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Big Gay Following: Thandie Newton

Big Gay Following: Thandie Newton

Have you ever unwittingly been attracted to a gay man?
I have. I was on a movie with Jon Bon Jovi called The Leading Man — camp as Christmas, that one — and my makeup artist was a man called Robert McCann. He was Nicole Kidman’s makeup artist for six, seven years. Oh, I absolutely adored him! I thought he was straight because he had a son and he wasn’t displaying his gayness. He was a handsome, sweet, lovely man, so I thought, OK, cool, I’m single… I discovered later that he’d been with his partner, Peter, for 15 years. I was like, “How in the fuck did you have a kid, then?” It was the only time he’d had sex with a woman, when he was 21, and she got pregnant. Robert died three years ago of a heart attack. He was really one of my top three closest friends, but it all started with lust. I remember he was doing my makeup in my trailer one day — this is after I knew he was gay — and I wanted to get his attention, but I accidentally touched his groinal region. Significantly. He was Scottish, and he said, “Ooh, Pat McGroin!” So from then on, to his horror, I called him “Pat.” He hated it, but he loved me enough to let me get away with it. But my first sexual crush was Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’m not kidding you.

Christopher Ciccone claims in his recent tell-all that writer-director Guy Ritchie is homophobic. What do you make of that?
I read an interview with Guy where he said it’s very hard to be a homophobe if you’re married to Madonna, and I think that’s absolutely true. She’s the all-time fag hag. I know Guy, and he’ll sometimes use language which is supposedly un-P.C. — like, he’ll say “poof” — but at the same time, he himself is not un-P.C.

There's a gay character in RocknRolla named Handsome Bob.
I don’t think the whole story line with Handsome Bob is offensive, and Tom Hardy [who plays Bob] is clearly the most beautiful boy in the movie. The way it’s addressed is actually sensitive and humorous. Ultimately, it’s about friendship and encouraging someone who’s uptight in his machoness to have a different perspective.

As the only female on that set, did you suffer from testosterone overload?
You see Gerard Butler with those fierce eyes, and there’s lots of aggression, and everyone’s being beat up, but the truth is that these are actors. To be an actor you have to be in touch with your feminine side. They aren’t your typical men, because they have to be more sensitive — that’s their job. So I was actually surrounded by sweet, talkative, emotionally available men, which is very surprising. I actually felt like I wielded the most power.

Especially in Stella’s heels.
Oh, didn’t you love them? Who doesn’t love Christian Louboutin? But wait till you see me as Condoleezza Rice, my darling. She takes such care over her appearance, it’s just delicious. The way she presents herself is extremely important to her. Her clothes are her skin. She clearly has a wardrobe fetish.

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