Gavin Creel: Hair Raiser

Gavin Creel may not take it all off in the Broadway revival of Hair, but he does put it all out there in his first interview with Yep, he's gay.




Does the orgy of fun you have onstage spill over off-stage?
Yes, it's unbelievable. I've never been in a cast like this before. What people see going on onstage is true to form with what's going on off-stage. It's a lovefest that I hope sustains itself for as long as the run goes.

Claude has sexual chemistry with tribe members of both sexes, Berger and Sheila. How did you approach Claude's sexuality?
Well, there's that great line in the show about how "Claude is hung up on a cross over Sheila and Berger." The connection I have with Will Swenson [who plays Berger] onstage is electric, and I feel very safe. And the connection I have with Caissie Levy [who plays Sheila] is also rock-solid and beautiful. It's something Diane [Paulus], our director, is very cognizant of. For a while I was working really hard on developing my relationship with Berger, making sure it was authentic and came from a place that wasn't just about free love and fucking; it was about a deep, unspoken connection between these two really expressive guys. But then halfway through rehearsal, Diane was like, "Now we need to work on you and Sheila." We thought about what it was about Sheila that makes me horny, excited, and passionate. Again, it wasn't just about sex; it was about political activism, staying up late at night, smoking a joint, and talking about what it is to be a patriot and an American. I love thinking about what it is that draws me to both of those people. I don't think it's about sexuality, necessarily, as much as it is about energy and being present with these two amazing creatures.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently attended the show during previews. Do you think President Obama might attend?
He and Michelle are going to come, and I'm going to meet them. I just know it. I'm putting that on my Secret wish board.

Who else would be your dream audience members?
I'd like to meet Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes, and I'd love if the Clintons came back; they came this summer, but I wasn't in the show. And Beyoncé. That would be awesome.

In January, Perez Hilton posted a picture of you from a New York Times event on his blog and adorned it with little hearts. Was that a thrill?
It was horrible. I got a Facebook message from a friend who was like, "Guess who's on PerezHilton!" So I clicked the link, and it wasn't the greatest picture of me, but I didn't think it was that bad. But Perez wrote that I was a "hottie," so in the comments people decided to have a field day with how ugly I was, and how could Perez ever think that I was hot? People are vicious. It was like being back in junior high all over again.

Tags: Theater