Actress Kirstie Alley is an open book about her fluctuating weight, wacky lifestyle and self-proclaimed nonexistent sex life. Since so much of her personal life is broadcast to the world, Kirstie has decided to take control of what the public sees. She's producing and starring in a new reality show, Kirstie Alley's Big Life, about her quest to lose weight. "The thing I'm good at is making lemonade out of lemons," she says. "I wanted to see a show about a journey. We see the befores and afters, and I wanted to show the every day, what really happens over at my house."
In the series, viewers will not only follow Kirstie's day-to-day struggles, but also meet her two children, two assistants, handyman and wild kingdom of 25 animals.
Kirstie has always said she's bothered by the photographers constantly hounding her, but with this show, the ball is in her court. "I've always wanted to have a camera in the car when the paparazzi are following me, so I can shoot them," she says. "I will say this. There's usually about 10 paparazzi outside my house at any given moment, and when we're filming, there's none."
Shooting Kirstie Alley's Big Life has served as a reminder that she is in charge of her own life, Kirstie says. "There's that poem, 'Invictus,' ... and the last two lines say: 'I am the master of my fate. The captain of my soul.' And I had forgotten that I was the captain of my soul," she says. "It's hard not to succumb to the pressures that are around you when you're a celebrity because it is so open. ... But I don't give an F anymore. Once I realized [that], I said: 'Who are you? You're the girl who has two beautiful children. You're the girl that has had a great career in acting and has awards and has friends and has family and health.'"
That realization helped Kirstie realize she didn't need to worry about critics bringing her down, she says, even when her body is plastered on the covers of tabloids. "It's cathartic because it gets you to confront yourself," she says.
Even so, Kirstie says she hates the paparazzi. "If [I'm somewhere] I know the paparazzi's going to be—that's where they hang out or I'm at an event—then that feels appropriate," she says. "But when they're shooting my children? They've stalked my children from the time they were babies. When they shoot me driving my children to school, ... then they get a reaction."
To reach her ideal weight, Kirstie says she needs to lose about 90 pounds. "I took some of your advice, and it was, 'Just go to where you know you look good, you feel good,'" she says. "I honest to God don't know what [the number] is. I know what it isn't. ... I think in the 40s was good. I think 140, 145, 150."
Kirstie says she's not going to hold fast to a number goal. "I think when I'm strutting around most of the day, I'm done," she says. "I started seven weeks ago, and I've lost 20-ish."
No goal would be achievable without a little inspiration, and Kirstie says hers comes in the form of a muse: actor Jamie Foxx. "I like to think about Mr. Jamie Foxx and I. I mean, I'll never be with him. But I like to think about, like, I disrobe and I [say] 'Jamie, turn the lights off,'" she says. "I love him because he's so talented. It's like the guy that any instrument you hand him, he can play. He's a brilliant actor; he's funny. That's why he's my muse."
Kirstie's not the only one who loves Jamie. "He's a very, very dear friend of mine," Oprah says. "Anybody who is going to be with Jamie needs to be willing to share. Because there are going to be other girls."
Oprah's certainly willing to share her dear friend, and to prove it she has a surprise for Kirstie—he's here! "I know your kids are in the audience, so I don't want to go too wild," Jamie says. "But listen, you're absolutely beautiful. Don't worry about how much you weigh or how much you don't weigh. It's all beautiful, so don't worry about a thing and quit worrying. Just be you, fantastically you."
"That's why I love you, Jamie," Kirstie says. In fact, she adores him so much she's come up with a name for herself: a Foxxhound.
Jamie Foxx may be Kirstie's celebrity crush, but she says it's been 10 years since she's been in a real relationship with someone she loved. "I realized when the kids were young and I had a boyfriend, I realized that I wasn't open to having someone else's interpretation of raising my children," she says. "I've had so much fun being a mother and raising them. I waited a long time. I was an older mother when I had my children, and I wanted to spend a lot of time with them. That's one of the things I love about doing my show now is we're together every day. And we're having a ball."