Ask Alan

Saturday 28 Aug 10

I am back in LA for the Emmys tomorrow. I flew Continental this time, and had a lovely Indian vegan meal and the flight attendant did not comment on the body odour of any passengers as her American Airlines counterpart had last weekend.  Yes, really.

Natalie asks: Out of all the magnificent roles you've played, what's your favorite line you've had to say? What's the weirdest? It can be from a play, musical, movie, or anything. I thought of this while watching Tin Man (which you're amazing in of course). Keep being inspirational and fantastic!  See the blog from yesterday about the Terence McNally reading. I think that has to take the biscuit, don't you?!

Clarissa Crabtree (what a great name) writes: As I was chopping and dicing the veggies from my recent CSA delivery, I got to thinking about vegies around the world.  Since you travel so much, you must have tried lots of different veggies around the world - what was the wierdest, and what's your favourite?   I have had some weird and wonderful veggies, but my favourite exotic one is jackfruit.  Oh, it's so delicious and the texture is very satisfying.  But my favourite vegetable of all time would have to be the potato. I could easily have mashed potato for every meal.  I am also nuts about arugula, the kind that tastes all mustardy.

Jessy from Germany says: What do like about your work  ? I mean  be an actor is a fascinating job  but what fascinated you ?
I just like pretending to be other people. It's fun.  I think of it as a very child-like thing, committing to play in a really total way.  And I like that I get to play as an adult and be able to make a living and do things I like because of it.  I think my inner child is very outer.

Hey Alan! I know you're anti-circumsicion, and there are people asking why...so here's a link that may be of interest to you: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html  Thanks so much, this is a great article.  It's a good one to forward to anyone who needs to be enlightened on the foreskin front!

Matt writes: I love, with a big L, The High Life. What was it that made your decision to move on?
It was really a combination of things but mostly it was because Forbes and I had reached a decision to not to do another series during the writing process. I guess we felt really unsupported by the BBC and that they just didn't get us.  It felt a lot like banging our heads against a brick wall.  Then we shot it and it came out and people really liked it for the same reasons that the people at the Beeb had been trying to get us to change. And then of course they were all over us to do another series. But by then I had already moved on in my head, and also logistically it became impossible because I had started to do more films. But really we didn't do another series because we made a pact not to.

Quite a lot of people have written asking for the playlist of my recent shows. It varies from show to show a little but this is how it is basically right now..
Almost There (Tom Baxter)/Mein Herr (Kander & Ebb)/I Want To See You (Alan Cumming)/Wig In A Box/Wicked Little Town (Stephen Trask)/American (Lance Horne)/What More Can I Say (William Finn)/I Still Have That Other Girl/Losing My Mind (Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach/Stephen Sondheim)/Taylor The Latte Boy (Heisler/Goldrich)/Next To Me (Cumming/Horne)/Edinburgh Festival Song (Cumming/Masson)/Beautiful (Jeff Harris)

From Lynn: I was wondering if you were planning to write another book at some point? My friends and I all loved 'Tommy's Tale' and hoped you might feel the urge to write another novel! Although....a biography would be great too :)
I am indeed planning to write another book. It's just the old enemy, time. And I even want to do something that would in a way be my version of an autobiography: a sort of book of short stories about things that have happened in my crazy life.  Stay tuned.  But maybe I should get down to writing the book more instead of doing this blog every day?! Actually, doing this blog has been a good discipline both in just writing something every day and also getting back into the habit of searching the cavities of my mind and finding out what I think about things. So thank you all for your encouragement.

Katie writes: I'm thinking of trying to major in musical theatre or acting in college, but I'm not sure if I should. I've only been in a couple shows, and I've done a lot of vocal stuff, but I fell in love with acting when I did my first show. Do you think that if you are really passionate about something, you might as well try to make it into a career, even though it's more than likely you could completely fail?!  Do it! I think the worst thing would be to live your life thinking 'if only'.

Alan, have you ever gotten or wanted a tattoo?
Yep, I had one.  It was a boy's name.  We had each other's names tattooed on our groins after two weeks of knowing each other! Four months later we broke up. I had mine lasered off.  Since then, much as I love them, I've been wary of getting another. But I always ask people to show me their tattoos because I think they are beautiful and people get them so that others can enjoy them too.

Doris from Germany: What means the title of your debut album:" I Bought A Blue Car Today"?
It's the sentence I had to write down in my US Naturalization test to prove I could write in English. I thought it was cute at first and then I realised it was about consumerism and gas-guzzling.

I know you've probably heard this before, but what is the tastiest way to cook tofu.

I am a big fan of a stir fry with some vegetables and sesame oil or a teriyaki sauce. I try to steer clear of the deep fry option

Liam asks: I've aways loved the roles you play and i wondered is there a role that you'd love to play again in a sequel or a remake?  Actually there is a Spy Kids 4 in the works and we are trying to make the dates work so that i can be in that for just a little cameo. But as for remakes, I would love to play a character like Auntie Mame.  Alan Cumming as Uncle Mame doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?  Or I would like to be Maude in Harold and Maude!!

Michael from Austria: I saw yesterday the fantastic movie "the anniversarry party" first time. congratulation to this artwork. since hours i try to find out who sing the song in the scene on the pool. please tell me this important information via eMail. I must have this song ;-)  It was written by Michael Penn and is on The Anniversary Party soundtrack which I bet you can get on itunes or Amazon.



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