On episode 127 of The Ross Report, 'Good Ol' JR' Jim Ross caught up with Terri Runnels. Among other things, the former Marlena talked about coming up with the Marlena character. Also, Ross made an interesting claim, that Marlena was supposed to have a prosthetic penis.
With respect to creating the Marlena character for WWE, Terri admitted that she came up with the idea while laying in a tanning bed.
"When I came up with the character of Marlena, I was laying in the tanning bed in our home in Stockbridge, Georgia. Dustin's on the road. I'm there with [their daughter] Dakota and absolutely loving being a mommy. It's not like I was saying, 'God, I've got to get out of this house - I can't do this'. I was happier than a pig in poop. But also, I'm a very creative person and I think it's very easy for me to stand back and look at something with an overall view and say 'there's a deficit there, that needs that, okay, this needs the addition of this component or that' and I was doing the same things." Terri added, "Marlena was born in that one tanning bed session in my house and the weekend before that, I had been to my sister's. And she collected these high end Barbie dolls and Bob Mackie, who used to design all of Cher's dresses and Carol Burnett's, he designed this Barbie doll, a limited edition, and the Barbie doll's name was Sun Goddess. And that image, that visual, was what I saw for Marlena. And then, of course, I told Vince that I wanted either a glass of wine or a cigar that I enjoyed smoking to be a part of the character and we decided that the cigar would make more sense. And so it all just came to be."
Although Pat Patterson initially informed Terri that WWE was not going to use her idea, a month later, they would change course and bring in 'The She Devil'.
"A month later, Dustin called me and said, 'where are you? Pack your bags. They want to do your idea, so that's how that came to be." Terri professed, "here's the lovely thing about that character: there was not one thing about that character anybody created other than me. Not one thing about that character. Now, storyline-wise, there were plenty of storylines that were created for that character, but everything about that character, not one of you guys created and I love knowing that the inception and the continuation of that character was everything that I conceived of in that tanning bed."
According to Ross, there was some talk of including a prosthetic penis with Marlena's costume.
"I remember having creative meetings, Vince and I, probably Pat and maybe Bruce, Bruce Prichard. And having meetings of various kinds. One meeting, a creative meeting, we had about [the Marlena] character, was that there was a consideration to have the Marlena character have a prosthetic penis and that the penis would be, at certain times, depending on what [Marlena] wore, in a very subtle way, one could detect that there's something going on there that is not normal."
In addition to these topics, Terri discussed her relationship with The Big Boss Man, getting her start in WCW, and much more. Click here to check out the interview. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Ross Report