AE: Cher, gay men have always been such a big part of your career from the beginning. Can you reflect on that?
Cher: Gay men either love you or they don’t even notice that you’re alive on the planet. If they do love you, they stick with you through thick and thin, even when you’re not popular. I think they recognize kindred spirits that don’t really fit in to society, either. And of course, there’s sequins.
AE: Looking back at Silkwood, how do you think your performance playing gay stands up over time, especially compared to gay characters that we see on screen now?
Cher: I don’t think you "play gay."
ST: You don’t.
Cher: At least you don’t play gay. I didn’t. If you look at her and you didn’t know, she was just a person. You just play a person. I think for Stanley, it was more of a stretch, but the truth is we giggled like in that first scene all the time. He makes me laugh hysterically. I just don’t think you play that. In The Lovely Bones, I don’t think you played a murderer; you play a person.
AE: Do you have any plans to make an It Gets Better campaign video with Chaz?
Cher: We haven’t talked about it. She — he, I do this all the time, the pronouns are just f–ked — he’s doing the documentary and this book, so that’s been taking up all the time.
AE: The transition from pop songstress to actress — many have tried and failed. You’re one who has done it spectacularly. Do you have any advice for Christina?
Cher: She had been working for a long time before she and I started working together. I think a couple things had to happen for her to feel comfortable with me because she didn’t know me, we met a week before [filming began]. I think she had to realize that I was going to be there to support her and not do any kind of weird actress crap.
I really saw as we went on, our scenes together just got better and better. I think she really has the talent to keep going. I would have never done this. The first thing that was on film [in my acting career] was an ensemble piece, but my first film, I had no idea what I was doing and Meryl [Streep] was holding my hand through it. When I started, my part was infinitesimal. I was the comic relief. I had no idea. It was easy for me.
Christina Aguilera in Burlesque
AE: How was it for you and Stanley to connect as characters?
Cher: We don’t get along to this day. [Laughs].
ST: It’s awful; they’re paying me for these interviews. [Laughs] It was great. I was very nervous to meet Cher, there’s no doubt about it. Once we started working, we got along very well and we had a great time. They had to wrangle us in to stop us from laughing the whole time.