Interview with Dallas Malloy, Female Boxing Pioneer
When I saw a poster about Dallas Malloy’s 1993 groundbreaking boxing match on the walls at Bodybuilders Gym, I inquired about boxing lessons. In our brief exchange, I immediately recognized something special about her; here in LA, we call it “star quality.” And you probably remember Dallas’ cameo appearance (playing herself) in the opening minutes of the film Jerry Maguire. Not only is she a groundbreaking female athlete, but a champion competitive bodybuilder, writer, and personal trainer. And this coming Tuesday, December 30, she’s the newest guest star on ABC’s Eli Stone.
SAM: I think it’s awesome that you were singled out to appear as yourself in the film “Jerry Maguire” as a rebel/athlete in the world of amateur female boxing. What was that like?
It was a wonderful experience, Cameron Crowe was a delight to work with, and Tom Cruise was a prince—he was so down-to-earth, he was asking me about my boxing experience, it was great. I made amateur boxing history when I was 16, when I became the first female to have a sanctioned amateur bout. Until then, females were excluded from amateur boxing, so I filed a discrimination suit with the help of the ACLU and forced them to set up a women’s division, I won my match in court and in the ring—by unanimous decision.
You live in Los Angeles—how do you recharge yourself and get inspired here?
My work inspires me—I have extensive theater training, starting a new role, a new project, seeing great work inspires me. My relentless drive/intention keeps me going.
Tell us about your upcoming role on ABC and what you’ve learned about yourself?
In this episode titled “Two Ministers” I’m playing a transsexual minister who has been fired from his church after getting his sex change (to male), and goes to Eli Stone’s law firm for help. This character resonated with me from the moment I heard about him. He has a passion to help others—his life work as a minister, and he insists on being true to himself even though he is condemned because of it. This experience was truly indescribable, for one, the cast and crew were an absolute dream, the writing is brilliant and meaningful. From this experience my awareness of myself has deepened, my understanding of and embracing the total complexity of gender.
How has your approach to health & fitness changed over the last 10 years? How have you changed?
Frequently in my life, I’ve had to go to extremes to ultimately find balance, and health and fitness is no exception. I’m a recovering alcoholic, so before I got sober almost 12 years ago I was at the opposite end of health in every way. Two years later I stopped smoking, began working out again, changed my eating habits, later studied naturopathy—natural health using nutrition and herbs … a constant evolution of learning sums up my life. Then, I started competing in bodybuilding in 2006, where your results are almost entirely due to nutrition. I’m always learning, and I’ve become more intuitive about my body and what I need. I learn so much from personal training as well, I learn from my clients—everyone is unique. Experience is the best teacher.
What advice would you give someone moving to Los Angeles for the first time?
What are you crazy? [Laughs] OK, I guess I’ll have to quote Bette Davis and say “Take Fountain” (avenue that is).
Are there any causes near and dear to your heart?
Gay rights, transgender rights, elderly rights, and animal rights.
Anything that you’d like to add?
People that say you can’t do something, that it’s impossible, or can’t be done, they’re always wrong. Also, I would say to someone who has been judged and misunderstood, even hated, that someone else’s judgment doesn’t define you, you have to believe in yourself. Believe in yourself, find those that believe in you and forget the rest.
Dallas Malloy’s episode of “Eli Stone” airs Tuesday, December 30 at 10PM Pacific on ABC. You can learn more about Dallas on her website.