Leslie Jordan's done a lot of living in his 53 years. From his Baptist childhood in Tennessee to riding a bus to Los Angeles (with $1,200 sewn into his underwear), the openly gay actor best known for his Emmy-winning role as the barbed-tongued Beverly Leslie on the TV show “Will & Grace” is at times uncomfortably honest in his book, “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet,” (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 260 pages, $21.95). He's starring in a one-man show of the same name that lands in Charlotte on Wednesday. Here's just a smidge of what he had to say from the road Monday. Style Editor Rachel Sutherland
What do you hope people take away from your story? We forget that because there are so many people who live in the big cities … we forget about the scared little kid out there. … The best way to combat homophobia is through humor.
What is it about the way a man carries a bag that makes it a “murse”? Something about the way we do it, like a woman over the shoulder and hold it to the side.
You worked with Tammy Faye Messner. How did that come about? I was invited to open for her one-woman show … as a joke I'd come out in full drag – we're the same height exactly – and perform a duet to “Singing in the Rain.” I was very dubious about how naive she seemed, but the more I was around her, she had a … heart of gold.
Tell me about working with Boy George, dressed as a monkey with makeup done by legendary makeup artist Rick Baker. I don't want to end up on Oprah's couch, you know? I've had to call people and say, ‘You know this really happened.'
How much of that was you in your “Will & Grace” character Beverly Leslie? It's a lot of me. I'm never going to be Robert DeNiro, disappearing into a role. I just do me, and different facets of me, always just me. … (I loved working with) Megan Mullally, she's my favorite kind of actress … (with her) it's like verbal tennis. I can always steal the scene … but I'd just put my line out there, and it would come back faster and funny, and every single time she topped me, almost like a sparring match.