AE: Do you think writing songs is harder than acting?
GG: Sometimes it’s easier, and sometimes it’s harder. For Prey for Rock & Roll, I went on tour â€” that’s when I started writing songs. I saw Linda Perry â€” we were singing at the same [event] and I said: "Dude. I want to write with you. You’re awesome." She said, "Yeah, I bet." She thought I was talking s— [until] I started writing with her. She was the first person I started seriously writing with.
[For In Search of Cleo] she wrote "Watch Over Me." She said, "Here’s your single." I love that song. She’s such a genius, and she’s so generous. And she ended up producing "Fountain of Ladies." We did that on my birthday night as an impromptu song.
AE: Who are your musical influences?
GG: My uncle was a jazz musician. I grew up going to jazz rehearsals all the time. [As] a little kid, I’d basically space out and fall asleep. I think, weirdly enough, in "Pretty Girls on Prozac" and "Cracks of Sin," that stuff kind of snuck in there. But I have many influences, from Ruth Brown to Patsy Cline to Tom Waits to Elvis Costello.
AE: So, you’re doing In Search of Cleo live all this month in New York?
GG: I didn’t really want to get in a van and tour. I like the idea of sitting down and having drinking theater.
AE: As opposed to dinner theater, gotcha. That’s funny. I think wherever there’s drinking, there’s theater.
GG: I want to do drinking theater, ’cause I figure whoever likes to drink, especially tequila, will like my music. I always like people to be a little bit tipsy, because they’re that much more forgiving.
AE: [Laughs.] The band does seem to get better as the night goes on.
GG: [Laughs.] Exactly.
AE: I saw you playing the mouth harp on your autobiographical "Born in the Valley" MySpace video. You’re really good.
GG: Thank you. Actually, that’s the best instrument I play.
AE: Maybe you should insure your lips.
GG: [Laughs.] Exactly.
AE: They’re a commodity that need to be protected.
GG: Listen, if someone wants to insure them… or do I have to do that? Or does someone else do it?
AE: Tina Turner’s legs were insured for a million dollars as a promotion, and I think J. Lo has insurance on her booty.
GG: Maybe a lipstick contract or something? They could do it.
AE: Perfect. You know you’re a huge lesbian icon.
GG: Oh, isn’t that sad.
AE: Being a cat lover only cements your status.
GG: I know. I was going to originally [call the show] In Search of Cleo: A True Story of a Girl Who Lost More Than Just Her [pauses] Cat. [Laughter.] I couldn’t say "pussy" because I have a children’s book out right now [Camp Creepy Time], and my [co-author] brother had a fit.
He said, "You can’t go there because it will get in the way of [the] kids’ book selling." So I say, A True Story of a Girl Who Lost More Than Just Her Cat, and I figure the real savvy ones get it.
AE: Gina, you know when you’re old, you’ll be the world’s hottest Crazy Cat Lady.
GG: I know. People are really going to think I’m nuts after the show. You know it’s one thing I haven’t quite figured out. In acting, I’m a character actress. But this is really my story and people are, I think, going think I’m insane. Oh well.
AE: You know, we did a "Top 15 Hottest Butches" list on AfterEllen.com, and Corky came in second.
GG: Second? Who came in first?
AE: Chloe Sevigny’s character from If These Walls Could Talk 2.
GG: Oh f— that. I want to be number one. I want to be the number one butch.
AE: Trust me, you’re the number one butch to a lot of women. A lot.
GG: That’s good.
AE: Do you think there will ever be a Bound sequel?
GG: I would love to do it. If they wrote it and said "Do it," I’d do it in a second.
AE: Nothing in the works?
GG: No. Nothing.
AE: What if Cristal from Showgirls and Corky from Bound were a couple?
GG: Aaagh. Too much talk.
AE: I think of Corky as a bottom.
GG: Oh. Well, you fantasize about her any way you like. I would never see her that way. They’re both too controlling.
AE: I don’t know. She did anything and everything Violet wanted her to do.
GG: Cristal would kill Corky. She would just would mutilate her. Corky is actually really vulnerable and sensitive, I think. And I think Cristal is just a little bit of a monster.
AE: Yeah, but that’s why I like Cristal. But you’re right, she would just eat Corky up and spit her out.
GG: Yeah. Corky might have to kill her in self-defense.
For more on Gina Gershon’s latest album, visit her official website.