Pamela Anderson Snap’s Son Dylan Jagger Lee
Los Angeles, first photo shooting: small team, familiar vibes and quite warm environment. Pamela Anderson takes over the camera and faces a new ‘challenge.’ It’s still hard for us to think she is not the model this time but the photographer. All eyes on him, the rising star. Dylan seems to feel at ease with this situation. Mick Jagger and 70’s music as a guiding thread. Vintage scenario and architecturally striking locations for such a special editorial.
Between takes we chat with the mother/son team.
A version of this exclusive interview first appeared in the pages of the 12th issue of ODDA Magazine.
Q: Pamela, did you feel comfortable being behind the lens and taking over the situation as a photographer? Is the field of photography a sort of a hobby for you?
PAMELA: Well… you know, I’ve taken a lot of pictures in my life and also I’ve been in front of the best photographers in the world. It’s always been a very natural thing for me—photographs are my favourite medium. I’ve been shooting my kids in black and white since birth. People, friends and celebrities have asked me to take pictures, to direct and to write and I really didn’t pursue. I will shoot more, but I’d say this is really my first ‘professional’ shoot. I was a little intimidated when they handled me this bulky, strange camera you gave me though. I’m glad I had my own Leica Q with me. I used to take pictures only on film and then, when digital cameras came out, I got bored. It was a great experience having Dylan in front of me on my first project.
Q: How was it to pose in front of your ‘not-average’ mother?
DYLAN: [Laughs] I see my mom as a mom. I can’t be embarrassed, she makes me breakfast every day, we talk about the world, about life… with the photos I know I can do what I want. I kind of ‘go with the flow’ and just pretend like it’s not her but, at the same time, it makes it even more fun because we will always have this crazy memory.
P: Yes, you were showing me “I can do this too”[laughs]. You were funny, we were a little nervous. We had great locations, a great boy to shoot… hard to go wrong.
D: It was like: “Mom, it’s my first cover, don’t blow it” [laughs]. Pretty much that.
Q: More difficult or easier than in front of a fashion photographer?
D: Yes, it’s more comfortable… it’s easier when you know the photographer—but I have faith in my mom, all her friends are artists. She must be one too.
Q: Pamela, how did you feel about your ‘not-a-child- anymore’ son Dylan?
P: Dylan will always be my baby—it was terribly cute—he hates when I call him that, but that’s how I see him.
Q: Music seems to have been an important element in your life, Dylan. A musician-to-be who loves surfing meets the fashion world. Why Mick Jagger as an inspirational character?
P: His middle name is Jagger and he has kind of being surrounded by those vibes. We took a young Mick Jagger as an inspirational role, but Dylan is unique, and the shooting was all about that: pretty, sparkly clothes in very architectural locations. We both love architecture and love Lautner architecturally, so inspiring… and James Goldstein [I know him I’ve shot there many times].
D: Yes, it’s like a special connection between music and fashion, just like he represents. I’m naturally drawn to the fashion world and I feel I can do nothing forced or under pressure. The last couple of years—I’ve been really into my music and fashion—it’s all about that. Enjoying, traveling… work stuff. Mick Jagger is an inspiration; my parents are too… all is an inspiration really…
Q: How do you feel about that music era?
D: Everyone has always loved Mick Jagger and that music era. Now it’s kind of more electronic, completely different… just as my music. I feel that era was more complicated, more wavy… but, at the same time, less complicated in some ways as well. Mick Jagger has always been great—and has never stopped playing. However, I am now diving into a different music style compared to that, with an electronic basis and really work hard for it since it is my life’s purpose, my passion and I have big goals. I don’t expect it to come easy—I am training very hard every day to be who I want to be. I play guitar and piano every day, I never stop creating and producing music.
Q: And about the looks chosen for the shooting?
P: They were quite fashionable but keeping that Rock n’ Roll essence.
D: Yeah, absolutely. A different look from most shoots I’ve been shooting lately.
Q: A multitalented boy who wants to try different things in life and we just wonder… is there anything Dylan is not good at?
