Tammy Fayejust won't go away. And that seems just fine with us. The heavily-made-up Praise the Lord Broadcasting/Heritage U.S.A. queen who cried her way into the hearts of the American public in the Eighties as wife of wayward televangelist Jim Bakker, sometime singer, and star of the documentary The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000) descends upon Miami Beach this weekend in her one-woman show, Doing It My Way. Living in a "little house on a cul-de-sac" in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, Roe Messner, Tammy Faye has simplified her life, spending much of her free time with her grandchildren and now, like Cher and Madonna, going solely by the name Tammy Faye.
New Times: Why do this show?
Tammy Faye: 9/11 woke me up. It woke something up within my heart that had been dormant for a long time. When I realized your life can be gone tomorrow, I thought, I've got to get back to doing what I feel the call of God is on my life, and that's being with people, letting people know about God's love and his compassion, and the fact that he is still God. He is still the ruler of this universe no matter what anyone says. I want to give people that hope, because a lot of people lost hope when that happened and felt unprotected.
Is the basis of your show religious?
I would say it's more a you-can-make-it type thing. It's a show that tells people that you may fall down, but by golly, don't lay there! Get back up and start again.
Do you have any desire to go back on television?
I would like to go back on television, secular television. I think I can reach more people where they are. So far I've got a cartoon series lined up, but that's not where my heart is.
Whom do you admire and model yourself after?
Billy Graham. I love his unconditional love and the fact that he has been able to live what he has preached all these years. He just keeps going in spite of everything.
Do you still sleep with your makeup on?
Sometimes. Not always anymore because I feel like my complexion now needs moisture. I have wonderful skin, awesome skin, so I want to keep it that way! I think the makeup has protected my skin from the elements. I don't think the sun has been able to get through it!