The annual TIME 100 issue names the people who most affect our world and one of them is the supremely talented Neil Patrick Harris.
Joss Whedon, the Emmy-winning producer of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, wrote the text about NPH:
Neil loves magic tricks. He’s good at them, but his greatest trick may be himself: not just the way he was suddenly all over TV — and other media — but also that he made it seem like he’d always been there, a charming, Carsonesque presence. While he flourished as both an actor and a persona, he serenely announced he was gay. And that was that. He’s been nominated for an Emmy three times for his role as hetero hound Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother not because he’s playing straight but because he’s very funny. He made the issue of his sexuality disappear without desexualizing himself. He can get the girl and sing about the boys, and it all works. The public’s perception of gay men is shifting because of this guy, and they’ll be too entertained to notice. That’s more than a good trick. That’s magic.
Back in 2006, I was damned fortunate to be invited to attend a reunion of the original cast of Designing Women and it was a night I will never, ever forget.
The women had gotten together for a televised reunion a few years earlier which was their first time together in one room in more than a decade. Sadly, this night in Beverly Hills turned out to be their last public appearance together now that Dixie Carter has passed away.
Here is my coverage of the reunion:
You put Delta Burke, Jean Smart, Dixie Carter and Annie Potts together in a room and you are going to have magic.
That’s what happened Wednesday night at the Museum of Television and Radio when these four amazing actresses reunited for only the second time since “Designing Women” left the air.
They inhabited four classic sitcom characters on that show but when watching them interact as themselves, it is just as interesting…and FUNNY!
They joined the show’s brilliant creator and head writer Linda Bloodworth Thomason for the event which had a standing room only audience filled with serious “Designing Women” afficionados.
It was nice to not be the only person in the room to be mouthing the words of dialogue as the show’s classic pilot episode was screened prior to a panel discussion.
I gotta say, for a rabid “Designing Women” fan like me, this was a night I will never forget.
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, with whom I’d had a terrific interview with last week, greeted me before the show with a great big hug and introduced me to Jean Smart. Then I chatted up Annie Potts before heading into the packed theater for the program.
Hmmm. Where to sit? I don’t know how this happened, but next thing I know, a staff member is guiding me down to the second row. Then next thing I know, the cast is escorted in and I am directly behind Linda and Delta! Annie, Jean then Dixie filled out the row. So, not only am I stoked to be sitting so near them, I get to watch THEM as they watch the pilot episode together. They would whisper to each other, give each other a look at a particularly funny moment, Jean was cackling hard during some spots and Dixie was just in a constant state of laughter.
In the pilot, her character got the most laughs so this was a real showcase for the actress. One of my favorite lines of Dixie’s is when obnoxious Ray Don Simpson (“I want to thank you…RAY DON…”) tries to join the women for lunch at a sushi restaurant saying they look like they could use a little male company. Dixie puts down her chop sticks, looks at him and says: “Trust me when I say that you have completely misjudged this situation.”
Anyway, there were some terrific lines during the panel portion and I’ll have to share those with you later today in a separate post. But what was also cool was that when I took the microphone to ask a question, Linda introduced me to the audience! Holy cow! Love her! Harry Thomason slipped into the theater after the program was underway. After it was over, he turned around and introduced himself to me.
What a heady night.
I’ll finish this later, gotta get on the freeway and head to the office.
So here are more highlights from the great “Designing Women” reunion at the Museum of Television and Radio last night. First off, I have to say that this had the feel of a loving reunion of people who love and respect each other and who honor what they created together.
This is in contrast to a “Golden Girls” reunion I attended at the museum a few years ago when Bea Arthur seemed to not even acknowledge Betty White and Rue McClanahan sat in the middle of them almost like a referee.
“There was an amazing lack of ago,” Jean Smart said of the cast. “For the first few years, every single solitary interview we’d do they’d ask, ‘Do you really get along?’ We didn’t know what they were talking about. [Did they] ask the guys on ‘Barney Miller’ that?’”
Added Delta Burke: “We all got so close and talked about everything in the world. The characters became more and more of us in them and I, of course, took some of Suzanne home with me.”
After the pilot episode was aired, the ladies took the stage and Delta Burke wanted everyone to know why she didn’t have her Southern accent. It turns out that the network honchos didn’t want the show to seem too much like “Filthy Rich,” an earlier sitcom Linda Bloodworth-Thomason created that co-starred Burke and Dixie Carter.
