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.

BY Brandon Voss

January 07 2013 4:00 AM ET

At left: James Franco and Philipps

 

James Franco played Kim’s boyfriend Daniel on Freaks and Geeks. At some point have all of your gay friends asked you questions about the inside of Franco’s mouth?
Oh, it’s universal. Everybody asks me questions about the inside of James Franco’s mouth. What’s unfortunate is that I’ve never been one of those girls had sexy affairs with my costars. It usually just starts and ends with the on-set make-out sesh. I was only 19, but I remember that Franco and I had a really good time making out. I loved that relationship because Kim and Daniel were so passionate that they just had to stick their tongues down each others’ throats.

You also starred as Russell Henderson’s girlfriend and convicted accessory Chasity Pasley in Anatomy of a Hate Crime, a 2001 TV movie about Matthew Shepard’s murder.
That meant a lot to me. I remember when I first read about Matthew Shepard in Rolling Stone and just being so moved by the tragedy and the fact that he suffered out there all alone. That movie was really intense, but I thought it was important to do. Other movies were done on the subject, but ours was a made-for-TV movie geared toward a very particular audience, and I think it really resonated with young people. It was important for kids to hear that story. After it aired, I had a kid come up to me and say, “Thank you so much for telling that story.” I thought, well, that’s the least I can do.

Have you ever played a lesbian role?
Wait, have I? Oh, no, I just did a short film with Jamie Babbit [“Fucking Love Cleveland,” part of the anthology Cleveland, I Love You], but it was Gillian Jacobs who played a lesbian. No, I’ve never been cast as a lesbian. I don’t know why. I just like telling stories about real people, so I would hope that’s a story I’d be able to tell in the future.

Are there any LGBT storylines in the new season of Cougar Town?
Laurie has a whole theory that Grayson is a touch homophobic, but he claims that’s not true and that he’s confident in his sexuality. So Laurie decides to needle him by turning his bar into a pretty hot gay bar, which makes him admit he’s a metrosexual who enjoys the finer things in life.

That’s a good excuse to have cute gay extras on set.
Yes, and one of our cute gay PAs got to make a cameo in those scenes as well.

The show gives the LGBT community frequent shout-outs, including a healthy amount of same-sex flirtation amongst the characters. Do the writers have that audience specifically in mind?
I don’t know, but I know we all appreciate our gay fans, and there’s certainly a lot for them to enjoy on our show. Perhaps the writers are trolling the Internet late at night and reading the gay fan fiction. I’m all for giving fans what they want.

Would Laurie be more likely to have a hot fling with Courteney Cox’s Jules or Christa Miller’s Ellie?
Ellie, obviously. Hate-sex is always the best, right?

In an upcoming episode, Jules and Ellie discuss the appeal of packing it all in and becoming lesbians. Are these girlfriends representative of average straight female relationships?
As a straight, married woman, I will tell you that some of my girlfriends and I have occasionally had conversations about what would happen if we just left our husbands and raised our children in some sort of communal environment. I don’t know what we’d do about sex, but we’d figure it out. We could definitely make out.

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