Clementine Sets the Record "Straight"

Clementine Ford tackles daytime television on The Young & the Restless , sets the record "straight" on those L Word rumors and talks about her life on her terms.

BY Michael Fairman

March 30 2009 11:00 PM ET

CLEMENTINE FORD AND BILLY MILLER (JPI STUDIOS) | ADVOCATE.COM

The L Word was groundbreaking at the time for television
with an all-lesbian story. Did you feel that way about the
show?

I was excited to be working. In terms of it be
'groundbreaking,' I think in a way it's a shame. I don't think
it should be 'groundbreaking'; it should not be made into a
'thing'. There should be gay couples on television and lesbian
and transgender people on television. It should be something
that is normal. It's exciting that it was groundbreaking, but
now where do we go?

Did you receive comments from people or fans from your
performances on
The L Word

?

I had people come up to me and say that it made a difference.
Even people who are older than me would come up to me and tell
me that to be a character, and come in to the story as someone
who has a 'stick up her ass' about so many things and the
lesbian issue, and then to see that change, was good for them.
I do think it's difficult for a lot of women who have come from
certain backgrounds who are expected to have a different life.
It's not easy, and you don't know where to necessarily put
things, and you are not sure and a little timid. I had a lot of
people coming up to me telling me that it was nice for them to
see someone going through that struggle and figuring their
way.

Was there more pressure for you to succeed in show biz,
since your mom was famous? Did you have any misgivings when you
made the choice to be an actress?

I think it kind of bit me in the ass later, because her name
got me in the door at a lot of places and I was not ready.
Then, I started working and I realized, "You know people will
make comparisons, whether you like it or not." It's really
hard, and you kind of have to step back and go, "Am I
following my path or am I following their path?" I think with
time it's been my path. My career and my life are very
different. So, I kind of got over that hump real quick.

What did your mom say when you landed the role on
Y&R

?

She was thrilled! My mom has never watched the show that I know
of. I don't think she was a big soap person, but growing up, my
step-mom and I used to watch the ABC Soaps:
All My Children

,
One Life to Live

and
General Hospital

. My mom very rarely watches TV. She is a movie person. She
better start watching now!

When you finally got to step foot on the CBS soundstage of
Y&R

, what happened?

I kind of got on set and looked around and went, "Oh, My God!
I know who all of you are." It was exciting! Melody Thomas
Scott (Nikki) and Peter Bergman (Jack) were there. And to all
of those actors I was like, "Hey, you, and you and you! I
totally know you!"

Let's clear the air on the interview that ran recently with
Diva UK Magazine

, in which the cover said, "Clementine Ford Comes Out". In
the piece, it sort of intimated you came out and that you had
an affair with your co-star of
The L Word

, Kate Moening. Then you did an interview with
TV Guide Magazine

where you attempted to clarify. It sort of has given you some
pushback from fans. Can you tell us what happened?

It's funny. I was having kind of rough day. My best friend sent
me a text saying, "You have to see this." So, I went online
to see this link and I read the comments and I go, "They hate
me!" When I did the
TV Guide

interview, I was angry because there is the whole perception
now that I came out and I went back in. And what upset me was I
felt that because I did not 'come out' in that interview, I
felt it was unfair to fans that bought the magazine expecting
to get a tearful story that says, "I'm gay." I thought it
was misleading, and now because I was upset by that cover, I am
apparently back in the closet and people hate me.

Tags: television

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