“I was thrilled because Dixie and I had been wanting to work with Linda again,” Delta said. “I was told I had to talk straight and that was as straight as I could get!”
Linda said she wanted to create a show using Dixie and Delta as well as Smart and Annie Potts, who had been standouts in an episode of the short-lived Robert Wagner series “Lime Street.” She didn’t quite know what she wanted the show to be about but she did know “I wanted to show women who were friends, bold in their ideas and strong in their comradrie with each other. There was no concept really – just loud-mouthed women.”
“Designing Women” was initially on the ropes with CBS. It was moved around the network’s schedule about nine times its first year then cancelled. Said Smart: “My mother couldn’t even find us. She’d call me and say, ‘What night are you on?” But the group Viewers form Quality Television, which had saved “Cagney and Lacey” from cancellation, initiated a letter-writing campaign for the sitcom and it was saved, settling into a Monday night timeslot where it would stay for most of the rest of its seven-year run.
Many Funny stories were shared at the reunion. Among them, when Carter appeared in a dream sequence wearing panty hose, but no panties underneath. Says Potts: “She made the Janet Jackson thing pale. It was the ultimate costume defect.” Carter’s husband, Hal Holbrook told her: “They saw your pretty.” At one point Smart blurted out to Burke: “Remember the episode when you drank Charlene’s breast milk!?!”
Each actress was asked to pick a favorite episode.
Smart: The show when she gives birth and Dolly Parton guest-starred as her guardian movie star. Smart was pregnant in real life and told the crowd that Wednesday was her son’s 17th birthday!
“I loved playing a character who was gullible and innocent and who took everything at face value. All the women were very distinct. Suzanne and Charlene were shockingly unliberated!”
Carter: The episode when Charlene wants to become a pastor and Julia gets to sing “How Great Thou Art” at the end. Carter’s mother was dying and that was the last episode of the show she ever saw, her daughter by her side. “She got to see her little girl sing this great Methodist hymn for the whole country.”
Potts: The episode when Mary Jo inherits some money and considers getting breast implants. She puts some fake ones on for a test run and asks Julia to go to a bar with her to see the reaction. Men are buying her drinks left and right. She turn to Julia and says, “These things are POWER!” “To do a whole show about breasts. It was, at the time, pretty provocative. People will still come up to me and say: “These things are POWER!” Carter, in the scene with Potts when the line was said, remembered that she had to ” turn around to keep from laughing. I just turned around and took a drink!”
Burke: “They Shoot Fat Women Don’t They” was the episode in season four that focused on Suzanne’s (and Delta’s) noticeable weight gain. “It was out there and no one would acknowledge it, except the tabloids. All I asked was to let me have the punchlines. I didn’t want to have all the punchlines be about me.” (For the record, Burke is now quite slim and as gorgeous as ever.)
Smart proudly pointed out that Burke was nominated for an Emmy award for that episode (as well as one the next season) while Potts boasted that Smart had actually WON a pair of Emmys (for ‘Frasier’).
These scenes are from a silly subplot to an excellent season five episode about Mary Jo’s old art teacher who busts out of her nursing home.
Charlene enters her baby Olivia into a contest to be the face of a baby food brand. Suzanne, being a former Miss Georgia, knows all about these kinds of competition and insists that Olivia does not have enough hair to win.
So Suzanne has a baby wig made for the kid!
It’s so ridiculous but every time Suzanne pulls the thing out of her purse it sends me into stitches.
He may stand just 4 feet, 11 inches tall but Leslie Jordan is a huge talent.
The Emmy winning star, currently on Broadway in his one-man show My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, turns 55 today!
He’s probably best known for his recurring role as Karen Walker’s bitchy nemesis, Beverley Leslie, on Will & Grace. He shares in his show that the role was originally written for Joan Collins.
Reports Playbill.com: she told the Powers That Be that she had no intention of having her wig yanked off. Then, the writers of the series, with Collins canned, rethought the role into a short, effete Southern gay man who chattered like castanets. Leslie Jordan won the part merely by showing up for the audition, tightly wound after a hysterical phone call from his mother.
OTHER BIRTHDAYS TODAY:
Daniel Day-Lewis (53) Taylor Cole (26) Uma Thurman (40) Andre Agassi (40) Master P (40) Carnie Wilson (42) Master P (43) Michelle Pfeiffer (52) Eve Plumb (52) Kate Mulgrew (55) Jerry Seinfeld (56) Celeste Holm (93)
B.D. Wong , a longtime cast member of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, has been an out and proud actor for many years – long before Neil Patrick Harris, T.R. Knight, Luke MacFarlane, John Barrowman and others were out publicly.
