Famed for playing ditzy, buxom blondes in films like Best In Show, American Pie and Legally Blonde, Jennifer Coolidge once joked that her biggest fans were straight teenage boys, eager to play out their MILF fantasies on her.
Far stronger than the devotion of hormonal teenagers, though, must surely be the goddess-like status the 47-year-old actress has attained amongst gays the world over.
“Well it’s a very mutual thing,” the humble and (perhaps surprisingly) quick-witted Coolidge told the Star Observer from her Hollywood home.
“If I’m ever in trouble or needing help in some way, it’s always a gay man or a gay woman who comes to my rescue. If I try to buy tickets to a show at the Hollywood Bowl, there will be a hetero man behind the counter who’ll tell me that tickets have sold out.
“Then as I’m walking away there’ll be a gay man in a booth one door down who’ll yell out, ‘Jennifer! I’ve got a ticket for you’. ”
The gay mafia have got her back, then.
“Always! If I’m trying to get on a full flight, it’s always a gay man who says ‘Jennifer, I’ve got a seat for you’. I feel forever indebted to the gay population because they’ve gotten me through this life so far. At every rough turn, they’ve gotten me out of a rut. I owe them my life.”
Coolidge spoke to the Star Observer ahead of her first visit to Australia, where she’ll tour her maiden stand-up comedy show, Yours For The Night.
While she had a strong improv background, having cut her teeth at the legendary Groundlings theatre company with the likes of Lisa Kudrow, Will Ferrell and Kathy Griffin, stand-up has been a relatively recent career development.
“When you’re an actress, you’re performing other people’s words most of the time. Even when I go on talk shows I have to keep it pretty clean, so this is a nice chance to tell all the sorts of stories I couldn’t tell on a talk show. It’s a dirty show, with swearing and sexual stuff I couldn’t get away with on TV.
“I tell some silly Hollywood stories, some weird sexual dating stories — it’s sheer entertainment. I don’t get political or anything. I don’t know why, but people always seem to like the sex stuff the most,” she deadpanned.
Many of her ‘Hollywood stories’ deal with her daily grind as a working character actress, and the indignity of regularly being asked to audition for tired Stifler’s mom (her American Pie character) rip-offs.
“Well, it’s a weird thing, because I chose this life for myself. My reason for telling these stories isn’t so much to say what a raw deal I’m getting, it’s more that I don’t think people realise it’s not incredibly glamorous being an actress in Hollywood. It’s really not.
“LA is a hilarious town to live in, but it is in no way glamorous.”
info: Jennifer Coolidge plays Melbourne’s Athanaeum Theatre on June 10, tickets through Ticketmaster, and Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on June 17, tickets through Ticketek.