If there’s one thing I love more than a gorgeous, hilarious women making me a grilled cheese sandwich, it’s — actually, there’s nothing I love more than that. It is the height of sophistication. So you can imagine the awe and reverence I felt when Hannah Hart premiered “My Drunk Kitchen.” If you’re unfamiliar with the wildly popular web series, allow me to enlighten you.
Hannah Hart is actually a name you should learn — and learn to love. She’s not just funny; she’s soulful and intelligent and enchanting. And she’s got plans for global domination. Oh, and also, she’s a gay lady who quotes Skins legend Emily Fitch when asked to describe her sexuality: “I’m a lot of things, JJ.”
AfterEllen.com: Let’s just go ahead and get the most pressing question out of the way first. In your professional opinion, what are the best initials a person can have?
HH: Obviously “H” and “H.” Truly head and shoulders above the rest in terms of initials.
AE: Off the top of your head, if you were just going to name some remarkable HHs, what comes to mind?
HH: Humbert Humbert from Lolita. Let’s see, who else? Hulk Hogan. And of course you, Heather.
AE: Yes, good choices. OK, let’s talk about “My Drunk Kitchen.” How did you conceive this artistic venture?
HH: Well, I’d like to say that the entire endeavor required a lot of premeditated thought. But it did not. I would also like to say that I invented drinking and cooking, but I think the medieval Romans might have the copyright on that. Well, and Julia Child.
So, here’s how it happened: While I was cat-sitting for my sister, I was video chatting with a friend and I found a bottle of wine in the cabinet. I decided I was hungry, and my friend said, “I wish you would cook for me.” And I said, “Dude, I will drink this bottle of wine and make you a cooking show right now.” And that was the first episode of “My Drunk Kitchen.”
[Loud kaboom! Lots of swearing from Hannah!]
AE: What the hell was that? Are you drunk and cooking right now?
HH: It was thunder. God, I hate the east coast. I’m from California, a Grecian climate! This New York weather is killing me! There are storms. Earlier this year there was snow. If it gets above 80 degrees, I need a fainting couch. Oh, God, I just checked the weather forecast online and it just says “Doooom!”
AE: Why’d you move to New York?
HH: Well, I grew up in the Bay area and went to college at Berkeley and I was stuck in this 9 to 5 funk. I worked all through high school and through college to support myself and help my family, so I never got the chance to pursue something artistic. Then, after graduation, things stabilized, so I went for it. But then I just ended up in NYC with a 9-5 desk job and a tiny YouTube channel. But it’s an outlet, and it makes me happy.
AE: Understatement of the year. You’ve been doing “My Drunk Kitchen” for a month and you’ve already got like 17,000 Twitter followers, 3,000,000 YouTube views and a feature in The Huffington Post.
HH: It’s surreal. I honestly made a video for my friends. I uploaded it to YouTube and put it on Facebook, and then —
AE: It went viral and now TIME magazine is on the phone! What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you since you started “My Drunk Kitchen”? I mean, you’ve got celebrities Tweeting about you, and TIME really is interviewing you and who knows what’s next?
HH: I got to meet Frank Warren, the founder of Post Secret! He’s a big fan! Well, that and being interviewed by my favorite double “H” from AfterEllen.com.
AE: Yeah, but how about the marriage proposals? I have seen straight women, gay women, gay men, straight men, cats who know how to type — all of them proposing to you. How many marriage proposals have you gotten?
HH: I’d say roughly a thousand. And I’ve said yes to all of them.
AE: And that’s really your legacy, isn’t it? We want marriage equality in this country, and you’re making that happen.
HH: Yes. In the next session of Congress, I fully expect a senator to introduce a national marriage equality bill, like: “Jesus Christ, have you seen this Hannah Hart? Proprietor of e-polygamy? Just let the homos get married already. Look at what they’re doing.”
AE: For real, though, you are a gay lady. When you really started getting attention for “My Drunk Kitchen” and magazines and newspapers and agents started calling, did you think about how you would address your sexuality? Come out, be out, stay in the closet professionally?
HH: That’s a good question. I wonder if it will be a hindrance to my career. Maybe it will, but my response to that is: This is my life. It’s my one shot and I have to be true to who I am. I wanted to come out before I ever decided to do something creative because I never wanted to the world to meet me as someone I wasn’t.
AE: You came out as an adult, right?
HH: Yes. I come from a really conservative and unfortunately dysfunctional background, and, honestly, the most homophobic person I knew, outside my home, was me. So there’s nothing hateful anyone can say to me that I haven’t already said to myself. And I’m healing from that. What really makes me sad is when no one laughs at my jokes!
AE: Everyone laughs at your jokes! “My Drunk Kitchen” is only the beginning.
HH: I hope so. I’ve written a screenplay that I’m pretty proud of. I’ve always wanted to act. I would love to do TV or film or theater. I hope that with “My Drunk Kitchen” I am establishing myself as an entertainer. I like to make people laugh because any time you share something like that you’re connecting, and the overflow is joy. I want to help people connect, and to have a break from the harsh reality of life.
Of course, ideally, I’d love to be on Glee.
AE: You know, they’re going to have to bring in another love interest for Santana.
HH: Really? Man, if that were me … I wouldn’t know what to daydream about anymore.
AE: Wait, can you sing? Go on, sing. Don’t be shy.
HH: [HH sings like an angel in God’s own personal Jazz quartet.]
AE: Whoa. You really can sing. Hang on, I’m just going to get Ryan Murphy on the phone.
HH: Awesome. I’ll pack my bags to head back to California.
AE: OK, until the Glee call comes, what’s next for you? One of your next projects is about coming out, isn’t it?
HH: Yes: “OutTakes,” which are going to be a series of shorts about funny coming out stories.
AE: Do you have some advice about coming out?
HH: Hmm. I think if I could give someone advice about coming out, I would say: The people who love you will love you, and the first step in coming out is loving yourself most. Not “love yourself most” as in “be a selfish bastard.” But the first step in coming out is learning to love yourself. And once you’ve got that, you’re going to be OK.
AE: How about some advice for cooking drunk?
HH: The first ingredient is good company.
To find out more and/or propose marriage to Hannah Hart, check out hartoandco.com.