While he was also in the cast of the late, great HBO prison drama OZ, B.D. first achieved stardom on stage, winning the Tony Award for his role in the Broadway production of M. Butterfly. He is the only actor to have been honored with the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theatre World Award for the same performance.
The 49-year-old B.D. played Margaret Cho’s brother on her ABC sitcom All-American Girl and was Martin Short’s flamboyant wedding planner assistant in Father of the Bride and its sequel.
In 2000, B.D. and his now ex-partner Richie Jackson had twin sons: Boaz Dov, who died 90 minutes after birth, and Jackson Foo Wong. They were born through a surrogate mother, using B.D.’s sperm and an egg donated by Jackson’s sister. In 2003, Wong wrote a memoir about his experiences with surrogacy titled Following Foo: the Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man. He and Jackson ended their 16-year relationship in 2004.
On The Wendy Williams Show earlier today, Johnny Weir responded to Evan Lysacek labeling him a “whiner” for not being invited to be a part of the “Stars on Ice” tour.
Johnny called his Olympic teammate a “Slore” which is a combination of the words “slut” and “whore.”
He also told Wendy that “even if they asked me today, I wouldn’t do it.”
“And Evan,” he added, “he’s a slore.”
Here’s what Evan had said: “Stars on Ice” is really selective of who they hire and they only hire the best of the best to skate. It would’ve been hard of them to justify hiring him, and I think he was really upset because he wanted the financial benefit of the tour. A lot of us in the skating world were really disappointed in the way he reacted, basically whining that he wasn’t chosen.
Interesting that when straight couples begin a romance on As the World Turns, they usually have to have their lips pried apart.
But when the couple is two gay men, the pizza man rings the doorbell just as they are moving in on each other. Then, the hospital calls just as they are about to resume. And for good measure, one of the guy’s ex-boyfriend calls in between just to quash any romantic mood developing.
That’s what happened with Luke Snyder (Van Hansis) and Dr. Reid Oliver (Eric Sheffer Stevens) on today’s episode of As the World Turns.
While I’m happy and just so damned GRATEFUL that ATWT has not tossed out their gays the way One Life to Live just did, this reminds me of the old days when they went over a year between Luke and Noah kisses.
It’s a frustrating double standard.
The show is going off the air soon. If you’re going to do a gay story, then DO a gay story. Quit being coy and please give us more than ONCE a week episodes with the gay characters.
That’s off my chest so here’s a recap of Luke and Reid (and Noah) who have red-hot chemistry that keeps being doused.
They return from Texas and Luke is all jumpy and weird since their kiss last week. He wonders why Reid hasn’t said anything insulting to him for at least 48 hours.
“Why is that?” Luke wonders.
At this point, Reid says to Luke what someone has needed to say to him for a very long time: “I figure you get enough of that [insulting behavior] from Noah (Jake Silbermann). No point in piling on. … What he needs is to learn some gratitude. He’s still punishing you for his accident. … For him to keep dumping on you after everything you’ve done for him? Frankly, it’s rude.”
Spot on doc!
Reid continues: “Noah’s blaming you, you’re letting him. You guys are both idiots. … Accidents happen, they’re not always someone’s fault. It’s not okay for Noah to keep beating up on you, calling the shots while you put your life on hold waiting for him to come around. Aren’t you sick of that yet? You sure as hell should be.”
Luke is upset that Reid is speaking such truth but he soon simmers down when Reid mentions their kiss and Luke admits that “being wanted by someone like you, it’s a compliment.”
Reid: “Yes, it is.”
They are about to kiss again when the damned pizza delivery dude rings the doorbell. Reid answers and says to pizza guy: “Did anyone ever tell you you have lousy timing?”
Then clueless Noah calls Reid’s phone, Luke answers. Luke finds out Noah’s surgery is scheduled for the next day – something Dr. Oliver had not shared with Luke. This causes some discord but again Luke and Reid are about to kiss when the doctor’s phone goes off.
It’s the hospital – emergency!
Reid dashes off, Luke goes home and there is Noah waiting for him. After acknowledging that he’s been pushing Luke away, Noah needs him now and asks him to see him through the surgery.
Luke agrees and hugs Noah but I’d like to think he is thinking of Reid!
Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek had managed to take the high road during the Olympic Games when silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko said he didn’t deserve first place.
