It is hard to say the name Leslie Jordan without smiling. Known for his sass and his diminutive stature, Jordan shot to mainstream fame for his role as Beverly Leslie on Will and Grace. He has spent years in Hollywood keeping audiences in stitches and on Saturday, January 21 he will bring his “Straight Outta Chattanooga” tour to the Sunshine Cathedral (1480 SW 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale) for the opening salvo of the Outlandish comedy series. The series will feature Miss Coco Peru, Pam Ann, and Miss Richfield 1981 who will appear separately at shows that will take place throughout the “winter.”
It was a pleasure to chat with Leslie ahead of his stop in Fort Lauderdale for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
I am so excited to get the chance to speak to you today. I even wore pink socks to celebrate the occasion!
Oh My God!!
I have to get things started with the elephant in the room. You had social media all aglow last week about the (possible) return of Will and Grace. Can you give us any more details? Is it going to happen? Please don’t break our poor little gay hearts Mr. Jordan.
Here’s what I’ve been told. I have talked about this for a long time… I’ve heard, it’s rumored that there are 10 episodes picked up. No one’s bothered to call me. I’m a guest star, I was a pretty big guest star and one of three guest stars over the 12 years that won Emmys. Each of them won an Emmy, Megan [Mullally] won two. So apparently what happened was… on NPR they said is it definite? And I said yes. Well honey, they called and (you can print all this) I was just told to zip it. ZIP IT! And that’s all I know. I would love to be a part of it. It has ballooned into insanity because I’m now also now being threatened with a lawsuit from Percy Gibson, who is Joan Collin’s husband. Because, you know one thing blossoms into another and people see a chance, and umm… apparently, for 10 years I have disparaged his wife.
Just because she didn’t want to have her wig snatched off that time? (In his book My Trip Down the Pink Carpet , Jordan claims that Collins was originally cast as Beverly Leslie, the character he played on Will and Grace. The scene had Collins and Megan Mullally pulling each other’s wigs off. As Jordan tells it, Collins refused and “they fired her ass”. He landed the role and the rest, as they say is history.)
EXACTLY!!! And she…it’s lessened her chances of employment. I’m not making any of this up, I wish I could show you or read the letter. So I was just told ignore. But I couldn’t help it, I wrote on Facebook , but then I took it down. I told him I’m a gay man Percy, we adore your wife… You on the other hand are a F$#KING Idiot. So that’s the elephant in the room.
Well, I would say that you should have no problem finding legal representation to fight that case for you.
That’s funny, cause I just called a lawyer friend of mine because I do need representation. I stared a year ago, writing…it’s a play with music; I don’t want to call it a musical, that would be a reunion between Megan Mullally and I. I haven’t approached her yet. I’m not going to yet until it’s further along, but it takes place in a circus tent in a Kmart parking lot in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m Brother Homer Hamlet and she’s my lovely wife, Sister Lou Anne. We want to save your soul and anoint you, but you’ve got to give us some MONEY!
Yes Jesus, SIGN ME UP!
Anyway, it’s called Church of Spiritual Revival. I have an angel in the name of Anthony Watson who is a member of our tribe. He also was the CEO of Barclay’s Bank. I went to London to entertain him, and I didn’t even pay attention. Then he took over a company, it’s very tiny, called Nike. Then he left Nike cause Portland, Oregon is GHAAAASTLY. Anyway, he’s loose in Hollywood with lots of money to invest, on his own now, with his own bank. And that is just so much bigger news than the revival of that other show we were talking about.
Ok, one more elephant in the room question, your new tour is called “Straight Outta Chattanooga”, is straight really the best first word for a tour staring Leslie Jordan?
Well, here’s the way it happened, uhhh, ehhh…the short version. Ten years ago, I won an Emmy for that TV show, the aforementioned TV show, and I thought I was SET! I really did. And…absolutely nothing. I’m telling you, I’m not making this up, nothing. 14 cents in my bank account. And, you can’t eat an Emmy. So I made one of the smartest decisions, I had done this off and on for years, one man shows. I always thought they were a good way to up my cache for TV and film, but it has really worked the other way. You know, TV and film is what I do kinda so I can do what I am going to do at the Sunshine Cathedral. That’s why I do things in Hollywood. So, I hired a marketing firm, I didn’t know what branding was. You know, Kim Kardashian had not yet made her sex tape.
You didn’t know you could have done it that easily?
Listen, I would have let Brandy’s bother screw me had I known. So I called this marketing firm and I said, just brand me. Sell me to the gay community. And now, we are much wider than that cause it’s up to 44 venues. I opened this show during DC during pride. We originally had nine songs and costumes, and I had pieces of paper all over the stage. After the show my best friend told me, “well that was just awful. Why don’t you just stand on the stage and tell the damn stories.” Sadly that was the night of the Orlando tragedy, the massacre happened. I was taken to the White House, by our dear outgoing president, along with the DC gay choir, to make sure when the tourists arrived at the White House there was a gay presence. All of a sudden that upped the cache of this show. All of a sudden, it was a lot more at stake than me up on stage tap dancing to The Chattanooga Choo Choo. So what you are going to see at the Sunshine Cathedral is really just me at my best. It’s just the stories about me, a boy from Chattanooga who ended up making it to the White House. It’s really widely funny and I am so proud of it.
Catch Leslie Jordan at the Sunshine Cathedral on Saturday, January 21. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit OutlandishFL.com