P: He’s just naturally good at everything and level head. Tommy and I are always blown away! MVP rugby player, the best surfer, the best student… everything you want to do you are the ‘golden boy’ at it.
D: Maybe I cannot reach a balance I sometimes do too many things. However, I usually come out pretty good at all of them. I’m probably not a good thinker. I honestly don’t know. [laughs]
P: He’s definitely a natural artist, you could tell. Just the way he moved, danced… as a kid, he was different.
D: I’m a musician.
P: You are very coordinated and anything you put in mind you reach it, you are very focused. There’s nothing that can stop you, that’s the difference I can find between you and the rest of kids your age. He is extremely driven and ambitious.
Q: Unique shooting locations for such a dreamy editorial. Where? The Goldstein Residence designed by architect John Lautner and Chateau Marmont. Did you know those locations before?
D: Many inspirational people have visited the Goldstein residence before. Yes, at Chateau Marmont I’ve been many times but for leisure (brunch, dinner), but never had shot in there.
P: I’ve shot many times in both places, both are well known for me. At Goldstein Residence, James Goldstein was there. We took some great underwater photos with Dylan at the pool through its big window set in his bedroom—there is a glass wall. It’s my favourite house, there are too many places to shoot there. Chateau Marmont is just wild… it feels like a second home for me [I know all the secret spots there]. Dylan has come with me there, but never in the penthouse—it can get a little out of control. This was a much better scene.
Q: So, you felt comfortable. Didn’t you, Pamela?
P: I felt very comfortable, I was shooting and thinking… Dylan has just transformed into his
authentic self who he sees himself as. As a mom, I was in a wonderland. So proud and so curious with every photo—this is my little boy grown up. It was quite emotional. I stared at him, he had something very internal, creative… so natural, so true to himself. He was very conscious: his body, how he looked, the clothes, the expressions… He is not a model, he is a budding artist.
D: It’s all about the personality not only looking your best, that can be set apart.
Q: Artistic vibes disclosed a hidden side of you both. Has art played an important role in your hearts?
P: We are surrounded by artists and activists, it’s bound to leave a mark. From Vivienne Westwood to David Lachappelle.
D: Musicians, photographers, painters all around… they’ve probably inspired my life somehow. I wanna be a musician and that is a form of art.
P: As a family we always go to art galleries, exhibitions, museums… He is always eager to explore. All over the world, wherever we are.
Q: Did you enjoy working together?
D: Not really… [laughs]
Q: Chemistry between you both was a fact… Would you love to make a fashion campaign or to film something together?
D: It depends on what for [laughs]. It has to be… you know… a mom-allowed project [laughs].
P: It has to be really cool—or why bother? Not the typical mom/dad project, we get asked a lot— I’m not really into the whole “millennial” craze. This was cool, exciting, special and different. The boys really want their own identities and have them. But, for me, directing a campaign would be better it!
Q: Now let’s dig into your close relationship mother-son. What does the term ‘family’ mean to you both?
P: It’s not set in a fixed place, it’s somewhere. We are a bit gypsy, but together wherever we are. We have each other for no matter what.
D: Family means a safe and open place to me.
Q: What would you highlight of each other?
D: My mom is so normal, natural, and human. I like that. You might think she has nothing to do with that.
P: Dylan is just relentlessly talented and ambitious, so natural with inner passion and focused. He is too fun to watch, his personality, the way he acts, the way he treats women. He is considerate about the world, about animals, about the environment… he just has empathy and I think this is the greatest quality you can see in a child, especially in an own. He is someone who puts his heart in everything and is widely open.
Q: As a mom of two big boys, do you find remarkable differences in both Brandon and Dylan’s personalities?
P: Oh they are so different! Dylan is very focused; he is not easily distracted. He has a full life, full of friends… but he knows when to stop. He has a very levelled head. Brandon is little more wild heart, he is also very confident—he knows what he wants and he gets it his way. However, both of them have a lot confidence in themselves and they want to learn about everything. Brandon is very old-movie star/James Dean/Elvis/Marlon Brando. He is blonde and strong. Dylan is ‘rock star’—through and through—tall and lean with big huge eyes and lips. I’m of course not here to change them but to support them to be there for them if they need me. I have absolute faith in both of them that they are going to pursuit their passions, follow their dreams, and be successful. Whatever that looks like to them.