But when it comes to Johnny Weir, Evan takes the gloves off in a Q&A with Mextromix:
Q. Fellow American Olympic skater Johnny Weir has said he feels snubbed by “Stars on Ice” because his sexual orientation wasn’t “family-friendly enough.” Thoughts?
A. “Stars on Ice” is really selective of who they hire and they only hire the best of the best to skate. It would’ve been hard of them to justify hiring him, and I think he was really upset because he wanted the financial benefit of the tour. A lot of us in the skating world were really disappointed in the way he reacted, basically whining that he wasn’t chosen.
After reading this, I no longer respect Evan and think he shows his true colors here.
Johnny being passed over by the tour clearly seemed to be homophobic and it was a good thing for Weir to be vocal about it so that those of us who are upset by such things don’t buy tickets to this kind of event.
It was so nice to open my copy of the LA Times this morning and to see a story on Richard Chamberlain, the TV and film star who came out seven years ago.
Although best known for his television work on the series Dr. Kildare and the miniseries Shogan and The Thorn Birds, it is Mr. Chamberlain’s film career that is the focus of a two-day tribute this weekend at the Aero Theater.
I love this anecdote he shares about working with Katharine Hepburn in the 1969 film The Madwoman of Chaillot:
“I had to fly to France for her to OK me for the part,” says Chamberlain, still “Shogun” handsome at 76. “She loved to fool around. We did a scene in this park where I had just tried to drown myself. I was lying with my head in her lap on this park bench. They were lighting the scene and she started fooling around with my hair.”
And his ears. Conjuring up the spirit of the late, great Kate, Chamberlain mimics her, saying in her distinctive patrician style, “Oh, little pig ears. Close to your head. Just like mine. It means you are very selfish.’ ”
The actor is reportedly newly single but the article does not mention that. It does mention, however, that he recently moved to West Hollywood after 25 years of calling Hawaii home.
He reflects on coming out in his book Shattered Love: A Memoir and why it took him so long: “When you grew up gay in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, it was a terrible thing,” he says. “You absorb all of this negative stuff and it becomes a part of you. It wasn’t until I was writing my book …. I remember the moment, actually. It was almost like an angel came into the room and put her hand on my head and said, ‘Enough of this nonsense.’ It’s the most benign, meaningless fact being gay. What does that tell you about a person?”
Though he feared what everyone would think, says Chamberlain, “Everybody was so wonderful. It didn’t change a thing.” In fact, it’s given him a “great freedom. It’s really wonderful.”
This is a terrific interview with the always entertaining Chris Colfer who plays gay high school student Kurt on Glee.
In last night’s episode, Kurt was front and center with a big solo number and a plotline that had his dad and Finn’s mom starting to date. It’s Kurt’s way of getting closer to Finn but backfires when he feels like the object of his affection is the son his dad always wanted.
The actor has talked at length to the NY Post’s PopWatch column and here are some excerpts:
PW: In addition to the costumes, I hear there is some really intense stuff for Kurt in the GaGa episode, true?
Chris: We’ve definitely got some of our best stuff coming up. I definitely think there’s more of an emotional roller coaster that the club goes in, and Kurt specifically. We shot the most emotional scene that I’ve ever done – myself and Mike O’Malley as Burt and Kurt – a week ago for the Lady GaGa episode. I think the response to that is going to be great. I think it’s going to be more of a reaction than we got from “Preggers” or “Wheels.” It’s pretty intense.
PW: Is the finale also going to leave us in tears?
Chris: Yea. Oh I’m getting chills just thinking about it. You take us – the actors – and then us – the characters – and rewind a year ago to when we did the pilot. You really see how much we’ve all grown as individuals and how much our characters have grown in the show. Take all that and add the music they chose for Regionals and it’s very emotional. It’s so special to us and I hope fans are just as emotional towards it as we are.
PW: One of the big plans for season two is introducing a boyfriend for Kurt, any idea if you’ll have a say in casting?
Chris: I have no idea how it’s going to work out. I’ll play it by ear, I’m sure we’ll be reading with the new characters and since we’ll be a couple, I’m guessing I’ll be there to make sure there’s no awkwardness. But hopefully I have no input, because I’m very vain and the only input I really want to give is that I need to be the better looking half of the couple. I don’t want to be the weak link or have people think, “What’s he doing with Kurt?”
PW: Are you excited to portray the next step in an emerging gay’s journey?
