Michael Patrick King: Sex Rehab
BY Brandon Voss
May 21 2010 4:00 AM ET
Behind every great woman is a fabulous gay man, but behind four of the most fabulous women in history is Michael Patrick King. A show-runner, writer, director, and executive producer of the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning HBO series, King wrote, directed, and produced the 2008 blockbuster film version of Sex and the City and its exotic new sequel, Sex and the City 2, which opens May 27 in theaters. Discussing both LGBT rights and buzzworthy bulges in a cozy suite at Manhattan’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the 55-year-old former stand-up comedian also addresses that controversial Newsweek article and — spoiler alert! — tosses a bouquet of behind-the-scenes scoop on the movie’s big gay wedding.
Advocate.com: You look very dapper today. Did Pat Field dress you?
Michael Patrick King: No, I dressed myself. P.S., I do know how.
Are you wearing an SJP fragrance?
No, but only because she doesn’t make one called Director.
Before we talk about the film, what are your thoughts on the recent Newsweek article claiming that gays can’t convincingly play straight roles?
It’s interesting that you would ask me that question on a Sex and the City 2 junket, because Sex and the City is really about people allowing themselves to be whatever version of themselves they want to be. So I don’t like any kind of labeling unless it’s Chanel, Dior, Louboutin, or Manolo. Labeling people by their sexuality is absurd because acting is magic, and movies and the stage are about suspended belief. This might come as a shock to some people, but Hugh Jackman was not Peter Allen when he was performing that character in The Boy From Oz. Richard Burton wasn’t King Arthur when he did Camelot. It’s all an illusion anyway, so the label of actor is all anyone should be talking about.
Sean Hayes, with whom you worked as a consulting producer on Will & Grace, was one of the main actors mentioned in that Newsweek article. Should gay actors like him avoid labeling themselves in the media?
The journey out of the closet into the public is a personal journey, and it can be as rigorous for somebody who doesn’t have a spotlight shining on them as it is for somebody who does. I don’t have any rules about that. It’s amazing when someone comes out, but it’s really a personal choice.
When Cynthia Nixon came out, did you consider for even a moment that she might suddenly no longer be believable as a straight character?
She’s such a strong actress, and it’s such an amazing character. That’s a real testament to the idea of the split in a personality versus a performance because Cynthia is Miranda. So it never dawned on me for a second to suddenly include ideas that Miranda is gay.