The Pussycat Dolls' monopoly on sexy Hollywood burlesque acts is over.
Carmen Electra, one of the celebrities who put the Pussycats on the map by guest-dancing with the troupe (see "Christina, Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese Help Bring Back Burlesque"), has formed her own ensemble, the Bombshells. They debuted last month at a tsunami benefit headlined by Camp Freddy, the all-star cover band featuring Electra's husband, Dave Navarro (see "Linkin Park, Jay-Z, No Doubt Rock The House To Rebuild South Asia").
"Dave looked at me and said, 'Why don't you get your girls together and put together a little dance show, then you can open up for us,' " recalled Electra, who has been dancing since high school (the same Ohio school Nick Lachey attended). "So I got really excited and called all the girls I know who are dancers. It's gonna have a little of that burlesque undertone, so you still get that sexiness and a little bit of a striptease element, but more modern with some hip-hop beats and some different cool stuff."
With the launch of the Bombshells, Electra is no longer participating in the Pussycat Dolls show or their upcoming album (see "Sing Like Christina And Dance Like Carmen? The Pussycat Dolls Want You").
But Electra, who launched her entertainment career with an album on Prince's Paisley Park label in 1992, is interested in returning to music.
"I would love to sing again, I would love to do another album," she said. "It's a passion of mine. Who knows, maybe the Bombshells could do it. As for now, we're gonna dance and that to me is fun, being onstage in front of an audience. I'm very excited about it. And I want to keep it underground, more that vibe."
Electra is also continuing to develop her acting career. She recently shot a guest spot on "Summerland" and had her biggest movie role to date in the Sundance Film Festival selection "Dirty Love" (see "Jenny McCarthy's 'Dirty' Movie Features Sum 41 Frontman").
The romantic comedy was written by Jenny McCarthy, who hosted MTV's "Singled Out" before Electra. Interestingly, though, the two hardly knew each other before filming, and Electra had to audition for McCarthy and her husband, director John Asher, to land the part.
"I was so bummed that we didn't hang out back in the 'Singled Out' days because she's so cool," Electra said. "She's the nicest girl, so down-to-earth, funny as hell. And we had so much fun shooting the movie."
Electra was turned on to the script by her agent and couldn't put it down once she started reading it.
"Jenny's writing is awesome, and it's the kind of humor I like, just in-your-face, straight to the point," Electra said. "Certain things happen and gross you out a little bit, and that's my humor. I like shocking stuff."
Electra plays a friend of McCarthy's character, who is seeking revenge on an ex-boyfriend she caught in bed with another woman. Asher and McCarthy gave the actress the go-ahead to create the character as she pleased.
"She's a white girl who tries too hard to be down," Electra said. "She's kind of annoying. She's got a real nasal tone to her voice. She's got those long hoochie nails. I got to get airbrushed and wear really cool outfits and crazy hairdos. It was so over-the-top, but inspired by girls I went to school with and a phase in my life when I was trying to be something that I wasn't."
"Dirty Love" does not yet have a release date.