Q Why did you go country with Some Lessons Learned?
A Country music is something I always wanted to do, but I didn’t know if people would let me. This is a risk, but it doesn’t feel risky on a musical level, because it’s what I grew up singing.
Q What inspired your homage “What Would Dolly Do?”
A Dolly Parton has been such an influence on me musically, and her personality is so great. I thought, “WW Double D,” which is perfect. My producer said, “Let’s view this whole album [about lessons learned] as ‘What would Dolly do?’ She wouldn’t be crying in her soup.” There are songs about lost love and sacrifice, but the album is hopeful. I love Taylor Swift, but I’m not 20. I have been through it, and getting to sing this great material means getting to really feel it, because I’ve actually lived it.
Q What was it like performing for the Obamas and the queen in London?
A I felt like, I’m from Oklahoma; what am I doing here? The Obamas are very real, and it was so refreshing to be around them. The queen was lovely. I kept staring at her skin and thinking, I wonder what she uses on her face?
Q Will you be doing more musical theater?
A I just did a workshop of a new musical called Rise: The Tammy Faye Bakker Story.
Q Tammy Faye helped bridge the gap between the Christian and gay communities. Have you tried to do the same?
A Yes—with an exclamation point! I’m a Christian, but I have learned throughout my life that God has made us all different. I do not personally view being gay as a sin. I would like for more people of faith to join me in that belief.
Q Your new sitcom, Good Christian Belles, debuts in 2012. Will this issue come up?
A You bet, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it, because I want people to see the controversy within our faith.
Want MORE? Check out our interview with Helena Bonham-Carter.
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