Tara Reid on Her 'Misjudged' Party Girl Label and Career Reinvention

Tara Reid is taking charge and reinventing her career. The 45-year-old actress has been a Hollywood mainstay for over 20 year, with the New Jersey native earning praise in the late ’90s for her roles in The Big Lebowski, American Pie and Josie and the Pussycats. But a few years later, everything changed.

“I didn’t work for a while. That was really frustrating,” Reid tells ET’s Deidre Behar, explaining that after being labeled a “party girl” in the early 2000s she was “misjudged” and bullied by Hollywood. “[It bothered me] that [people thought] I was just a party girl and thought I wasn’t anything else because that wasn’t true…It didn’t make sense to get punished for having fun.”

“I never got in trouble or got a DUI or do anything bad really,” she says. “So I feel like it wasn’t right. I felt really bullied by the studios and a lot of people and very misjudged.”

Fast forward to today, with over a dozen films in the pipeline, she feels reinvigorated as she’s creating her own opportunities and reinventing herself on and off screen. She’s currently executive producing season 2 of Hollywood Disclosure, and pulling double duty in the five-film franchise she’s helming, Masha’s Mushroom.

“I’m not gonna wait for a script because I’m not gonna do that anymore. So I was like, ‘I’m gonna create my own parts and I’m gonna produce them,” she shares. “This is a really exciting time for me.”

Her involvement in Hollywood Disclosure came from admiring Serena DC’s interviewing style, Reid says. The show features Serena DC letting the celebrity guests set the record straight on any tabloids, rumors and speculations about them.

“We decided together to go do it and I wanted to executive produce it. I’m gonna be the one kind of behind the camera and helping putting it together,” she says.

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As for her upcoming thriller, Masha’s Mushroom, she shares that Vivica A. Fox, Beverly D’Angelo, Billy Zane, Sade Adu and herself are involved. The story follows Reid as Masha, a mother who is trying to throw her daughter the perfect party until the guests are mysteriously dragged by an airborne substance.

“There’s this purple dust that comes in the air, so it’s airborne, people don’t even know it,” Reid explains. “And Vivica plays this chemist who makes this and she’s the one who starts spreading it and people start tripping. They don’t even know what they’re seeing, so it’s like, ‘Did it happen or did it not happen?'”

Reid was also hoping to have Nicole Kidman in the film, sharing the backstory behind her comment on the Oscar-winner’s Instagram asking her to join her film’s cast.

“We are watching Nicloe Kidman’s new show,” Reid recalls, sharing that they still had to cast the role of Mashu’s sister-in-law. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, if I can get her that would be sick!’ But you know, we didn’t hear back, unfortunately. We did reach out to her agent and they said that she was totally booked right now. She’s booked for the next two years, which makes sense.”

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During the interview she also touches on the uncomfortable 2016 interview with Jenny McCarthy, where the SiriusXM host told her she hopes she stays married and “I hope your knees get a little wobblier than they already are.”

“I just think she is just a nasty person. She really was, and it was like she went places that you just don’t go,” Reid expresses. “I’ve never had beef with her or anything. So I was thinking, ‘I’m here doing press for my movie, what are you doing? Why are you picking on me?’ I didn’t even understand it. I was more in shock when it happened.”

Calling the experience “horrifying,” Reid now says it’s “water under the bridge.” She does notes that being picked on and judged has “been going on in my career for a very long time.”

That was a major reason she decided to take back her narrative and venture into producing and directing.

“That’s also one of the reasons why I started to do this because I’m like, ‘If I don’t fix this, it’s not going to get fixed,” she says of her reputation. “So that’s when I said, ‘OK, we’re going to turn this around, people are going to realize how smart I am, how I’m producing, how I’m creating all these things and then they’re going to have to stop because they can’t keep picking on you. It was almost cool to pick on me and it’s not.”

As for the future, while she loves acting — “It’s my favorite thing to do” — she notes that “becoming a producer has been so exciting and so different than acting.”

“I didn’t realize how much goes into a film. Just getting it financed and getting the actors and getting the studio and getting the script and getting the writers and getting the director,” she says. “I mean it’s so much…I’m so proud of it.”

“I wanna be a really good businesswoman,” she adds about her goals. “Not just acting and producing, but making some brands, getting into the fashion world, just having my hands in a little bit of everything.”

For more on Reid, watch the full video in the player above.

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