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Lance Bass

Lance Bass

Lance Bass Outtakes

Even though you've had so much success in your career, do you ever feel like you have to prove yourself to people?

I've always felt like an underdog and I kind of like that. I like having to work hard for something. With 'N Sync and the space thing, I've always been in a situation that's easy to make fun of. I think the things I've done have been very misunderstood.

How so?

When you know how hard you work at it and how hard your four best friends work at it and how talented they are, to see people make fun of it and say 'They're manufactured,' or "Oh, they lip-sync," just making up stuff that's not even's hard to listen to that and try to fight past that stigma.

You've said that you sometimes feel picked on by the media. Can you give me some examples?

I did an article for New York magazine -- it was a great interview, it went awesome. In interviews I tend to talk a lot and say a lot of things very candidly, and we had an amazing interview about how much I love New York and then the whole article is about I hate New York. It flabbergasts me that people can do that. With that one article, I have people in New York -- the place that I love -- yelling, "Fuck you, we don't want you here anyway! Go back to L.A.!"

What do you do when that happens? Do you defend yourself?

The more you defend yourself, the more people point and say, "See! He's defending himself, so he must have said something!" I really have only learned in the last month how to do interviews, because I've never done anything solo. I've always done it in a group, where you have four other guys answering questions with you and you always have each other's back. Now, I've learned to really watch what I say and not get so comfortable with the person interviewing me, because I've really been bitten in the ass so many times by people I thought were so cool...interviewers that were so friendly and nice and I thought they were going to write a positive story, and then it's not.

How did you react to the allegations on Perez Hilton's site that you had shunned fans who wanted pictures or autographs from you?

It's so absurd to me, because I go out of my way to be super, super nice to my fans. They're amazing to me, and they're the ones who make you who you are. Even when we started this group, I was always the person who would go out of his way to take every single picture and do every single autograph, and I guarantee there's not one person in this world who can say I was ever mean to them. And then, one person makes up a story, says they ran into me and I said, "Fuck you, I'll never take a picture with you," and they have the power to change people's minds and get into people's heads.

Did you see a difference in how people perceived you after that?

I had longtime fans that I'd seen many times at the stage door - even good friends of mine - going, "Why would you do that? Just be nicer, please!" And I'm just, like, are you kidding me? Again, you have to defend yourself, because it's so absurd that people can say something like that about you that you know is just a lie, and people just run with it.

Have you ever spoken to Perez?

Oh, yeah. We have a love-hate relationship, for sure. One day, he'll just be completely nice to me, and then the next day, he'll write something crazy and my friends will be like, "Uh, he said this or that about you today." I just chalk that up to entertainment. Everyone loves a little gossip. Everyone likes to feel a little better about themselves by reading something like that. You just can't worry about it.

When you know you're going to face a lot of gossip over the guys you date, does it affect who you ask out?

Yeah, yeah. I go out on one date and they'll take a picture and say, "This is the new boyfriend!" And it sucks, because then I'm stuck with this guy publicly, even if we're just friends or whatever. I can't date anyone else because they'll say, "Oh, I thought you were with this guy," then you have to explain the whole thing and it's really hard. As an out gay man, I've only been able to date for a few months now and I've only been able to go on a handful of dates. I thought friends would be setting me up on dates and stuff, but no! [laughs]

Have you ever dated a guy who was afraid of all that press attention?

I have done that, for sure. There have been a couple people I've dated where one little thing is written about and they freak out....I don't think any one of my exes could handle that spotlight. It really did hurt our relationships. When I go out in public, it's a different world: there are a lot of people just trying to get something from you and they're all your "best friend." It takes the attention off the person you're with, and a lot of people that I've dated can't handle that.

A lot of stars can't seem to, either. What do you make of the celebrities who complain that the paparazzi follow them wherever they go?

Anyone who complains about can get away. If you're in L.A., don't have lunch at the Ivy. Go have lunch at a sushi place in the valley - no one's going to be over there. I do understand that people like Britney [Spears] get followed everywhere, so there's no escaping it in L.A., but if you feel like getting away, then go home to Louisiana.

Vanity Fair recently printed allegations that your former manager, Lou Pearlman, was involved in improper sexual conduct with some of his underage charges. Were you surprised to hear that?

No, I'm not surprised. Even at 16, I knew there was something a little off about him. No one ever said he was a pedophile, but I knew that he was most likely gay -- which didn't bother me because I was gay, so I didn't care. But it was sort of an unspoken thing, like, 'Well, Lou's probably gay, and he obviously likes boy bands, so..." Still, I never felt uncomfortable. I never felt like he was doing this to get off in any way. I just think he liked boy bands and he saw dollar signs.

What did you think when other members of 'N Sync would get hit with gay rumors? For a while, there was a rumor that Tara Reid was acting as a beard for J.C. Chasez...

I've heard that! It's funny to me, really funny. I must have heard that about every single one of my guy friends at some point -- "I wonder if he's gay?" It's just nature to try to figure someone out, and that's one of the questions that you ask. I thought that of all the guys in 'N Sync at one time.

In your book, you describe the humiliation you felt when you saw the People magazine cover with the headline "I'm gay." What was it that embarrassed you so much?

I'm so used to people punching [me] and doing things to tear me down. I just didn't want this to be one of those situations where I'd be made fun of the whole time and it would really take a backwards step for the gay community.

T.R. Knight and Neil Patrick Harris both came out publicly by issuing a short statement. You did a magazine interview and photo shoot. What was your idea behind that plan?

If I did a statement, that was just free reign for other people to go out there and make up stories, and I was already used to people making up stories. Of course, people believe what they read - that's just the way our society is - so I wanted to do a real story where I got as much into an article as I could.

Some people alleged that you came out in People magazine just to drum up publicity for a WB sitcom pilot you were developing with former bandmate Joey Fatone.

In the first pilot, I was straight. I came out in the middle of creating the show! It actually hurt the pilot and made us completely have to start over. It was a sitcom, but it was based on caricatures of our lives, so now that a major part of my life was revealed that was not in the pilot, it had to be completely redone. It definitely put us behind a lot.

You're developing projects for television, acting on Broadway...where do you plan to take your career in the future?

I love this business, I love entertainment, and I know you can't always last forever in front of the camera. You're going to be popular this day, not popular this day. So to stay in this business and be creative, I want to be behind the camera. I want to produce things, I want to write for other people. That way, I know I can always be around.

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