Celebrities Games

Judy Greer, Hollywood’s Relatable BFF, Is Ready for Gay Rom-Coms

by Brandon Voss

42m in the past

Her IMDb credit might stretch longer than a CVS receipt, however Judy Greer is aware of her face can nonetheless be onerous to put—until, in fact, she’s had you gagging since Jawbreaker.

The 43-year-old I Don’t Know What You Know Me From writer can presently be seen in Showtime’s Kidding as Jill Piccirillo, estranged spouse of an unhinged youngsters’s TV star performed by Jim Carrey. She’s about to scare up extra followers as Karen Strode, daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ iconic survivor, in David Gordon Inexperienced’s Halloween reboot.

However as Greer begins seizing management behind the digital camera, the perennial sidekick needs to offer again to the viewers that’s all the time seen her as a star.



You wrote in your 2014 memoir, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From, about profiling followers to pinpoint which of your tasks they’ve responded to. What does a queer fan most certainly know you from?

Jawbreaker. That was the one which began this entire mess for me. I’d finished a film referred to as Kissing a Idiot whereas I used to be in Chicago, however then I got here to L.A. a number of months later, received Jawbreaker, and every thing simply stored going after that.

So queer followers do make themselves recognized?

Oh, god, yeah. I used to be ready in line at Costco lately once I went to the Toronto Movie Pageant, and this man got here up and stated, “Gay Twitter loves you. I tweeted that you were on my flight and everyone freaked out!” I used to be so excited and proud.

In Jawbreaker you performed nerdy outcast Fern Mayo, who will get a makeover and turns into bitchy cool woman Vylette. Why do you assume that film has turn out to be such a homosexual cult basic?

I don’t know. I as soon as requested a fan that query. I feel it has one thing to do with that component of reinventing your self. Lots of my homosexual followers have been actually younger when Jawbreaker got here out in 1999, and it looks like it was a protected place for them. It spoke to a variety of homosexual males at a time once they have been simply popping out.


Gay males even have a weak spot for ladies behaving badly, which homosexual filmmaker Darren Stein clearly understood.

[Laughs] Properly, there you might have it. Yeah, Darren needed to make his Heathers.

Talking about you to Dazed, your Jawbreaker co-star Rose McGowan stated, “I’ll tell you this, when I met her, she was a lot more Vylette with me than she ever was Fern Mayo.” Was that a learn?

Wow, that’s humorous she would say that. That’s truly an enormous praise, proper? I used to be undoubtedly feeling myself on that film. I had simply graduated theater faculty, so I used to be like, “I’m an actress!” When first beginning my profession, I used to be making an attempt exhausting to play the a part of a critical thespian, and I’m positive that was annoying to these round me.

Do you are feeling extra like a Fern or a Vylette?

I feel there’s a Fern and a Vylette in all of us, don’t you?


More true phrases have by no means been spoken, Judy. Do a number of followers nonetheless deliver up Jawbreaker?

Yeah. As I become old, my Jawbreaker followers are getting older, and it seems like one thing particular we’ve in widespread, you understand? Jawbreaker has actually stood the check of time, individuals nonetheless adore it, and that makes me endlessly comfortable. I didn’t know that film would have the impact that it has, however I’m so grateful for it.

When did you develop into conscious of your homosexual following?

I’ve all the time had a variety of homosexual associates, so it wasn’t an in a single day revelation. I do keep in mind Alfredo, an previous highschool good friend of mine who additionally lived in L.A., as soon as telling me, “You know gay men love you.” After Jawbreaker got here out, every time I’d exit dancing at homosexual bars, I might really feel the love—and by no means should pay for a drink. If I used to be ever having a low vanity day, I might simply go to a homosexual bar and it gave me life. I’ve felt that love and loyalty all through my whole profession.

When did you begin going to homosexual bars?

I used to be sneaking into homosexual bars with pretend IDs whereas I used to be nonetheless in highschool in Michigan. I all the time had extra enjoyable hanging out at homosexual bars. It simply felt pure, like, okay, these are my individuals.

