AE: Did you improvise at all?
Cher: There’s that part where we’re at the rack hanging clothes and at the end he grabs me with his legs — that was so not expected.
ST: No one would actually write that in the script.
Cher: I remember when I opened the rack and he looked at me — I just started laughing hysterically. That wasn’t in [the film]. None of that was in the script. We would go off on our little tangents. It was fun for us and I think when you’re having fun on the screen, people get it.
AE: The moments you share on screen are great. What was your relationship like behind the scenes?
ST: What you saw on screen is exactly what was happening off screen, I’m not kidding. What ever that relationship was, is the relationship that this is.
Cher: He makes me laugh hysterically and I just make him smile. [Both laugh]
ST: It’s true, because she’s really filthy. [Both laugh]
ST: I’m going to show you a text … no I’m not.
AE: Cher, did you get to wear any Bob Mackie in the film?
Cher: One: In "Welcome to Burlesque." That was done specially for the film. I don’t happen to have those things [in my closet]. I have a lot. In my auction, I gave the ones I didn’t really love away, but the ones I love I’m going to keep until they fall apart.
AE: You wore something to the VMAs that was very similar to the "Turn Back Time" video. Was that something you planned?
Cher: I wear that every night. [Laughs] I just had it and I didn’t have time to think of an outfit and thought it would be fun.
Lady Gaga and Cher at the VMAs
AE: Stanley, how do you approach a role like this as opposed to something more dramatic? Is there a different process for you?
ST: Yeah. Everything was really there on the page and I knew it had to have a lightness to it. You don’t want to try to create this elaborate character or something like that. You just want to keep it simple. The character is there to support these people and as an actor you have to go in and do that as well.
I can’t say it was easy, but I had to be playful. Where something like The Lovely Bones that took a lot of research and time to figure out what I wanted him to look like and finding the right accent and movement, stuff like that, that took awhile.
AE: Clint said you tried to pull out of the film. Was that just because you were trying to mold the character into a different person?
Cher: Yeah. In life, I don’t know what I want nearly as much as what I want in a character. I complained a lot about the hours — we had many 16-hour days in heels and it was murderous.
AE: What’s next for you?
Cher: There’s an album, but I haven’t been able to get to it. That’s the next thing I really want to do, unless a movie with Stanley is coming out.
AE: You also voice a character in Zookeeper, which is also coming up.
Cher: I do. I voice a lioness married to Sylvester Stallone. [Laughs] It’s not a big part. It was my first voice-over and it was really great. That’s how they cornered me: I’d been there for hours and I was really tired and I walked out the door and there was [writer-director] Steven [Antin] and [Screen Gems president] Clint [Culpepper] and Clint got down on one knee and said, "You have to come to the office." So I did.
AE: Cher, if you could look back at your early career and give yourself one bit of advice about the industry and what was going to happen, what would that be?
Cher: To shut my mouth! [Laughs]
ST: You would shut your mouth?
Cher: Yeah, I would shut my mouth a lot more than I have in my life. I wouldn’t have done anything different because you just do what you do and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but you have to keep going. Mistakes are just mistakes.
Burlesque opens nationwide Nov. 24.