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Rachel Griffiths

Rachel Griffiths


Who wouldn't want to tell Rachel Griffiths their deepest secret? Considering her heart-raw turns in Six Feet Under and the modern classic Muriel's Wedding, this warm, funny Aussie has a direct line to Empathy Central. Griffiths, 38, also costarred in My Best Friend's Wedding, and she's earning more BGF stripes as Sarah, the cool sister on the gay-happy prime-time soap Brothers & Sisters.

Is it true that we're all brothers and sisters? [Laughs] Oh, God. I'd like to think so. I think the challenge is to feel that way on our bad days. I'm just proud to be on a family drama that's totally mainstream and can integrate a gay character who's in no way "other" and who is not deprived of any of the joys and difficulties that his straight siblings go through.

The show seems to be courting the gays with its parade of hunks in love. Did you make sure to stick around for the love scenes between Dave Annable and Jason Lewis? No, I didn't. On Six Feet, when there was a love scene, more people would suddenly appear. So I think I'm a little protective of the actors there. But I did pop into the editing suite [laughs].

Do you have a favorite sapphic crush? Every woman says she thinks that Angelina Jolie is sexy. She is a pretty amazing figure of what a woman can be. I've had a lot of women confess that I'm their crush, or their husbands will tell me that their wives have had an "unnaturally intimate" response to me [laughs].

You played a woman who steals Natasha Richardson away from her husband in the movie Blow Dry. Has a woman every tried to steal you from your husband, artist Andrew Taylor? [Giggles] No, I think they would know at a distance that that would be a pretty difficult exercise.

You starred with Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom in Ned Kelly. Discuss. [Laughs] A very good day at work. I got to make out with Orlando and get tied up by Heath. It was fun.

You're a devoted mom in real life too. Do your kids, Banjo, 3, and Adelaide, 1, know what gay or lesbian means yet? There are many gay men in my life that are very close to our family. I don't think it'll be too long before they figure out that sometimes a man loves a man. Banjo is having his own gender issues at the moment: He's looking in the mirror and keeps telling me that the mirror's telling him he's a girl. I sometimes wonder when one knows when one's own child is gay.

Have you ever seen any homophobia in action? This lady told me she loved Brothers & Sisters, then said, "But I hope you pass this on to the producers, that we could really do without all that gay kissing." I told her a story my grandmother told me: She went to Paris in 1932 and saw a black man holding the hand of a white woman, and she felt so horrified she almost threw up. My grandmother told me she knew that reaction was wrong, but it was the way she had been brought up. So I told this lady, "Maybe when you're 98 you'll tell your granddaughter how you saw two men kissing one day, and how you felt, but you know that's wrong, and that was just how you were brought up." She was shocked. I said, "So I'm not going to tell the show's creators that. That's for you to work out."

What's down the line for you, sister? For the next few years I'm very happily going to be in L.A. working on the show. I won't be working on my hiatus, so I'll be spending it with my kids at our place back in Australia. Quite frankly, I hope to make enough money to be able to devote myself to theater for the next 20 years. I'd like to cash out and go in the stage door.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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