Portia de Rossi is sporting a new pixie look on the May cover of Out, which will hit newsstands in mid-April. As she returns to TV with Netflix's re-launch of Arrested Development, we wanted to get her perspective on Hollywood, as well as being one-half of the most famous (and powerful) lesbian couple in the world.
Portia was frank and open with writer Shana Naomi Krochmal, especially when it came to her character, Lindsay Bluth Fünke, being married to Tobias, who seems to be an oblivious gay man.
On David Cross's Tobias: "I remember David Cross asking Mitch, ‘Am I gay? Or is this just like this running joke?’ ” de Rossi says. “I can’t imagine that he would ever think of himself as anything but this guy who is in an unfortunate marriage to a woman that doesn’t really love him. I don’t think that Tobias would ever think of himself as gay, and that’s what makes it funny. It is a huge credit to the writing and to David [that it’s not offensive].”
On what it means to be an openly lesbian actor: "I really, honestly think that anybody who is openly gay and visible is powerful. It doesn’t matter what you do, you are impacting people."
On Netflix's new season of Arrested Development: "Some of the funniest stuff I have ever seen in my whole life is in this new season.”
With The New Normal wrapping up its first season, Glee finishing Season 4 next month, American Horror Story's third season due in October, a just-announced pilot for a relationship drama for titled Open, and his much-anticipated first feature film, an adaptation of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart for HBO—not to mention his 3-and-half-month-old son—Ryan Murphy would seem to have his hands full. He shared some intimate details of his personal life—along with some frank reasons for decisions regarding Klaine for those Glee critics—with writer Natasha Vargas-Cooper for Out's May cover story (he's also No. 3 on our Power List, by the way).
On being a TV pioneer: “I don’t go into a project thinking I’m a groundbreaker or a pioneer,” says Murphy. “But all my work has a gay voice and gay characters and always will. I do feel with Glee, since it skews so young, the gay characters do transmit a certain message: You are not alone. You don’t have to harm or hate yourself.” Murphy looks away, pausing, then comes back. “I wish I’d had this show growing up. I think if I had, I would be a lot less fearful and a lot braver.”
On why there's not more sex between boys on Glee: “I get complaints on Twitter that I don’t show enough,” Murphy says, exasperated. “It’s like, What do you want me to do? I can’t show teenagers fucking on FOX!”
Why sex matters on TV: “Sex is the last taboo. The conservative groups are very, very, very nervous about sex, particularly nonmissionary-position straight-people sex, so if you try to do something other than two people fucking in a bed under a sheet, it’s very difficult.”
On why he hates the word camp applied to his work: “I hate that word. That description could not be more wrong...To me, Showgirls is camp. That’s a movie where the creators clearly thought they were making All About Eve. They took it super seriously and lost the tone along the way. I don’t think my tone ever really gets away from me -- it’s all deliberate. I just think ‘camp’ is an easy blanket term, and it’s not accurate for me or a lot of other gay people.”