Bridget McManus gets physical on “The Queen Latifah Show”

AE: Which reminds me. You painted a Queen Latifah Thanksgiving painting.
BM: You mean Queen Laturkey!

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AE: [laughs] Yes! Only you would do that.
BM: The fact that they let me be myself is insane.

AE: I heard the show wanted to keep the Laturkey painting on the set, but Queen Latifah wanted to take it home. And now, one of your paintings lives in Queen Latifah’s house.
BM: She so sweet, so generous. And she’s so funny! When you watch her movies or watch her perform, you can see she’s a star. She has such charisma and she’s so dynamic, but she’s even better in person. Queen Latifah is a shining, bright light and she’s even more extraordinary to work with.

AE: That’s really rare. As we both know…
BM: I think show business can make people crazy. People are desperate or are reaching for a goal they haven’t acquired yet. So, there are people who are unhappy. I’ve been extremely lucky that I work with really happy, really generous people.

AE: You also work with your wife, right here on AfterEllen.
BM: Yes, I work with a person named Karman Kregloe. She’s one tough boss!

AE: I know! It’s as if she thinks she’s in charge or something.
BM: And she’s really cute. [laughs] We’re celebrating our six-year anniversary.

AE: Just so you know, I continue to take credit for you guys getting married. If I hadn’t interviewed you, you would never have met her. Basically, I gave birth to both of you.
BM: Thank you Dara. I can’t thank you enough.

AE: I still remember when Karman and I met you face-to-face at the Comedy Store in Hollywood. You could not take your eyes off her. I was talking to you and you weren’t listening. In fact, you wouldn’t even look at me. Love at first sight is kind of rude.
BM: And I am more in love with her today than I was then. She just gets better and better.

AE: Your life just gets better and better. Didn’t you just shoot a movie for Queen Latifah? What is it?
BM: I did! It’s a romantic comedy called, November Rule. I just finished shooting it, and I play the funny coworker of the female lead, played by Tatyana Ali. It’s for Queen Latifah’s production company, Flavor Unit Entertainment, and she’s executive producing it.

AE: From stand-up, to Brunch with Bridget, to working on The Jeff Probst Show, and now, Queen Latifah? Who knew from such hard-working beginnings, you’d end up where you are now.
BM: I once did stand-up in the back of the video store.

AE: I remember that!
BM:
I thought it was going to be in the back room of the store or some kind of performance space. But no. It was in the store. In the aisles, while people were shopping. Someone told me I should cancel, but when I make a commitment, I stick to it.

AE: I admire that. How do you even deal with those kinds of “surprises?”
BM: It was a really awkward situation. It made no sense. But I like being able to call it as it is, “Hey remember when I performed in front of the John Wayne section?”

AE: [laughs] I still wish it was the porn section.
BM: Gross, Dara.

AE: Are you out on The Queen Latifah Show? Was there ever a conversation with anyone about how to handle that?
BM: Everyone working on the show knows. I couldn’t be closeted if I tried.

AE: Some people feel like it’s your rainbow-given duty as a gay person to come out if you have the chance to further visibility. Do you agree?
BM: I think it’s personal. Imagine someone trying to get you to come out of closet before you’re ready? You can’t. It’s your own timing, your own business. If you’re going to be an out person, ideally, you should be super excited about it. When people are closeted and don’t want to be out, that’s their business. All you can do is be yourself.

AE: So, you’re against outing celebrities?
BM: I have no interest in dragging people out of the closet. You don’t know what people are going through. I’m lucky. My sister is gay. My family is supportive. And that is a rarity. Not enough people get to live like that. The fact that I can be out, and I love being out, is a blessing.

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AE: Who is more excited about you being on The Queen Latifah Show, your own mother, or Karman’s mother, Gail?
BM: You know what’s funny? My father-in-law, Kreg, is crazy about it. Big fan. He watches the show, and then emails us and gives feedback. When Queen Latifah said she was going to do something at the Grammys, but she couldn’t say what, he emailed me and said, “I know she can’t say but can you tell me what it is?”

AE: That is excellent. Was his enthusiasm a surprise to you? Usually, dads are not terribly effusive. Usually, it’s the mom.
BM: Every time my mother goes out in Windsor Connecticut, she tells people, “You should watch my daughter, Bridget, on The Queen Latifah Show.” She’s very proud of me. But Kreg is a TV connoisseur, so, it’s delightful that he watches every day. He’s fantastic.

AE: You should fly Karman’s parents out and they can be your special guests.
BM: Oh my God. You think he’s going to get on a plane? Kreg’s not going to get on a plane. He hasn’t been on a plane in years.

AE: He wouldn’t do it for this?
BM: I’m telling you, he’s not going to get on a plane. I’d have to bring Queen Latifah out to his house. And she would have to sit next to him on the couch.

AE: Sure, why not? Maybe the show could do a field segment at Karman’s parents’ house, just so Kreg can meet Queen Latifah.
BM: That would be great. He could show her all the things he found with his metal detector.

AE: I would totally watch that.
BM: Only you and I would watch that.

AE: And Kreg.
BM: And Kreg.

Follow Bridget on Twitter @bridgetmcanus and visit her Facebook page.

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