Send in the Clown

BY Jeremy Kinser

April 11 2011 3:00 AM ET

 “I’ve played her onstage for many years, but the fact that during the last year the videos have taken off has been crazy to me,” he says. “Onstage people liked it, but when I’ve pitched her to different TV shows they always said that no one would get it, that it’s too random.” Besides raising his industry profile — Droege now gets calls from casting directors who offer him jobs — “Chloë” has also exponentially broadened his fan base. “People tell me their grandmothers like it,” he says “I don’t know what their grandmothers like about it, but I’m glad they do.”

But why Chloë Sevigny? “I tried on a blond wig for some other character I was playing, and I saw Chloë in the mirror,” he recalls. “I saw photos of her wearing crazy, insane clothes, and I read interviews with her in which she was referencing things that were so hyperliterate and yet so ghetto at the same time.” Droege stresses that he isn’t mocking the real Sevigny, whom he met at a party last December. “The longer I’ve played her,” he says, “the farther I’ve gotten away from the real Chloë Sevigny and become my own character.”

Until that elusive dramatic role comes along, Droege keeps busy with a full slate of projects, including his popular podcast Glitter in the Garbage, guest spots on sitcoms, and supporting parts in feature films. He’s particularly excited about Freak Dance, a spoof of break-dancing films of the ’80s, in which he stars alongside Amy Poehler as a silver-suited villain named Dazzle. “It starts like a Nickelodeon film, very kid-friendly,” he says with a wry smile. “Then it becomes the filthiest thing ever.” Then there’s his role as a creepy dress shop owner in the just-completed Sassy Pants, which costars Diedrich Bader and Haley Joel Osment as a gay couple.

Yet for anyone hoping to romance Droege, who is currently “comfortably single,” don’t expect him to be the life of the party. “I don’t want to sound like a total dick when I say this, but there’s a pressure to be funny all the time,” he says. “If I can just sit and sob at a film like Blue Valentine, I’d rather do that.”
 






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