Can anyone resist the strong-arm tactics of Jamie Luner?
Article Brendan Bernhard
Photography Sven Arnstein
I was not looking forward to meeting Jamie Luner, sultry, sashaying siren of the late Savannah and the unkillable Melrose Place at the Cheesecake Factory in Woodland Hills, CA.
For days, photocopies of old magazine articles featuring the 5 ft 9 in redhead's likeness had been piled on my desk. I learned that Jamie had started acting when she was four, that she had attended Beverly Hills High and gone to culinary school, and that her mother was in the movie business and her father was in the fashion industry, but my overwhelming feeling was: "So what?" There were a few striking photos of Jamie, such as the one on the cover of American
Woman (Seven Sizzling Sex Tips to Make His Toes Curl), but photographs like the one on the cover of Complete Woman (Orgasms: How to Make Yours Absolutely Mind-Blowing!) left me cold. She looked like one of those overly blow-dried television anchorpersons one suspects of being an alien.
And then there was Melrose Place, a show in which people obviously incapable of loving anyone keep bursting on screen to announce that they're madly in
love with each other, until the next scene, when Suddenly Everything Changes: 'How could you do this to me? I loved you! How could you do this!' ('Well, c'mon now, honey, it's what it says right here in the script!') It was all very confusing and deeply, almost fantastically boring. As for Jamie's previous work - superbitch Peyton Richards on Savannah, a chubby teen on Just the Ten of Us - I'd seen none of it.
It didn't look good. Seated in my restaurant booth I waited glumly for She-who-plays-Lexi-Sterling-on-TV to arrive. And then, Suddenly Everything Changed.
Could that svelte creature sauntering toward my table in a skin-tight mint-green knit tank dress be Jamie Luner? It could indeed. "Hi! How ya doin'?" she exclaimed with a big smile and
outstretched hand and at once my misgivings vanished. How could they not? Sliding into the seat across from me was an intoxicatingly beautiful woman. Flirtatious too. And chatty as hell. Soon Jamie was showing me some photos and saying something about having finally achieved the look she'd always visualized for herself. The photos were the ones taken for this article, and were more enticing than any I'd seen before. They also had the virtue of looking like the woman across from me. I thought about pocketing one, but settled for saying, "Wow!"
"Thank you!" Jamie replied. "I used to be sort of embarrassed about this, but you know what?"
"What?" I asked breathlessly.
"I work out really hard..."
I gazed at the splendidly fit 27-year-old woman in front of me. "I would never have guessed," I replied.
Jamie laughed. Jamie laughs a lot. She also giggles and chortles and squeaks, and doesn't stop moving for a second. At times she was practically gyrating in her seat. She reminded me a bit of SanDeE, the human tornado played by Sarah Jessica Parker in LA Story, only sexier. Much sexier. SanDeE didn't have that deep, dirty belly laugh which is one of Jamie's specialties. Nor did she strike nearly as many mouth-watering poses. Jamie struck so many poses I was beginning to wonder if she thought this was a photo shoot.
"What do you think is the most beautiful part of your body?" I asked, adopting my most lascivious expression.
"Let me think about that," Jamie replied, looking stumped.
"Should I get you a mirror?"
More laughs, much flashing of glistening white teeth. "I'm really happy with where my body is right now," Jamie concluded.
"What does your boyfriend think about it?"
From the glint in her baby blue eyes, I could see this was Topic A in the Luner househo1d. "He's psyched! He's very, uh, stimulated by the adjustments."
(This elicits another, super-dirty belly laugh.) "You know what? I think that my arms are getting better now. I've always wanted to have, like, the arms, you know?"
And then, grinning demonically like a De Kooning woman in a fitness commercial, Jamie launched into a double biceps pose.
"Wow!" I said.
"Isn't that cool, man!" Jamie asked, still flexing furiously.
"Wow," I said. Again. Pretty soon I was going to be saying 'awesome'.
We arm-wrestled, and Jamie beat me easily. Jamie, it turned out, had just come from LA Fitness, and had probably drunk an entire bottle of Ginseng as well. She was so full of energy she looked like she was ready to moonwalk on the walls.
"You must be a really good. dancer," I said, watching her slithering around in our booth like a freshly caught mermaid. Jamie smiled devilishly and
executed a few dance moves from a seated position. Her waist went one way her hips the other. Her fingers fluttered teasingly over her breasts and abdomen and then slid slowly down her sides. I felt like Helmut Newton without a camera.
"I'm really trying to come out of my shell," Jamie said.
"I think you've made it out," I said.
For a while we talked about other things, such as Jamie's hopes for a movie career, which hasn't really happened yet. "I've got a million and two parts within me, she said, picking at her barbecue ranch salad, and I believed her. She'd demonstrated at least a dozen in the space of an hour. She was pure actress - and, I suspected, potentially quite a good one.
By now, we were out on the patio, and Jamie got up to demonstrate a couple of 'walks' for me. One was the sexy walk - "one hip at a time, baby, one hip at a time," she said, giving me a sidelong glance over her shoulder - and another was the leave-me-alone walk. It was a very enjoyable performance. Then Jamie did an imitation of her friend Luda Vika, the Dominican stand-up comedian, complete with Dominican accent and twisting smart-ass mouth: "Baby, if you can't look in the mirror and say 'I'd fuck me!', don't leave the house'."
And then it was time to say goodbye. "Peace on your journey," were the last wordss Jamie spoke to me. Then she ambled out slowly through the late-afternoon heat, one hip at a time, baby. A few minutes later I passed her in my car. She was on the sidewalk now, doing her leave-me-alone walk. The performance was over. I honked, but she didn't look up.