Q: How would you define Dylan’s vital trajectory?
P: He is very smart; he just cannot do something halfway. Shooting straight to the sky, he is fully loaded and ready for life, for showing who he is. He has a great ambition and is so talented. Work, effort, the stars… that’s the formula. He is so capable of reaching his dreams.
Q: What/Who has he been influenced by?
D: I’ve been inspired by from my mum and dad, they have made the biggest achievements in the world. Also from people that make me work hard and learn from them. In the end, everyone inspires me in the way that if you work hard you will be able to become what you want.
Q: Dylan is somehow following your steps in the fashion business, Pamela. Does this make you prouder of him? Are you happy with this decision?
P: I don’t really consider myself a part of the fashion world. I’m not a rule maker, nor a follower… I just like to have my own personal style and then have a lot of friends who like to dress me up Fashion is an incredible art form and also a means for sharing with the world the importance of being conscious about the planet. I’m proud of Dylan because he is aware and worried about that too. He has always been very committed to PETA as well, always trying to help. These other things are so good to amplify, to complement and to help him reach his goals; they kind of go together.
Q: Any advice you would love to give him from your vast experience?
P: Just to be himself. Being who you are, the hardest thing in the world. Not following anyone’s footsteps, just stick to yourself. There’s really it. Just to be everything you are and everything you want to be.
D: I love the fashion world, I love modeling and music but music is my long journey. My true passion, what I’m really meant to do. I have my own things coming…
Q: Try to define each other in one word, only one word.
P: Dylan is natural, authentic, passionate.
D: I really have no idea how to describe my mom… she is FUNNY.
P: Funny, yeah, I know… I’m a funny mom, definitely a different kind of mom.
Q: Does the common saying “like mother, like son” have a meaning in your case?
P: Well… people say we look alike a lot.
D: I’ve picked something from my mom and dad, and I’m much more like one of them depending on moments and situations. Both are a bit crazy, and different, spontaneous and passionate. Yes, although I look a little better [laughs].
P: Yes, we definitely are alike in some ways. We share the same values, we do talk about that a lot, we are very close and of course. He is grounded but family also plays an essential role in that.
Q: Any oddity you share that can be disclosed?
D: Who knows…!
P: I think we both have the smile thing. We have the same mouth, the same lips and he has his dad’s dimples. He got the good stuff [laughs].
What is that ‘it’ that makes you feel so close?
P: We do make some difficult decisions together. We do have each other when problems come into our personal lives.The biggest adversity comes through, the closer we get.
Q: Do you have many interests in common or you are quite different from each other?
D: I mean… we both love the beach.
P: Sure! I also love music but I’m not a musician. I really think that his music is fantastic… very groovy, sexy, interesting… I love it! Positive, crazy… I love having a musician in the house, but I actually prefer that it’s my son [laughs].
Q: Tell us Dylan, how does it feel to have a bombshell like Pamela Anderson as a mom? How is Pamela in private life?
D: Honestly, some people might say it’s cool but actually she is my mom. I see her as that, and she acts like anyone’s mom. She acts cool. Maybe any other child would feel pressure for having a crazy, famous family but it’s more simple than that, we just live life as it is. Mom is so normal, she is a great cook, she does the laundry—she yells at me to make my bed, clean my room—we take out the garbage. She has a vegetable garden she likes to work in… she is pretty normal, and she lives life.
Q: Mention one unexpected, ‘Earth, eat me up!’ experience you have lived with each other.
P: Wow… so many, nothing comes to my mind right now! A lot of things happen to us but we just keep them as part of our daily life… many experiences abroad, we travel a lot so we are blessed and we have experienced many people and cultures to draw inspiration.
Diana Soto is an editor at ODDA Magazine. Keen on writing, fashion, photography and art, she has made her dream job out of a lifelong passion.
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