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Friday, May 14, 2010

Deeper Dish with Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen at the Movies

I adore Steve Hayes. I featured the fabulous actor/comedian last August in a Deeper Dish interview, in which he discussed his delightful film appearances as Perry in the 1999 gay comedy, Trick, and as God in last year's The Big Gay Musical (click here to read the interview). Then last October, the hilarious Mr. Hayes took his great passion for old movies and began his very own web series, STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies, which quickly became a YouTube sensation. Each week he dishes about classic flicks that he loves, using his amazing knowledge of cinema history to provide us - and his friend and co-host, John "Johnny" Bixler - with the inside scoop while also making us laugh. Shot on location in "Thornfield Manor", Steve's nostalgia-filled and sumptuously cluttered NYC studio apartment, Tired Old Queen at the Movies is a groovy trip down memory lane that everyone should take. So I thought it was time to check back in with my favorite film buff and ask him a few questions about TOQ, his upcoming stage show of the series at GAYFEST NYC and, of course, movies!

So let's begin with TOQ - what inspired you to create the web series?
My director Vincent J. Cardinal said, "Steve Hayes, I think you should be a household name and I think I know how to do it. We're going to set a camera up in your apartment, hand you a DVD of a movie you love and just have you talk off the top of your head about it for three or four minutes."

How did you meet and become friends with John "Johnny" Bixler?
We've done two shows together in Florida and New York and have both worked with Vince and loved it. I adore working with John because we always laugh and have a great time together. I thought it would be a nice pairing.

You will be appearing May 24 - 29 at GAYFEST NYC in STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies, LIVE! What can we expect to see in this new stage version of your show?
We're going to keep it pretty close in format to the YouTube shows - I'll talk about three movies, Johnny will ask me some questions from the audience and YouTube subscribers, and I'll be interviewing a "Surprise Guest", who has had something to do related to the "Golden Age of Hollywood."

How many movies do you own on DVD and video?
Around two thousand at last count, but they breed like rabbits, so I'm never really sure.

What recent or upcoming DVD release put a big smile on your face?
The Big Gay Musical because I played God in it, and a Swedish vampire movie that I loved called Let The Right One In - so atmospheric and creepy. I'm also crazy about the Warner Brothers Studio classics series where you can order hard-to-get movies from their archives.

What are a few movies that you wish would be released on DVD?
The Cobweb and Two Weeks In Another Town both directed by Vincente Minnelli, Where Love Has Gone with Bette Davis and Susan Hayward, A Stolen Life with Bette Davis, Back Street, White Witch Doctor and Untamed with Susan Hayward, Cry Wolf and The Two Mrs. Carrolls with Barbara Stanwyck, Love Letters with Jennifer Jones, and The Farmer's Daughter with Loretta Young. I know, I know, almost all actresses - but "What's a mother to do?"

Do you remember the first movie that you ever saw?
It was Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show On Earth. I was five years old. I fell in love with Gloria Grahame and I've loved her ever since. And I got all hot and bothered by a shirtless Cornell Wilde, though I didn't understand why at the time.

The last good movie I saw in a theater was:
It was a screening of All About Eve that Turner Classics did at The Ziegfield Theatre here in New York. It's always a treat to see it on the big screen and share the joy of young people who've never experienced it and are blown away by it. It just gives me tingles.

My favorite celebrity autobiography or biography is:
Change Lobsters and Dance by Lilli Palmer and The Noel Coward Diaries.

If I was stranded on a desert island for a year, I would want to listen to:
Laura: The Classic Scores of David Raksin (includes Forever Amber and The Bad and the Beautiful), Vertigo by Bernard Herrmann, Rachmaninoff's Greatest Hits, the film scores of Richard Bennett for The Merchant Ivory Films, and Laura Nyro's Greatest Hits.

If I was handing out the Tonys this season, I would give awards to:
Best Musical Revival was Finian's Rainbow - and I'd have nominated Terri White for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. Best Play was Next Fall - brilliant! Best Revival of a Play was The Royal Family with the incredible Jan Maxwell and Rosemary Harris. As for Best Musical, I didn't see any of the ones that were nominated.

If I could have anyone in the world - living or dead - be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
Elizabeth "R", Vivien Leigh and Charles Laughton.

If I was asked to choose the Sexiest Man Alive, it would be:
Either Hugh Jackman or James Marsden. Both make me weak in the knees, hot under the collar and think too much about doing things that make me weak in the knees and hot under the collar.

When I was 19, I thought the Sexiest Man Alive was:
Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy - still do.

If you could go back and give your 19-year-old self a wise piece of advice, what would it be?
Go to New York sooner and keep in mind that life is too short and so are most men.

What's next for Steve Hayes?
I'll be performing as "Mrs. Potts" in the TWEED Theatre's take-off of William Inge's play, Picnic, at the Dixon Place Summer Festival at the end of June in New York - and, of course, more episodes of STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies.

Thank you, Steve, for getting Deeper with us once again here on the Dish.  You can follow Steve on Facebook and Twitter, become a TOQ subscriber on his YouTube Channel, and read his weekly blog on hunks associated with each TOQ episode on Hunk du Jour. To purchase tickets to STEVE HAYES: Tired Old Queen at the Movies, LIVE!, which runs May 24 - 29 at NYC's Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex (312 West 36th St.), click here.


john said...

This man is a national treasure.

Marc said...

I agree, John!