Hooked on Fresno/Gravitas Ventures

You’ve performed quirky sidekicks in rom-coms like 13 Happening 30, The Wedding ceremony Planner, and 27 Clothes. A meme circulated on Twitter earlier this yr: “Getting older means identifying with Judy Greer in every rom com.” How does it really feel to be so relatable?

A whole lot of buddies despatched me that meme. Isn’t that the objective as a storyteller to inform tales individuals can relate to? If you consider your favourite film, it’s not one you noticed final week; it’s the one you noticed years in the past and nonetheless watch time and again, the one you’ll be able to’t flip off every time it’s on TV. So being relatable is fairly superior.

You latterly made your directorial debut with A Occurring of Monumental Proportions. Why didn’t you give your self an element?

As a result of fortunately I received individuals far more well-known than me to be within the film, so I didn’t must be in it. Additionally, it was such a aid not having to emphasize about my efficiency. I had the best time making that movie, and it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable if I’d been in it. I additionally beloved not having to undergo hair and make-up.

You forged lots of your former co-stars, together with Jennifer Garner, Katie Holmes, and Keanu Reeves. You have to be popular with your friends.

Properly, don’t overlook that I’m very relatable.

13 Going on 30/Columbia Pictures

13 Happening 30/Columbia Footage

Is being appreciated essential to you? Are you the type of actor who brings cookies to units?

I’ve been recognized to lease a espresso truck or two. I’m Midwestern, so I can’t assist however be good and need individuals to love me. However I don’t essentially attempt to make individuals like me. I genuinely like individuals, I’m fascinated about them and their tales—who they’re, what they do once they get residence from work. I really like speaking to everybody on set, and perhaps that’s a likable high quality? I do assume you get again what you set on the market, and I used to be undoubtedly rewarded by all of the fantastic actors and crew members agreeing to work on my film.

A part of me needs you have been secretly a bitch like Tom-Tom, your character in 13 Happening 30.

I do know. I’m sorry. Speak to my husband later and I’m positive he might inform you some tales. [Laughs] I really like enjoying a bitch, although, as a result of it’s so not who I’m. Once I’m being imply for a task, after they are saying “cut,” I’ll be like, “I’m so sorry! You know I’m just acting, right?”

After 20 years within the enterprise, haven’t you earned the correct to be a diva?

I’m dipping my toes in that proper now, truly. I’m getting extra inquisitive about having sure comforts that weren’t as necessary to me earlier than. I don’t assume I’m a diva, however I get higher at asking for what I would like.


In 2015 you turned the face of a dialog about gifted ladies over 40 being underutilized in Hollywood. Did this so-called “Judy Greer Effect” have something to do together with your eager to direct?

Sure. However I in all probability wouldn’t have equated these issues for those who hadn’t stated one thing. My favourite factor to do is making films. I really like being on set, hanging out with actors and the crew. I hold getting these nice supporting roles, however I would like extra of all of it. I’ve been in so many films the place I haven’t even met half the forged. I used to be in a film with Meryl Streep and didn’t even meet her, which is a bummer! If you’re directing, you get to be on set the entire time, and you need to speak to each single individual a minimum of as soon as.

Do you see your self directing extra films?

Yeah, however I’m not sad with the place I’m as an actress. I didn’t direct a film with a eye towards advancing or pushing my profession in a special course. I did it as a result of I needed to, and I needed to see if I might. I needed a problem, and I needed to spend extra time in a spot that I really like. However I did take pleasure in having extra say within the remaining product. It was extra enjoyable and rewarding to make use of extra of my mind and be a much bigger a part of the entire undertaking.

What sort of film would you wish to direct subsequent?

I’d like to direct a romantic comedy as a result of I really like them a lot. I like to snort and I really like making individuals snort. I’d like to make a homosexual romantic comedy greater than something. I’m studying scripts proper now, and I’m all the time wanting for methods to make the tales extra numerous—altering the gender or sexual orientation of the characters—with out altering the dialogue. As a result of isn’t all of it the identical? If a film is a few man and lady who fall in love, get into some massive misunderstanding, after which get again collectively in the long run, why can’t that be two ladies or two males?


When you’re at it, we might additionally use extra homosexual horror flicks.

