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Rebecca Romijn

Rebecca Romijn

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As blue mutant Mystique in the X-Men films, Rebecca Romijn kicks ass but doesn't say much. Maybe that's why the title role in Pepper Dennis, the WB's newsroom dramedy, appealed to her. "It's got that '40s rapid-fire dialogue, which I love," she says. "We hope there's something for everyone, but because the show's slightly heightened and sparkly, we really aim to impress the girls and the gays. Working stuff out, we'll be going, 'Will the girls like it? Will the gays like it? All right, let's move on.' "

In the episode airing May 30, Pepper falls for a closeted gay quarterback who later comes out. Have you ever unwittingly fallen for a gay guy? Yes. When I was 18 and I had just started modeling, I went to this beach party in Miami. I was wearing white cutoff jeans and a white shirt tied at my belly button, and there was this hot, funny, blond male model wearing exactly the same outfit. One of our agents was like, "You should take her out tonight." He took me to three gay bars, and I still didn't put it together. He had to call me later and break it down for me. I thought it was in the stars for us. I was blinded by our twinsies outfits.

What was your first exposure to gay people? That would be family, my gay aunt and gay uncle. Besides my mother, my aunt was the woman I was closest to growing up. She's been with the same woman since I was 11. They had two sons through artificial insemination who are now like 17 and 19. So my first real relationship with that world was two people who really wanted a family.

How much lesbian action was going on around you during your modeling days? There was a lesbian era that started maybe five or six years in--I kept hearing stories about girls making out on airplanes and checking into hotels and running into the ladies' room. A couple of times I was hit on, and I didn't get it. It took 10 years for me to look back and go, "Wow, I think I know what that was about."

Your Brian De Palma thriller Femme Fatale has a cult following with gay men as well as lesbians. I didn't realize that until I went to a reading in New York that Lypsinka was hosting. She gave me a shout-out and had everybody applaud me. People came up and shook my hand. I was thrilled.

You were once quoted as saying, "In my early 20s, I wondered whether I was interested in women, and so I kind of, well...did my homework." Our gal readers would like to know: Are you interested in coming back for extra credit? [Laughs] I'm flattered, but I don't know--[fiance] Jerry [O'Connell] might have some issues with that.

Jerry grew up in Chelsea, right? Yes. All of his neighbors were drag queens, so if I ask him to go into my costume closet and play dress-up with me, he's not afraid.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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