A List: Busy Philipps Is as Awesome as She Seems

Cougar Town’s Busy Philipps freaks and geeks out over loving Michelle Williams, kissing James Franco, and judging RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race.



Busy Philipps, center, and the cast of Cougar Town.
Busy Philipps, center, and the cast of Cougar Town.

After spicing up the cast on Freaks and Geeks and Dawson’s Creek, Busy Philipps brings sass and sunshine to the wine-guzzling gang in Cougar Town. Returning for the sitcom’s fourth season, which begins January 8 on TBS, the 33-year-old actress reveals her Golden Rule on marriage equality and the true nature of her relationship with Michelle Williams.

The Advocate: Do your LGBT fans make themselves known?
Busy Philipps: They do, in public, and they have for years. I totally appreciate it. A guy recently came up and told me, “My boys in West Hollywood have a saying: ‘It’s all about Busy Philipps.’” [Laughs] I was like, “What? That’s a saying? Um, OK!” It’s nice to have the support of the LGBT community, because they’re loyal and they’ll follow you down any career path.

That support also got you invited to be a guest judge on RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race.
That was one of the greatest days of my life. I felt like I had finally arrived when I stepped onto that stage. It felt like all the roads and years had been leading up to that moment. I’m not kidding.

You starred in Freaks and Geeks, which tackled the outsider experience, and Dawson’s Creek, which featured a major gay character. Were you aware of what those shows meant to the LGBT audience?
Yeah, I understood that. I remember dealing with bullies in high school and being put down because I was different. I’ve always felt like an outsider myself, so I related to those themes, and I gravitate toward projects that speak to that demographic. Even Laurie, my character on Cougar Town, is flamboyant and misunderstood.

Kim Kelly, the tough girl you played on Freaks and Geeks, is a particular gay fan favorite.
That’s not surprising. Mike White was a writer on that show, and that was his favorite character. He totally championed Kim and loved to write for her. He really captured her voice.