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The Top Ten Q&A: Jennifer Coolidge

Jennifer Coolidge is one of my favorite actresses and she always “makes me want a hotdog real bad!”

She is best known for playing "Stifler's mom," the consummate "MILF" in the film American Pie, and Paulette, the manicurist in "Legally Blonde."

This silver screen diva will hit the stage for an evening of laughter at Girl Bar Dinah Shore Week (GBDS) on Saturday night, April 3, at the Hotel Zoso Grand Ballroom. All of of the proceeds will go directly to the Human Rights Campaign fund.

Joshua Miller (JM): Do you have a genre of film, or type of film that you a particularly drawn to? How do you make your choices since so many of your characters have become so iconic?

Jennifer Coolidge (JC): I am usually drawn to a hilarious comedy or a dramatic role with a great plot. But it’s easier for me to land a comedy because I have been in so many.

JM: Which one of your previous characters was the most fun to play?

JC: I played a rap singer on "Nip/Tuck" was one of my favorite jobs I’ve had! Her name was Hot Coco with a new song “Yo Stank.” It was hilarious. It just shows how cool and fun the writers are on that show! It came out of no where and it was a thrill to be a part of it!

JM: Any plans on performing “Yo Stank” on stage?

JC: I would have to look into getting permission for that. It would be fun! I love doing that character!

JM: One of my favorite interviews you did was on "The Graham Norton Show" in the U.K. with Enrique Iglesias. Enrique seemed so intimidated; what was his deal? Do you have the problem with men feeling intimidated often?

JC: I don’t know if he felt intimidated but Enrique did seem kind of shy. Gay men and women are never uncomfortable! I love doing U.K. press; anything goes! When you show up to a TV interview in the States, everyone is so uptight!

JM: How does it feel to be a gay icon? (If you didn’t know, the gays LOVE you!)

JC: I don’t know if I’m a gay icon but whatever I am, I LIKE IT! I love the gays (men and women). It’s been a mutual feeling for as long as I can remember. I feel incredibly lucky to be loved by the group that I love! I love the fact that the white supremacists aren’t seeking me out to do a show!

JM: Why do you think the GLBT community relates to you so much?

JC: I don’t know, it is a mutual feeling of love. Maybe it’s that they think I could be a man in drag? LOL! Maybe it’s because I’m “cartoony” and bigger than life? LOL!

JM: Have you ever seen a drag queen impersonate you? If so, how did it make you feel?

JC: I was just in Raleigh, N.C. There was this drag queen named Eunice Ray at FLEX and she knew every line I ever did in any of my movies. She was very big and dramatic looking! I was very impressed … She knew everything. It was so flattering! These people spend hours learning and studying mannerisms and lines. It was AMAZING!

JM: Most of us have only seen your films. What can we expect from you at Girl Bar Dinah Shore Week?

JC: I like that stand up. I'm not edited and I can say whatever I want … I like the freedom that I don’t get on TV or film.

JM: What are you looking forward to most about Girl Bar Dinah Shore?

JC: Usually when I do a stand-up act, it's really fast; I fly in and fly out. But not this weekend. I get to be there from the beginning to the end! I actually get to stick around and have fun … I love that im not going to miss the full experience of Dinah! I hope to be the last person standing.

JM: I think our readers would love to know how you first go into show business.

JC: I thought I might pursue acting because it was the only thing I attempted to do that people complimented … I never got compliments on anything growing up. No one ever said “OMG Jennifer you’re so organized, or you would be a great leader.” I got “You were great as the princess in Rumpelstiltskin!” In third grade, I remember that being the first moment in my life that someone came up and said something positive.

JM: What was YOUR inspiration for wanting to be an actress?

JC: Acting inspired me, the more I did it the better I got! When doors started opening, I realized what my calling was. At one point I was in school to be a makeup artist, but that door never opened, but when I acted it happened! I feel like acting chose me.

JM: Did you feel that comedy was your best vehicle from the start of your career or did it just evolve?

JC: I was trying to be a dramatic actress forever! No one would see me that way! I was in acting class and a friend told me that I should try the comedic route.

JM: What do you prefer: film, TV or stage, and why?

JC: I have reasons why I love all of them: I love film, because I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel; there is a beginning, middle and end. TV can kind of drag out but it allows me to spend time with my dogs at home … Stand-up allows me to travel and meet new people all over the world! I love the social aspect of it!

For Jennifer’s Official Web site, visit www.jennifercoolidge.net

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