Alan Cumming Quotes: Page 2


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Alan Cumming, currently starring in "Cabaret," was posed this question by Alice Carter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

You were quoted in the magazine article as having said that you never regretted anything that you had ever done. What is it that you regret not having done?

Mr. Cumming explained, "As I got older, I changed how I think about acting. Now I think it's mostly about you as a person and about how much you're prepared to, or are able to let your real person, your own personality, and what you've learned in life come out in your performances. I didn't used to think that, so I would try to do those things on top of me.... So, it's not really a regret, but I'm curious about whether I would have achieved that sooner if I hadn't gone to grammar school straight away and lived a bit more.... I sort of do regret plunging into formal training and not "living life' enough, but who knows?"

Can I take photographs during the show?

No. It's forbidden by law. Audiotape and videotape recording is also forbidden. If you're caught, you'll be asked to leave. Flash photos are actually dangerous to the actors, who may be temporarily dazzled by the flash and step off the stage. Actors will sometimes stop the show if they are photographed. Most Broadway theatres offer illustrated programs and recordings from the show. Final note on this subject: At a Feb. 1999 forum, Cabaret star Alan Cumming was asked if he had any regrets in his career. He answered, "Yes. I regret not killing people who leave their cell phones on in the theater."

FOR Alan Cumming the phrase ''the world is your oyster'' is particularly appropriate, as he basks in the glory that comes with being the star of the biggest new show on Broadway. While Alan received great critical acclaim for his original performance of the MC in Cabaret when it was performed in London a few years ago, nothing could have prepared him for the reception he's had in New York. He's been nominated for a TONY (theatre's version of the Oscars) and no doubt the Scottish contingent will be cheering him on at the awards ceremony tonight (Sunday June 7). It's incredible to think that only a few years ago Alan was playing in The Slab Boys at Dundee Rep. A graduate of Glasgow's Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Alan became a household name through his camp cabaret act of Victor and Barry. His film roles have included Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan, and Spiceworld! Now, with Cabaret attracting a glittering audience that includes names like Steven Spielberg, Kim Basinger and Madonna, he could be forgiven for having gone ''all starry''. In fact, he remains refreshingly down to earth, apologetic even. ''Lauren Bacall said, 'You're a sensation and a killer','' he reveals. ''Meryl Streep says she's always liked my work. Steven Spielberg said it was the best thing he'd ever seen in the theatre. It's all a bit embarrassing really.' 'And, of course, there's also the rumour that he was Madonna's dinner guest. The story goes that a driver arrived at the stage door to ask if he'd like to go to dinner with the original ''Material Girl''. He went along with it and found himself at a trendy sushi restaurant in Soho (NY) with the singer and Rupert Everett. Alan says the story is true. ''I thought it was a joke at first. It was a nice dinner but I was so in a tizz she had to order for me!'' He admits he was a little worried when his mother, who still lives near Dundee, came to see the show as it's ''a bit racey''. However, he says she loved it. But while it's nice to impress Mum, Alan still hasn't really come to terms with his new-found fame and adulation. As he puts it, ''It's fun and I love all the silliness of it, like meeting celebrities and getting presents, but it is sometimes a bit overwhelming and there are times I wish I was a plumber!'' Not that that's likely to be an option, the way things are going. Scripts from Hollywood continue to pile up on his kitchen table and he also plans to direct and star in a film set in Scotland called Younger than Springtime. As for helping to promote the industry back home, Alan admits he's been too busy of late to get involved, but he thinks it's a great idea and he'll be discussing it with Brian while they're both in New York. Interviews by Peter Morris

"I don't really have a career path. I just fall into everything. The idea seems to be make a big splash on Broadway, then do a big film. Well, the films I've made have been good fun, but they are not a great challenge."

Citation: Harper's Bazaar. , (Feb. '98) p. 105

With a tiny gold ring winking in his right brow, Alan Cumming tells me that he plans to be "quite seedy and really properly debauched" in the forthcoming Broadway production of Cabaret. He has already played the emcee role made film-famous by Joel Grey but wants to make it even more louche at Manhattan's Club Expo. "I met the poet Stephen Spender not long before he died," Cumming says. "He told me he and (Cabaret author) Christopher Isherwood only went to Berlin to shag boys.".

Cumming, who appears to lead a somewhat hedonistic life himself--"I got home from this club the other night at 11 in the morning"—loves playing up the sleaze. "In Plunkett and Maclean, about these two 18th-century highwaymen, I'm Lord Rochester, another sleazeball. I swan around being saucy. I've been playing the dowdy, doggy ones recently, but this time I have the best costumes, with huge, sort of quiffy wigs and lots of white makeup."

The "dowdy, doggy" specimens include Cumming's characters in Circle of Friends and Emma, creepy malcontents foisting unwelcome attention on girls. "In Circle of Friends, he based his whole character on transgressing the laws of personal space," says costar Minnie Driver, who adds that Cumming had the entire cast and crew in perpetual stitches. "There's a Scottish thing of having quite a black sense of humor," he says. "And I've always been silly in some way."

Of his role as a documentary maker in the Spice Girls movie, Cumming says he had "a real laugh" with Sporty, Scary and the rest. What convinced him to do the film? He mulls this over for a second. "I think it was when Ginger Spice said she'd loved my Hamlet."

Good news — if you haven't been able to snag a ticket for "Cabaret." The Tony-award-winning musical is due to move into the old home of Studio 54 sometime before January. The shift to the larger space was already planned before the city shut down the show's current 43rd St. home at the Kit Kat Klub because of the Conde Nast building fiasco. Meanwhile, "Cabaret" star Alan Cumming seems to be coping with the changes just fine.

"Right now, I'm a fabulous supermodel!" he told us as he struck a pose at Tuesday's Tommy Hilfiger party at Lot 61. "I'm checking my options!"

I think there is such a thing as the spirit of the Traverse. It is a spirit of challenge, excitement, subversion, and euphoria - a combination which no theatre I know has been able to match. --Alan Cumming

"I think Liza should be made into a national monument. People should pay to look at her."