Leslie Jordan: Little Man, Big Buffet
BY Brandon Voss
October 17 2009 5:25 PM ET
Did you have an older gay role model when you were in your 20s?
No, because I don’t think they had advice to give. They couldn’t very well say, “Back in my day…” because there weren’t out gay people in their day. Mine is really the first generation that can look back and impart some wisdom. I remember when I was 21, 22, there was an older gay man’s piano bar in Atlanta called Armory. My friends and I didn’t really hook, but if you didn’t have any money, you could go to the Armory, chat with these old men, and get them to take care of you. When they thought they were going to get something, we’d crawl out the window of the bar. So I didn’t listen to anyone older than me. I felt pity for older gay men. I remember saying to a friend, “There’s nothing sadder than an old queen.”
Your character says he prefers “sex with men who have the maturity of an experienced lover” because sex with a 20-something would be “like teaching calculus to a preschooler.” Do you belong to that same school of thought?
No, honey, I’m the worst. All my boyfriends are in their 20s. I’m not going to apologize for it, but I love young, pretty, butch, gay-for-pay-type boys. That’s just how I like ’em. And I’ve got a few dollars now, so… I’m taking a break from pets because I had to put my Jack Russell terrier and my beautiful lab to sleep, so now I have these beautiful boys that my friends call my poodles. They go with me everywhere.
Was Eating Out 3 the first time you worked with Eating Out regular Mink Stole?
I believe it was the first time we worked together. She’s intrinsically funny. We sat there and yammered forever because I’m just fascinated with that whole Baltimore scene and the early John Waters era. Every year I go to Provincetown, where he has a house, and wherever I go people are like, “Oh, John Waters was just here!” So our paths have almost crossed a hundred million times, but I’ve never gotten to meet him. I love his line — I used it in my book with his permission — about when he was a kid: “My mother always said, ‘Stop making a spectacle of yourself,' something that I have obviously made a career out of."
Whatever happened with 12 Miles of Bad Road, the HBO series you were working on with Lily Tomlin?
It was brilliant, but HBO decided it was too broad, so it got canned. If you take the words of Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and put them in the mouths of Lily Tomlin and Leslie Jordan, what did you expect — a John-fucking-Adams miniseries? Of course it’s going to be broad!
Before I let you go, I promised some friends I’d tell you that they have a house out in Fire Island Pines that they’ve christened The Beverley Leslie, complete with “Beverley Leslie” welcome mats, embossed napkins, and stationery.
No way! I love it. Well, Megan Mullally called me months ago and told me she wanted to do Karen: The Musical on Broadway featuring Beverley Leslie. Apparently it’s in development and she’s got a great writer for the book and a great lyricist working on it, so pretty soon you and your friends will have to come in from Fire Island to see me in Karen: The Musical.
But wasn’t Beverley Leslie sucked out of a very high window in the Will & Grace finale?
We decided that maybe he landed on an awning of Bloomingdale’s that slipped him onto a bus that took him off somewhere. You know, here I’ve won an Emmy, written a book, blah, blah, blah, and I’ve never been on the cover of The Advocate. So when Beverley Leslie comes to Broadway, you better put me on the cover.