Okay. After capturing Halloween, I do assume it might be enjoyable to direct a horror movie. It was far more enjoyable than I used to be anticipating. I knew everybody loves working with Jamie Lee Curtis, however I had no concept it might be a lot enjoyable making an attempt to scare individuals.

There’s growing strain on Hollywood to forged LGBTQ actors in LGBTQ roles. What’s your tackle that as somebody who’s been on each side of the digital camera?

I might like to see extra LGBTQ actors enjoying LGBTQ roles, and that’s the path we ought to be headed. I noticed Love, Simon within the theater, I beloved it, and I beloved Nick Robinson—I’d labored with him in Jurassic World—however I used to be a bit curious why they didn’t forged a homosexual actor for that position.

One may argue that he was merely one of the best actor for the job.

Completely, and that was in all probability the case. Additionally, if Nick Robinson, coming from an enormous franchise film like Jurassic World, can get a film like Love, Simon made, then that’s step one we’ve to take. We will’t let the right be the enemy of the great—my husband says that, and I feel I’m getting the quote proper, however I may have extra espresso. In an ideal world, sure, Simon would’ve been performed by a homosexual actor. However let’s begin with getting extra films like Love, Simon within the mainstream, as a result of these tales have to be informed and have to be reaching individuals.

Grandma/Sony Footage

You performed Lily Tomlin’s girlfriend in Grandma. You additionally guest-starred as lesbians on Portlandia and Two and a Half Males. Do queer characters include a duty to symbolize the LGBTQ group respectfully?

Oh, yeah. However being trustworthy and respectful is all the time on my thoughts with any position. Individuals get in hassle once they act on clichés. I went into Grandma simply being myself, which is sort of how I strategy each position. I wasn’t making an attempt to behave a sure method as a result of the character was a lesbian. The one distinction for me, actually, was that I used to be kissing a woman as an alternative of a boy.

And never simply any woman: Lily Tomlin!

Yeah, that was superior. Truthfully, that’s my favourite superstar kiss. I don’t assume it ended up within the film, however I additionally acquired to seize her boob.

You additionally kissed Sally Kirkland in Brian To’s queer 2001 brief movie Audit.

I positive did. What a wild journey that was. I used to be lately shifting and located so many footage from that set with Alexis Arquette. I didn’t anticipate to have this response once I noticed these footage, however it was actually heartbreaking. I really feel so fortunate I set to work together with her.

Carrie/Sony Footage

Have been you working with any lesbian subtext whenever you performed fitness center instructor Miss Desjardin within the 2013 Carrie remake?

It’s humorous you ask. I didn’t make a selection on that a method or one other, as a result of I simply needed her to be a compassionate, maternal determine. However once I watched the film, I stated, “Oh, I think she’s gay!”

Enjoying a lesbian’s sex-addicted sister in Hooked on Fresno earned you the 2015 Outfest Award for Greatest Actress. Belated congrats on an overdue honor.

Thanks. And belief that it broke my coronary heart I used to be on location and couldn’t be there to simply accept it in individual. Individuals typically say, “Oh, you’ve never won any awards?” I’m like, “I have a ‘gay Oscar,’ actually, so everyone can suck it.”

Talking of homosexual honors, you have been quoted this summer time in a New York Occasions piece about Lee Tempo popping out since you two had been romantically linked by gossip blogs after attending premieres collectively.

He’s such an amazing good friend, so I used to be glad to discuss him for that article. We lately frolicked at Toronto Movie Pageant, and I’m glad he’s in an superior place and in command of his personal narrative. Individuals speak about how onerous Hollywood marriages are, however nobody talks about how arduous it’s to remain buddies with individuals in Hollywood. I really like him a lot. I’d nonetheless be his plus-one anytime he wanted, however he doesn’t actually need me anymore.

On behalf of all homosexual males who’ve ever wanted a feminine date whereas nonetheless within the closet, I thanks for your service.

[Laughs] I ought to actually begin an internet site. I’m right here for all of you.

Kidding airs Sundays on Showtime; Halloween is in theaters October 19.

Superstar interviewer. Foodie and Broadway buff in Manhattan. Hates writing bios.


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