Chris: I really am and I get more and more excited every day. I know it’s going to bring up so much more great stuff with Kurt & Burt – I live for the father/son scenes. It’s so special. And I think there’s going to be a lot of good comedy stuff that’s going to come out of it as well, which is good because I feel like so much of what I’ve done has been dramatic. I want to stretch my comedy legs as well.
One of the highlights of the TCM Classic Film Festival for me was the screening of Saturday Night Fever at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on, of course, Saturday night.
I saw it in the theaters way back in 1977 but was so young that most of it went over my head. But I was old enough to know that I had a crush on leading man John Travolta who earned an Oscar nomination for his performance.
It really is the greatest role of his career and he was never sexier or more appealing. The dancing is first-rate as is the acting. Here is Travolta’s big solo dance number as well as the last five minutes or so of the film when Travolta’s Tony Manero realizes he wants more out of his life than ruling the disco on Saturday night.
I’ve been very anti-Luke and Noah lately but today’s episode of As the World Turns reminds us of their bond.
Noah, who has been pushing Luke away (and into the arms of Reid!), is due to have surgery and asks Luke to be there for him. This is a realistic feeling which is nice to see because there has been nothing realistic about the way Noah has been behaving in regards to Luke.
My heart still belongs to my Timmy (Urban) but now that he’s been voted off of American Idol, I have a new favorite man on the show: Lee DeWyze.
He’s just grown on me and it seems like each week he grows more comfortable and confident. Then last night, he sang Shiana Twain’sYou’re Still the One and it hit me like a ton of bricks: this dude is SEXY!
Lee just turned 24 a few weeks ago and his future looks very bright.
Prior to Idol, DeWyze released two independent albums called So I’m Told in 2007 and Slumberland in 2010. No matter what place he finishes on Idol (I think he can win the whole thing!), he will land a recording contract with a major label because that voice must be heard!
Before Idol, DeWyze worked as a paint salesclerk. I’m quite certain those days are over for good.
It is really excited to be following the career of Adam Lambert right now.
This dynamic talent has announced that he will kick off his first solo tour on June 4. The Glam Nation Tour kicks off in Wilks Barre, PA and is being described as an audio and visual spectacular.
“I hope the audience will be able to escape for a few hours and fall into a world full of glam, drama and excitement,” Adam said in a statement. “And I would love everyone to come away with a new appreciation for the music on my album.”
Added Adam’s manager and American Idol creator Simon Fuller: “Adam is one of the most exciting artists I have ever seen live on stage. As great as he was been on the ‘American Idols Live’ summer shows, this tour is going to surpass anything he’s done before. I think his millions of fans will remember this tour for the rest of their lives.”
Opening for Adam on “The Glam Nation Tour” will be 25-year-old Orianthi and, on select shows, fellow Season 8 American Idol finalist Allison Iraheta.
After the kickoff in Wilkes Barre, PA, the tour will work its way to eight more cities in June, with more summer dates to be announced. Tickets for the first date go on sale soon.
Here is a list of all of the June dates for “The Glam Nation Tour” more dates to come, and for tour updates go to AdamOfficial.com.
6/4 – WILKES-BARRE, PA – THE FM KIRBY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
6/5 – SAYREVILLE, NJ - STARLAND BALLROOM
6/8 – TOLEDO, OH – OMNI
6/10 – COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – HARRAH’S BALLROOM
6/11 – MAHNOMEN, MN – SHOOTING STAR CASINO
6/12 – PRIOR LAKE, MN – MYSTIC LAKE CASINO HOTEL
6/14 – COLUMBUS, OH- LC PAVILLION
6/15 – MILWAUKEE, WI – RIVERSIDE THEATER
6/17 – HAMMOND, IN- THE VENUE AT HORSESHOE CASINO
6/18 – ROYAL OAK, MI- ROYAL OAK THEATER
6/19 – WEST TORONTO, ON/CANADA – MOLSON AMPHITHEATRE
6/22 – NEW YORK, NY- NOKIA THEATRE
6/24 – MASHANTUCKET, CT- MGM GRAND THEATER AT FOXWOODS
6/26 – ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – BORGATA SPA & RESORT – EVENT CENTER
7/15 – KANSAS CITY, MO – MIDLAND THEATRE
7/27 – COSTA MESA, CA – OC FAIR – PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE
7/28 – COSTA MESA, CA – OC FAIR – PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE
8/13 – BETHLEHEM, PA – ARTSQUEST
9/18 – ST. PETERSBURG, FL – TROPICANA FIELD
Casey James must’ve been shocked to end up in the bottom two last week since he has been one of the front-runners on American Idol all season long.
