To put it simply, Birkhead wants to keep the best part of Anna Nicole’s legacy intact for their daughter and protect Dannielynn as much as humanly possible, not only from a fate that resembles her mother’s, but pitfalls of the wrong kind of media exposure. .
Smith’s pop culture legacy, meanwhile, has obviously been more than that of a striking model-actress-reality star who passed away too young. Her story had so many twists and turns weirder than fiction, it turned out to be ripe to be told, whether through TV movies like the 2007 one. Anna Nicole Smith’s story featuring Willa Ford or 2013 Anne-Nicole for life ; the opera of 2011 Anne-Nicole; or the documentary 2012 Addicted to fame, featuring disturbing footage compiled during the making of Illegal aliens.
But for nearly a decade, there was an audience that had no idea what to do with Smith when she was alive, who only sat down and watched her decline, not knowing exactly what he was looking at, and probably thinking that nothing really bad would happen in the end. Yet the Anna Nicole Smith story did not have a happy ending. Instead, it remains a warning reminder that there is always a real person on the other side of this lens.
“The thing with Anna was… it was almost like a split personality,” Birkhead said. “Because when the camera was rolling she was a whole different thing … it was more, to me, an act that she was the real person, who she was.”
(Originally published Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 5:00 a.m. PT.)