Fergie: Labels and Love
Last seen on the big screen as lesbian zombie-lunch in Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, former child star Stacy Ferguson’s got a feeling (woo-hoo!) that Nine’s going to be a good, good film. Ferguson, who is better known as the Grammy-winning Black Eyed Peas singer-songwriter Fergie, portrays a prostitute alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and a cast of other highly decorated divas in out director Rob Marshall’s movie musical, which is an adaptation of the 1982 Broadway show inspired by Fellini’s 8 ½ and premieres in theaters December 18. Now touring to promote BEP’s chart-topping CD The E.N.D., the M.A.C. Viva Glam spokesmodel explains her beef with Perez Hilton and why reports of her bisexuality are so 2000 (and late).
In Nine you play Saraghina, the voluptuous Italian whore who first stimulates the young libido of philogynist filmmaker Guido. Could you relate to her?
Definitely. There will be teenage boys at my shows, so sometimes I’m seducing them from the stage. It’s not like anything’s going to happen — it’s very playful and flirtatious — but it’s funny because I’m 34 and they’re 14. So I get that about Saraghina.
What’s it like to work on a set where everyone but you has either won or been nominated for an Oscar?
Well, of course it’s intimidating, but luckily for me it was a singing role, so I felt very excited. As far as being in everyone’s presence, I was just in awe. I was the rookie, just there doing my job to the best of my ability. I wasn’t trying to show my peacock feathers; I was there to learn. I was like a sponge, taking it all in.
Did Dame Judi Dench know who you were?
I have no idea if she did or not, and it doesn’t matter. I didn’t need her to know. I remember being awestruck that I was sitting in the makeup chair next to her. She knows how to crack a great joke.
Whom did you bond with on set?
Kate Hudson and I definitely bonded the most because we’re both free spirits and knew each other from back in the day. But I got close to everybody. We’d all have lunch together on set all the time. Everyone would have these light salads and Daniel Day-Lewis would have his little dessert of a dark chocolate chunk and a few almonds, but I’d be eating burgers and fries because I was gaining weight for the role. I even sent my assistant out to find microwave enchiladas in London. Penélope Cruz gained weight the healthy way with pasta and protein shakes, but I did not.
How’d you get along with Rob Marshall? His directorial sensibility must’ve been quite a change from that of Robert Rodriguez.
Yes, and I embraced it. From the moment I walked into my audition, I fell in love with him and his partner, John. Rob would give me classic Italian films to study like Sophia Loren’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and he was so nurturing and patient. I swear, even when he was angry at the lighting guy he’d speak in a meditational voice.
Who’s the most important gay person in your life?
My gay BFF is Sean Patterson, president of Wilhelmina Models, and we always have a blast. It’s a rule that you have to pick one gay BFF, so he’s mine. But I’ve had gay friends forever, and they’ve always been a part of my team and a part of making me successful.
When did you first feel love from the gay audience?
Well, come on, I toured with Cher and Cyndi Lauper in 1999 when I was in Wild Orchid. I love my gays so much, but I don’t think a lot of people know that, which bothers me sometimes. People don’t associate the Black Eyed Peas with the gay market, but our new record is a huge dance record, so people are starting to catch on. I want more gay love!
Gays don’t always know where they stand with straight guys in hip-hop. Do the other three Peas appreciate their gay fans?
They’re completely gay-friendly. Are you kidding me? Look at how they dress! [Laughs] Kanye West really did a great thing for hip-hop and made it very mixed and open.
Perez Hilton is one gay will.i.am isn’t so friendly with. How did it feel being linked to their altercation at June’s MuchMusic Video Awards?
Honestly, to be real with you, there’s a court case going on, so I’m really not allowed to speak about it.
OK, but what surprised me most about the incident was that it escalated after you confronted Perez about his negative coverage of you and your music on his blog. I was surprised you’d even care about one queen’s opinion.
Yeah, I did. Because when I see somebody I thought was my friend or starting to be my friend… [Sighs] When someone talks out of both sides of their mouth, it just makes me question their integrity.
Referring to Perez on the red carpet at your husband Josh Duhamel’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen premiere, your mother told a reporter that you “could’ve taken him out.” Do you agree?
[Laughs] Oh, my gosh. No comment on that.
Does Josh know he has a big gay following?
Oh, he knows, and he loves it. And I encourage it. I love his gay male fans because they have the same thoughts about him that I do.
How has your wedding earlier this year influenced your perspective on marriage equality?
I’m completely, 100% for gay marriage and equal rights. It’s crazy that everyone can’t get married. It’s unfair and ridiculous.
After you discussed past sexual experiences with women in an interview with The Sunin May, headlines everywhere read, “Fergie Admits She’s Bisexual!”
The funny thing is that I was very open and honest about that from the very beginning, and everyone was acting like it was some new trend. Go back four or five years, people, and you’ll see the same answer.
How did Josh handle the hoopla?
I’ve been very honest with him from the get-go. I think women are beautiful, I’ve had a lot of fun with women, and I’m not ashamed of it. The problem is that I also love a well-endowed man. But just because I enjoy women doesn’t mean I’m allowed to have affairs in my relationship. I learned through talking with my therapist that it is still cheating even if it’s with girls, so there is a rule there.
Since this is The Advocate, feel free to share your hottest same-sex hookup.
[Laughs] I don’t think so. I’ve given you enough!
You did get awfully friendly with the female extras in the “I Gotta Feeling” video. Was that your idea?
Yes, it was. That was fun because it was so naughty. It was a big tease, but it felt very natural.
Growing up as the daughter of Catholic schoolteachers in Hacienda Heights, Calif., when were you first exposed to homosexuality?
At a very young age. I’ve been in show business since I was a little girl, so it was always very normal to me. My mom taught me that every human is God’s child. You have to live your own life and not judge other people. Love is a great thing.
I’m guessing you made your first gay friend on Kids Incorporated.
Oh, there were plenty on that show. But I don’t want to out anyone, just in case.
You also voiced Sally for various Peanuts TV specials. Did you suspect Peppermint Patty and Marcie were lovers?
Yeah, I kind of got the feeling.