David Hyde Pierce talks to Advocate about being publicly gay, his new film & working w/Helen Reddy
David Hyde Pierce, a multiple Emmy winner for Frasier and a Tony winner for Curtains, stars in the new film The Perfect Host and talks to Brandon Voss for The Advocate about the movie and other topics.
Here are some highlights:
How did you perceive the response from the gay community after you came out?
It was a little bit of a shock at first, but it was amazing the array of reactions I got from the gay community. Some people were very supportive, some people said that I had been outed, some people said it was about time, some people said it was too late, and some people just said, “Who cares?” That’s when I realized that you have to do it for yourself, because you can’t please everyone.
What advice would you give you an actor on the fence about coming out?
I would advise anyone not to come out immediately, but whenever you’re ready and feel safe that you can, you’ll be glad you did. However it ended up happening for me, because I was completely honest and because I did come out — even though I resisted that phrase for so many years — I feel I’m a better person, and I’m better able to do everything I do both in my private life and in my professional life.
Since you began speaking publicly about your partner and your marriage — notably as a guest on The View — have you felt pressure from gay rights groups or from gay people in general to be a mouthpiece for the community?
I’ve spoken out about marriage because I believe in it. It’s very personal for me, and I’ve been very lucky to be a part of that. I’ve worked with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for as long as I’ve been an actor. So no, I don’t feel pressured. I feel like I’m able to do what I always would’ve done. I just try to stand up for what I believe in.
In The Perfect Host you star as Warwick, a Los Angeles bachelor who unwittingly invites in a dangerous criminal as he makes preparations to host a dinner party. Because of the various twists involved, it’s a challenging film to talk about beyond that. How are you handling that in interviews?
David Hyde Pierce: It’s tricky. I have to put a lot of faith in the interviewer that they won’t publish stuff that gives too much away. Even though I know that people talk about everything anyway with the Internet, I still like to hold on to the possibility of surprise.
Helen Reddy plays Warwick’s nosy neighbor. That must’ve been a treat, especially considering she rarely acts and hasn’t done a film in more than 20 years.
She was just wonderful. She’s so sweet, so loving, and she had a very warm, nurturing presence, which was a wonderful thing to have around on a short, very intense, low-budget shooting schedule. We had a good time.
Did anyone break into “I Am Woman” around the craft services table?
It sort of went without singing. But once in a while, I’d think, Wow, I’m in a scene with Helen Reddy.