The A-List Interview: Chris O'Dowd

The Bridesmaids heartthrob talks drag brunches, straight mustaches, and his manly Broadway debut opposite James Franco.



After his breakout performance in Bridesmaids, Irish actor Chris O’Dowd hopes to engage more gay fans this spring with his Broadway debut as oafish simpleton Lennie in Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck’s 1937 play about Depression-era migrant workers — even if they’re mostly there to see James Franco.

The Advocate: You’ve spoken about how your role in Bridesmaids as Officer Rhodes, Kristen Wiig’s love interest, positioned you to women as a heartthrob for the first time. Have you also seen a spike in interest from gay men?
Chris O'Dowd: From time to time, when I’m feeling my lowest, you guys pipe up and make my day on Twitter. Maybe it was the uniform — and hey, I’m turned on by the Irish accent myself. Regardless, thanks for coming along for the ride.

Starring opposite James Franco in Of Mice and Men certainly won’t hurt your appeal.
I have heard that he’s particularly enjoyed in the gay community, which I can understand for loads of reasons. He’s a lovely actor and my God, he’s a good-looking person. His cheekbones are heartbreakers. But I think the gay audience will also respond to the play because it’s really about two guys on the run from expectations that everyone has of them.

Did you already know James?
No, I didn’t know him, but we have a lot of mutual friends in the comedy world. I’ve always enjoyed watching his stuff, and I’d heard great things about him. The first time I met him was at the photo shoot for the Of Mice and Men poster, and we got along brilliantly.

The show’s success hinges on your chemistry. Do you anticipate a lot of barhopping and boozy male bonding during the run?
I certainly hope so. That’s the reason I’m doing it.

The revival also stars Leighton Meester. Were you a Gossip Girl fan?
To my discredit, I haven’t seen much of it. I don’t know if I can watch a show where everyone is as beautiful as that. It makes me feel very insecure.