The A-List Interview: Chris O'Dowd

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



O'Dowd and Richard Ayoade in The IT Crowd


Your first film was Conspiracy of Silencea 2003 drama about the aftermath of a gay, HIV-positive Catholic priests suicide.
That’s true. I believe I played a very supportive friend at the Irish seminary where, amid scandal, a student had been ostracized by the Catholic church. Check it out.

Although you haven’t played a gay role onscreen, you shared an epic same-sex kiss with costar Richard Ayoade on the hit British sitcom The IT Crowd.
My God, he was aggressive. After years of sexual tension building towards it, I was expecting tenderness, something intimate, and he just pinned me like a human rag doll. It was a lot of fun.

The IT Crowd gang reluctantly takes in a performance of the fictional show Gay! A Gay Musical in my favorite episode, in which your character declares, “I’m very comfortable with my sexuality, I just don’t want to be slapped in the face with their sexuality.” Do you think gay viewers got the joke?
Yeah, I think it went down pretty well, because it was really a damnation of bad camp musicals more than anything else. I mean, it was a gay musical called Gay!

Was it the gayest spectacle you’ve ever witnessed?
Maybe. Actually, I used to go out with a girl who was a barmaid at a gay bar in Dublin, and we’d go to something they had called Sunday Ass Brunch Bingo, which was hosted by a drag queen. That might be the gayest.

Your character in This Is 40 is mistaken for gay because of his facial hair. Has that ever happened to you?
No, I’m too slobbish looking. Maybe if I took better care of myself. And my mustache is a straight man’s mustache.