More: You recently did a stint in an off-Broadway play?
Marla Maples: I did. I was in a play called Love, Loss, and What I Wore.
More: This wasn’t your first time performing on the live stage in the Big Apple?
MM: I did the Will Rogers Follies back in the 1990s. I loved that show, and even got to work with Tommy Tune.
More: When did you get bitten by the acting bug?
MM: When I was young. My dad was an actor and did opera and musical theatre. I think he passed the acting gene along to me. My mother, she was gorgeous and could turn heads wherever she went.
More: I see where you get your talent and looks.
MM: I started out as an athlete but people pushed me into pageants, telling me, “Think past your small-town life.” But I do like the self-discovery and going deeper into yourself when you are acting.
More: Aside from your talents as an actor—you were thrust onto the public stage when it was discovered you were Donald Trump’s girlfriend?
MM: Yes. Everything in life is preparation for what is coming your way. That was a big stage and it came at a time when I was discovering what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
More: Did you get swept up by The Donald’s lavish lifestyle?
MM: I did get swept away into a very big world, and then it was about survival.
More: When people learned who you were, many cast you as the other woman and the person responsible for breaking up Donald’s marriage to Ivana. How did that make you feel?
MM: I did not want the media. Ivana worked the media and she was able to manipulate it in a way that served her.
More: Did that upset you?
MM: I don’t blame her. She needed to survive. I was coming into a relationship with all my heart. The last thing on my mind was to hurt anyone or break up a marriage. I was told their marriage was already over. When I love, I love completely. I put my whole heart and soul into it. But it did come with a set of circumstances, and I wanted to believe everything I was being told.
More: Were you aware of the things people said about you?
MM: I am over it now and have moved past all of that. I am pretty good at pulling all my energy together when I am down and creating an intimate world that is positive. The challenges that came with that helped me to grow.
More: Good for you.
MM: You can’t look at things and be a victim. I am a big believer that things manifest in the world that our soul needs to grow.
More: Did it ever take a toll on your self-esteem?
MM: When I got pregnant with Tiffany, I was starring in a Broadway show. All of a sudden everything turned and I had to change my life. I was going to be a mom and I had a responsibility to create a world that was safe and full of love. For me, that meant changing my dreams. My purpose was to make sure this child was loved.
More: How quickly you veered off course.
MM: Yes. I wasn’t planning on having a child at that point in my life. I was very ambitious about my career goals and what I wanted to accomplish. However, it all changed when I became pregnant with Tiffany. I immediately said to myself, “I am going to be a great mom, and her coming, there is a great purpose around that.” I could not let the media interfere with my focus, which was to give my child all that I could.
More: Do you consider yourself a survivor?
MM: I went through abuse and the cancer of friends, if that's what you are talking about.