q: So how do you spend quality time with a cockatiel?
A: I take her into the shower with me. She sits on the shower ledge, and I splash water on her. She shakes her wings and acts like she's taking a bath.
Q: How did a girl from Tacoma end up in Los Angeles?
A: I'd always wanted to move to L.A. After I graduated from high school, I just got up one morning and said, "Mom, I'm leaving for L.A. in a couple of weeks." I felt I had to do it. I came here when I was 18, and soon after that I was on the cover of the October 1997 Playboy.
Q: Sounds easy.
A: It was strange. I had done a Playmate test shoot, and they asked me to stand in for another model for a lighting test. I did that, and then they had a meeting and asked, "Do you want to work tomorrow?" I said, "Sure, what will I be doing?" They said, "Well, we're going to put you on the October cover." I was shocked.
Q: Had you ever thought about posing for Playboy?
A: It had crossed my mind. My freshman year in high school, I got a Rabbit Head decal. I've thought about being in the magazine ever since. [Laughs] That sticker is still on my bedroom door.
Q: Were you popular in high school?
A: I was an ordinary girl, I guess. Mostly, I wanted to hang out with my older brother, who would help me any time I had a problem. Sometimes I had crushes on his friends, but they thought of me as just Doug's little sister.
Q: What are they going to think of Doug's little sister now?
A: They'll probably be surprised. One of my brother's friends used to make fun of my boobs, saying I should wear Band-Aids on them. Before high school, I didn't have much there. But then I started to fill out, and one day he was like, "Wow, what happened to you?" So now I rub it in: "Didn't you make fun of me because I didn't have anything there?"
Q: Do you miss Washington?
A: I miss fishing. My family would go fishing where the Columbia River flows into the ocean. Everybody would go: my mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle. I loved it. If I ever have enough money, I'm going to buy a boat and take my family fishing -- to that same spot.
Photography by Arny Freytag