HeadLine: ‘I want to see what life is like being a woman’
The Mirror, 27/03/2001, p3
by SHAUN MILNE
SCOTS actor Alan Cumming is facing his toughest role yet – going
undercover as a woman.
The Dundee-born star will don a frock and make-up in an attempt to pass
himself off as a convincing female.
But he isn’t risking public humiliation for a part in a blockbuster
movie – his outrageous stunt is all in the name of journalism.
Hollywood sources say Cumming, 36, has been commissioned by the US
edition of Marie Claire magazine to dress up as a woman for the day to
see how the public reacts.
He will tour shops, offices, bars and restaurants to see if he is
treated differently than normal.
The results of the social experiment will then be printed in the mag.
It’s all a far cry from his starring roles in Goldeneye, Eyes Wide Shut
and Viva Rock Vegas.
But Cumming – who recently said he was gay after long claiming to be
bi-sexual – admits it will give him a chance to experience life from a
totally different vantage point.
He said: “Until now I’ve always flitted between men and women and
although my last relationship with a woman was four years ago, I still
find the opposite sex massively attractive.”
Cumming was married to childhood sweetheart Hilary Lyon for 10 years
and was later engaged to another actress – Saffron Burrows.
But he said he never truly felt heterosexual.
He said: “I was perfectly happy in my marriage and with Saffron and I
thought both times it was going to last forever. But even at 15 I found
boys attractive too.”
Now he shares an apartment with his boyfriend Nick, who he said he has
known for a few years.
And he smiles: “I’m gay. I’ve never had a proper boyfriend before and
Nick is the first one I’ve brought out, so this is a big deal for me.”
Cumming makes the revelations during a BBC One Scotland documentary for
the award winning series EX-S.
The Beeb effectively gave him control of their cameras for a video
diary being shown on BBC One tonight at 10.35pm called Alan Cumming –
They follow him through his past from first big break in Macbeth at the
Tron Theatre in Glasgow to a showbiz party in LA where he rubs
shoulders with the stars. It also charts the highs and lows he
experiences while producing his new show, Design For Life, which takes
viewers right up to date in his sensational life.
His career really took off when he starred in the TV series The High
Life after quitting Scotland in 1988 for the bright lights of London.
He now lives in New York’s Greenwich Village and counts Britney Spears,
Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman among his circle of friends.
With a Tony Award for his performance in the hit show Cabaret, constant
offers of work, and a steady partner, life for the affable Scot has
never looked brighter.
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