EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Tammy Lynn Michaels

 
 


Etheridge and Michaels in 2007. Photo credit: Kevin Winter

AE: In July, 2010 when she initially filed to dissolve your domestic partnership, she asked the court that you receive no financial support. That seems weird.
TM: If you’re going to have the balls to stand up and say, “Look at me! Gay rights are so important,” you must continue to stand there, no matter the weather. Walk your talk. [laughs] Where’s my soapbox?

AE: I guess many people assume you have a housekeeper, a nanny. You have no help.
TM: I have a great girlfriend. A really good girlfriend who has been so supportive. She has become a partner almost immediately…. My girlfriend is very generous.

AE: Are you going back into acting?
TM: Is acting going to get back into me? Let’s see. The problem is, there are a lot of 30-something actresses out there who are having kids who would really really like to play that 30-something mom. And I’m not as famous or as thin as them. People would prefer if I dropped 15 or 20 pounds. If I can’t be 105 pounds, I’m going to lose out.

AE: In Hollywood, you’re the plus-sized best friend.
TM: Oh dude, I’m so the chunky whatever, which is fine.

AE: Melissa released an email you sent to her that said, “You have to support so many households because you broke so many households.” Do you have any kind of relationship with Melissa’s other “household,” Julie Cypher?
TM: Not really. [But] I have respect for her in a way that I didn’t understand I would. I feel like we both survived the Titanic. We’re just in different lifeboats.

AE: What exactly happened with Miller and the cigarette burn?
TM: Miller was about three-years-old. He was inside, playing with my [then] girlfriend. And I was outside, thinking about cleaning the car, and so, I had opened the door of the car. He came up from around and behind me. I didn’t even see him come up because the door was open.

AE: Sounds like he basically ran into it. An accident. I once dropped my godson on his head.
TM: Oh my God, I felt so terrible. But it was the tiniest thing and Miller didn’t care. He was like, “Whatever. Can I help clean the car?”

I put Neosporin on it and I was like, “We got a make sure Neosporin goes on it everyday, buddy, OK?” And it was like a switchover day so he went over to his other house and came back a little bit later. And another day or two, and it was gone. He was [more] attached to what kind of Band-Aid was he going to get. He was like, “Look how fast I heal! It’s because I’m eating all my good protein!”

AE: What do you think is the biggest misconception about you right now?
TM: That I would have ever left Melissa.

AE: I thought you weren’t talking about how you broke up.
TM: I guess I slipped. People can read between the lines.

AE: Do you think you two will have an amicable relationship in the future?
TM: Melissa and I have a great face-to-face, direct relationship when it comes to the kids. We both want what we think is best. On the kids’ last birthday, I said, “Hey Melissa. [The kids] have been dying to go to that putt-putt place. Come on, let’s just go and hang out together, just the four of us. We’ll do some putt-putt and go over to that arcade, and will have some Cheesecake Factory.” And we did, the four of us. They had a ball, and we had a ball. They were goofing with each other and we were goofing with each other. And that’s their reality.

AE: Where do you see yourself in five years?
TM: Really happy, healthy, with the twins, and with another kid. And writing, and painting.

“Valentine” arcylic with real Band-Aids

AE: And maybe using a filter? Or something like that?
TM: Perhaps I should find a colander. Something recyclable.

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