Last seen on the big screen as lesbian zombie-lunch in Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, former child star Stacy Ferguson’s got a feeling (woo-hoo!) that Nine’s going to be a good, good film. Ferguson, who is better known as the Grammy-winning Black Eyed Peas singer-songwriter Fergie, portrays a prostitute alongside Daniel Day-Lewis and a cast of other highly decorated divas in out director Rob Marshall’s movie musical, which is an adaptation of the 1982 Broadway show inspired by Fellini’s 8 ½ and premieres in theaters December 18. Now touring to promote BEP’s chart-topping CD The E.N.D., the M.A.C. Viva Glam spokesmodel explains her beef with Perez Hilton and why reports of her bisexuality are so 2000 (and late).
In Nine you play Saraghina, the voluptuous Italian whore who first stimulates the young libido of philogynist filmmaker Guido. Could you relate to her?
Definitely. There will be teenage boys at my shows, so sometimes I’m seducing them from the stage. It’s not like anything’s going to happen — it’s very playful and flirtatious — but it’s funny because I’m 34 and they’re 14. So I get that about Saraghina.
What’s it like to work on a set where everyone but you has either won or been nominated for an Oscar?
Well, of course it’s intimidating, but luckily for me it was a singing role, so I felt very excited. As far as being in everyone’s presence, I was just in awe. I was the rookie, just there doing my job to the best of my ability. I wasn’t trying to show my peacock feathers; I was there to learn. I was like a sponge, taking it all in.
Did Dame Judi Dench know who you were?
I have no idea if she did or not, and it doesn’t matter. I didn’t need her to know. I remember being awestruck that I was sitting in the makeup chair next to her. She knows how to crack a great joke.
Whom did you bond with on set?
Kate Hudson and I definitely bonded the most because we’re both free spirits and knew each other from back in the day. But I got close to everybody. We’d all have lunch together on set all the time. Everyone would have these light salads and Daniel Day-Lewis would have his little dessert of a dark chocolate chunk and a few almonds, but I’d be eating burgers and fries because I was gaining weight for the role. I even sent my assistant out to find microwave enchiladas in London. Penélope Cruz gained weight the healthy way with pasta and protein shakes, but I did not.
How’d you get along with Rob Marshall? His directorial sensibility must’ve been quite a change from that of Robert Rodriguez.
Yes, and I embraced it. From the moment I walked into my audition, I fell in love with him and his partner, John. Rob would give me classic Italian films to study like Sophia Loren’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and he was so nurturing and patient. I swear, even when he was angry at the lighting guy he’d speak in a meditational voice.
Who’s the most important gay person in your life?
My gay BFF is Sean Patterson, president of Wilhelmina Models, and we always have a blast. It’s a rule that you have to pick one gay BFF, so he’s mine. But I’ve had gay friends forever, and they’ve always been a part of my team and a part of making me successful.
When did you first feel love from the gay audience?
Well, come on, I toured with Cher and Cyndi Lauper in 1999 when I was in Wild Orchid. I love my gays so much, but I don’t think a lot of people know that, which bothers me sometimes. People don’t associate the Black Eyed Peas with the gay market, but our new record is a huge dance record, so people are starting to catch on. I want more gay love!
Gays don’t always know where they stand with straight guys in hip-hop. Do the other three Peas appreciate their gay fans?
They’re completely gay-friendly. Are you kidding me? Look at how they dress! [Laughs] Kanye West really did a great thing for hip-hop and made it very mixed and open.
Perez Hilton is one gay will.i.am isn’t so friendly with. How did it feel being linked to their altercation at June’s MuchMusic Video Awards?
Honestly, to be real with you, there’s a court case going on, so I’m really not allowed to speak about it.