I don’t think Casey will suffer a repeat of that after delivering his finest performance yet with the Shania Twain song Don’t.
But the best performance of the night, in my opinion, came from Lee DeWyze who it seems to me now shares front-runner status with Casey and Crystal Bowersox. Lee sang’s Twain’s You’re Still the One and really made it his own.
Crystal was good, as always, but the judges agreed that her performance of No One Needs to Know was not as superb as some of her other efforts. It just wasn’t a “big” song and Crystal said more than once that “big doesn’t mean better.”
Still, she better go “big” if she wants to win.
As for the rest of the field: Michael Lynch, Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus were all solid -especially Michael – but it seems like a forgone conclusion that they will be – and should be – eliminated in the coming weeks.
Shania Twain was everything and more that a mentor should be. She gave helpful advice and the contestants respected her enough to listen to her. Shania made the show look silly for having Miley Cyrus as a mentor last month.
He wasn’t the best dancer, but Jake Pavelka sure worked hard and really upped the hunk quotient on Dancing With the Stars.
But the man who danced in his underwear a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business was voted off the show tonight with pro partner Chelsie Hightower. Now we must get by without our weekly fix of Jake for the first time all year since he went directly from The Bachelor to DWTS.
The two received a standing ovation when their fate was revealed. Jake’s fiancé Vienna Girardi looked on somberly as Jake tearfully addressed the crowd. (As he talked, more and more of his chest could be seen which was kinda hot).
“I can’t even put into words how much I enjoyed this,” an emotional Jake said, adding, “I consider the judges, the cast, the crew [and] all of the viewers [to be] family.”
He had special words for Chelsie, telling his dance coach and partner, “Thank you so much Chelsie, you’re one of my best friends. … I have loved every second of this. I love you. Thank you for being so great to my beautiful fiancee Vienna.”
I’m not sure what’s up next for Jake but I wouldn’t bet the house on he and Vienna ever getting married. The Bachelor’s track record of happily ever after is abysmal!
Here is Jake’s elimination tonight:
It was great to see Dustin Lance Black recently at the GLAAD Media Awards. He is a true talent and such an articulate voice in the fight for LGBT equality.
Lance is in the process of completing the film What’s Wrong With Virginia which he wrote and directed. It’s about a sheriff (Ed Harris) sees his state senate bid slide out onto the ice when his daughter (Emma Roberts) begins to date the son of a charming but psychologically disturbed woman (Jennifer Connelly) with whom the sheriff has engaged in a two-decades-long affair.
It’s the most ambitious directorial project yet for the Oscar winning screenwriter (Milk) who several years ago directed the documentary On the Bus and the indie film The Journey of Jared Price as well as some episodic television and a short film.
Here is our recent conversation:
Q. You moved to New York! How is that going?
Lance: New York is good, I survived the winter. It was freezing, freezing cold.
Q. Why did you leave LA?
Lance: I was here for 17 years and I thought I might take a little change. But I’m [in LA] often because my work is still here.
Q. You’ve directed your first major film. How did it go?
Lance: We should be finished with it [in May], that’s why I’m here now doing final mixing. I’m hoping for a Venice or Toronto [film festivals] premiere.
Q. I know you directed a few smaller films earlier on. How was it this time around now that you’re an Oscar winner and all that? I imagine there were more expectations and bigger stars and stuff.
Lance: Yeah, way bigger stars than the earlier stuff: Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris and Amy Madigan. They are fantastic in the film. I can’t wait for people to see Jennifer Connelly in this. I think no one has ever seen her like this.
Q. Maybe another Oscar for her?
Lance: I can’t say that! (laughs) But I think she should be and will be recognized for her work on this.
Q. It’s been a year since you won your Oscar for Milk. What kind of year has it been for you? Obama’s in office, you participated in the March on Washington. Do you feel there’s been some progress or that there is still so much work still to do?
Lance: I feel like there has been some progress but I feel like it’s small steps. I feel like we need to start doing things like demanding full action from the federal government. I think it’s time for us to demand our full equality. Although we appreciate small steps toward partial equality, that’s not really the end goal.
It’s been an exciting year because I think a lot of young activists have stood up and said that it’s time for full federal equality. I really hope that continues. Until it’s full equality in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states I won’t be happy.