"Albee probably gave us less attention than he has in many, many, many years— which I rather liked because he can be difficult. And he's not as good a director as he thinks he is."
- Kathleen Turner tells Alec Baldwin (on his Podcast at WNYC.com) about working with Edward Albee on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and that he wasn't as hands-on as usual because his partner of 35 years was dying. That's our Kathleen—always looking on the bright side.
The big news of the week is that Mariah Carey has signed on as the latest judge on American Idol. Carey is reportedly getting about $18 million—which is precisely the amount Idol refused to pay Jennifer Lopez to stay for a third season. However, Mariah ain't the big winner in this deal. Neither is FOX. The person who benefits the most is Randy Jackson. Why? Jackson had been rumored to be on the chopping block, a situation which has completely changed since he helped broker the deal with Carey. While not expressly written into her contract, my sources tell me that Mimi made it crystal clear that she would be unhappy without Randy by her side at the judge's table. Mr. Jackson seems to have succeeded in making himself not only invaluable but also relevant.
Despite the demands of an eight-show-a-week schedule, Ricky Martin is having the time of his life starring in the Broadway revival of Evita. And there's been a fringe benefit that he didn't anticipate. "New York is an amazing place to raise children." However, he's not thrilled with everything else going on in the world. When the current reigning Miss Peru, Cindy Mejia, was asked how she'd react to having a gay child, she said, "In my case, the day that God permits me to have children, that wouldn't happen because these things happen perhaps because a child grew up without a father or was molested or lived with his mother and sisters and became effeminate." Thank God she put some real thought into the issue and wasn't just speaking off the cuff. Upon hearing this, Ricky Tweeted: "What a shame! Such foolish comments. Complete ignorance." Bravo. However, he may get further if he Tweeted it in Peruvian—the language of my dearly departed Yma Sumac.
Matthew McConaughey recently did an interview for Larry King's new web series, Larry King Now. In it, he discusses his next project, The Dallas Buyers Club, which is a film about a real-life cowboy named Ron Woodruff who was homophobic. He contracted HIV via drug use in the '80s and was told he had 30 days to live. After successful homeopathic treatment in Mexico, Ron began smuggling non-toxic drugs across the Mexican border to help other sufferers and, later, took on the FDA to legalize his treatment. McConaughey has been passionate about this project and has even helped with the fundraising. "It was very tough to get the money for that one, being the subject material and it's a period piece." He also talks about how he has lost 15 pounds and hopes to lose another 15 before he begins filming in September. "I should not look healthy by the time I'm doing this."
Mickey Rourke has gone public with his frustrations in bringing openly gay rugby player Gareth Thomas' story to the big screen. As usual, it comes down to money. "We have probably 80 percent of the money. It's been very difficult because it's not a comic book, it's not a romantic comedy. It doesn't fall in that category to raise money for. Really, it's been difficult but two years to get a movie up and going isn't bad so I've got nothing to complain about." He's hoping to commence filming in February.
If these people think they're waiting a long time for their film project to get off the ground, they should look at Ellen DeGeneres. She's been bugging the powers that be to make a sequel to Finding Nemo for the past decade. Persistence paid off, as Disney/Pixar has announced that the Nemo sequel is definitely on. Ironically, it will be directed by Andrew Stanton, who has become infamous for helming John Carter —the film that nearly bankrupted the studio (OK, not really, but the flick did lose $200 million). This is being seen as Stanton's second chance as a director, but I dunno about all that. He's gone from overseeing a live-action feature to overseeing a cartoon. Sounds like a demotion to me (albeit a demotion to a film people actually will want to see).
Because I'm always thinking of you, I stopped in London to catch the premiere of the latest Absolutely Fabulous special—this one focused on the Olympics. Of course, after I got there, Logo decided to run it a few days later in the States. Nonetheless, some of you (read: most of you) don't get Logo. Happily, you can see it (and the other two AbFab specials from this year) on BillyMasters.com.
Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Cameron in New York: "I just got my Attitude(UK gay mag) and this gorgeous guy Thom Evans is on the cover. I thought he might be some Olympian, but I guess he's a rugby player. What do you know about him?"
When he was 19, Thom was a member of the short-lived British boyband Twen2y4Se7en—a group that I believe failed because of its terrible name that no one could spell. Aside from his brief foray into music, Thom and his brother Max are notable rugby players. And they're both gorgeous. My fans will probably recognize them from the 2010 Dieux du Stade calendar where Thom's full-frontal nudity certainly got the attention of gays on both sides of the pond. Their homoerotic shoot brought new meaning to the term "brotherly love"—and the outtakes are even hotter. A nice collection of photos and a video from the photo shoot will magically appear on BillyMasters.com.
Lastly, Mario Lopez just shot a campaign for his MaLo underwear collection, which is apparently different than his Rated M collection. How? Rated M has the slogan "For manful men and their very special guests". For the new line, he Tweeted, "MaLo is all about masculine with an edge". And, apparently, with a bulge, judging from the photos we've gotten. BTW, for some of the shots he was painted gold. Why? Who knows. Who cares. What's important is they can be seen on our website.
When Mario's going for the gold, it's definitely time to end yet another column. Before ending, we must acknowledge two notable members of our community who passed away—even though their sexual orientation wasn't something they acknowledged in their lifetime. Sally Ride made history as the first female astronaut. After her death, her company issued a press release stating that she was survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy. She may not have ever said she was gay, but I must confess I always assumed she was. Also, we lost Sherman Hemsley from The Jeffersons. Although there's been no confirmation of his sexuality, it was a relatively open secret for years (rumors about the devout Isabel Sanford being troubled by his lifestyle are garbage—Weezie loved her gay boys). Rest in peace. For less morbid news, be sure to check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that's always movin' on up. If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Miss Peru gets a job doing commentaries for Fox News. Until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.