BY Duane Wells

February 14 2010 2:15 PM ET

JENIFER LEWIS 2 X390 (GETTY IMAGES) | ADVOCATE.COM

In your previous shows, you’ve talked about frequently being cast in the role of mother to everyone from Angela Bassett to Whitney Houston. Do you feel pigeonholed? And what are your thoughts on what some say is Hollywood’s obsession with portraying black actresses as sassy?
Child, listen, I have represented the African-American mother, aunt, and sister, and personally I think I’ve done a damn good job. I am sassy! Black women are sassy! Michelle Obama is sassy. Harriet Tubman was sassy! Please!

Let me tell you something, if what people say about you is not true, then why the fuck are you worried about it? What can anyone say about me but that I’m fucking brilliant? Why is that? That is because I tell the truth and I honor the gift that was given to me. I worked my ass off for what I’ve got. I used an outhouse until I was in ninth grade and now I’ve got five bathrooms. Jenifer earned it. Everybody can say that about me, and that’s why I can get up and do a woman show and say anything I want because I’ve been there, done that. Can’t nobody say nothing about me.

You are unquestionably a survivor, and, as you say, you’ve been brutally honest about your life, even going on Oprah to tell the world that you were bipolar ...
I went on Oprah and told 60 million people that I was bipolar. I don’t care ... I was lyin’. I’m tripolar! [Laughs] The bottom line is that I love being alive. Look, this is what happened. I honored a gift. It wasn’t easy! I’m bipolar and I was bipolar, for years. When I was younger nobody knew anything about being bipolar, so it was just the bitch is crazy. But my heart was always good and that’s how I got through it. I loved people and all I wanted to do was entertain. That’s all I ever wanted to do.

And you do it so well. Now, I couldn’t end this chat without asking you about the gay cult classic film Jackie’s Back. Any possibility of a sequel?
I was going to write a song about Jackie’s Back because [Jackie’s daughter] Entendre done gone and got herself pregnant and she named the baby Bling Bling. I tried to stop her, but she insisted, so now the baby’s going to be all fucked up!

But what about the sequel?
I’m going to talk about it in the show. I’m going to talk about Jackie’s Back 2 in the show ... and I may sing a little bit of the song in the show. 











 

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