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Jennifer Tilly

Jennifer Tilly


Just in time for Halloween, Bound bombshell Jennifer Tilly plays a dorm headmistress with a dark side in ABC's Initiation of Sarah remake and also turns up in Terry Gilliam's big-screen drama Tideland.

You wear a fat suit in Tideland, right? Yes. When I saw my performance, I was like, 'Oh, my God, I've never looked so grotesque in my life, and I love it.' It's some of my favorite work.

Do you remember your first exposure to gay people? I grew up in a small town in Canada, and then I went to Stephens College in Missouri. There were lots of lesbians there, but I really didn't notice. Before I did Bound my gaydar was much better for men than women, but now I can totally, 100% tell when women are lesbians because I've played so many of them [laughs].

Have you ever encountered any crazed Bound fans? Oh, yeah. At the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in San Francisco, as we were leaving a screening of Relax...It's Just Sex, me and Lori Petty were actually chased down the street by a bunch of really excited lesbians. Lori has a huge lesbian following because of Tank Girl. They were gaining on us because I was wearing these 4-inch Dolce and Gabbana heels. Finally, we went into a restaurant and climbed out the bathroom window.

Gays love the Chucky movies too. Oh, my God, yeah. Don Mancini, who wrote all the Chucky movies, is gay. When he really loves a character he has them die in a really great way, so in Bride of Chucky my sympathetic gay best friend gets hit by a truck and explodes like a watermelon.

Did you keep any souvenirs from those movies? One of the puppeteers gave me the life-sized Tiffany puppet where her head is cracked open from being hit in the head with an ax. I had her in the garage for a while, but my boyfriend saw it and got freaked out. So I zipped it up in a garment bag, but one day I forgot it was in there, and I was like, "Aah!" It was like she was in a body bag.

You've recently developed a second career as a professional poker player. What do you love about the game? In films you're really concerned with who's going to like you. When I'm in a poker tournament and I'm starting to win a lot of hands, you start to feel the other people hating you, and I have to say it's really, really refreshing not to be the nice person.

Do people ever underestimate you because you're an actor? When I've done TV invitationals there have been editorials like, "Oh, they put celebrities in the games because it's good television, but they don't necessarily belong there." If a nonactor had won the World Series of Poker Ladies event and the Ladies Invitational World Poker Tour title two months later, like I did, there wouldn't be a single person that says she doesn't deserve to be on the Poker Superstars. But because I'm Bride of Chucky, it's like, "Oh, she's just on because she's a celebrity." But the great thing about poker is that the person with the most chips in front of them at the end of the day is the winner. You can't argue that.

What's your favorite thing to do with your gay male pals? My gay friends have really fabulous lives, whereas all my female friends are married with babies, so I started attaching myself to my gay friends' trips. I would say for the last 15 years all my vacations were pretty much gay destinations where I'll end up on the beach in Ibiza and be the only person with a bikini top on because I'm the only person with boobs. About four years ago I went to Florence with my friend Paul Robinson and eight of his friends. We didn't see any of the sights because we'd all seen them already, so every morning we'd go to the Prada outlet. It was the best vacation of my life.

You've been a frequent guest at Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation events and LGBT film festivals around the country. What are those evenings like for you? I always, always love to go to those events. I feel like I'm coming home. You can be as fabulous as you like because the gay community really encourages individuality. In the gay world there's no such thing as too much glitter.

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