Q&A

AC­TOR

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by NI­CHOLAS FON­SECA

Fran Drescher: “Peo­ple say they can’t be­lieve that this is my real voice.”

Your tele­vi­sion se­ries The Nanny was a huge favourite here dur­ing its run in the ’90s, and is still a pop­u­lar re­run. What do you think ac­counts for the love from Aus­tralians? It’s re­ally not dif­fer­ent from any other coun­try that em­braced it – but es­pe­cially in a coun­try that shares the same lan­guage, you get to ap­pre­ci­ate the real voice. It’s not dubbed, it’s not subti­tled. All of that be­gins to erode the spon­tane­ity and spe­cial­ness of the piece. Plus she was so much fun – and ex­cit­ing to look at. You were di­ag­nosed with uter­ine can­cer not long af­ter the show ended its run, wrote about it for your 2002 mem­oir Can­cer Sch­mancer and now have a foun­da­tion of the same name. How did the di­ag­no­sis change you – and now, at age 60, do you fear a re­cur­rence? Well, I feel like I got fa­mous, I got can­cer and I lived to talk about it. So I talk – all the time. And I truly be­lieve in what I’m do­ing to pre­vent it hap­pen­ing again. I don’t live in fear it’s go­ing to come back. [Three days ago] marked 18 years well. Some­times I’m fear­ful of po­ten­tial vi­o­lent crime… that sort of haunts me in a way that’s harder to shake than the fear of can­cer com­ing back. On that note, as a sex­ual-as­sault sur­vivor [in 1985, Drescher was raped when two armed rob­bers broke into the home she shared with her then-hus­band Peter Marc Ja­cob­son], you have long ad­vo­cated on be­half of women who have been vic­tims of vi­o­lent crime. What has it been like to watch the #Metoo move­ment take hold? I was raped at gun­point by a man who was on pa­role. That’s not to say I have never en­coun­tered preda­to­rial men within the work­place, and I don’t think there is a wo­man alive that doesn’t have some story to tell. It doesn’t have to be high-pro­file or celebrity men. So I feel en­cour­aged. I think it’s a sil­ver lin­ing of the [Trump] ad­min­is­tra­tion – this building groundswell of frus­tra­tion blew the lid off the clos­eted op­pres­sion of women. There’s strength in num­bers as long as we re­main in sol­i­dar­ity across the board. I mean, look at this [racism scan­dal] with Roseanne Barr. It had noth­ing to do with sex­ual as­sault, but it’s un­ac­cept­able. So­ci­ety is say­ing no. We have to sen­si­tise our­selves more to mak­ing kind­ness and com­pas­sion our com­pass. Your work in the an­i­mated Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia films is purely voice-over. Do you just rock up to the stu­dio in your py­ja­mas, hair un­done? Oh, I wish. I al­ways thought be­fore I got into voiceover work that I could. But when you’re a celebrity do­ing a big an­i­mated film, they’re al­ways video­tap­ing you for promo reels. So most of the time I ac­tu­ally have to look like Fran Drescher – the per­sona. Your Tran­syl­va­nia char­ac­ter Eu­nice is de­scribed as “brash and sassy”. Would you call that type­cast­ing? I think I’ve al­ways sort of been the hooker with the heart of gold. And Eu­nice has that qual­ity, too: she seems crusty on the out­side, but she has a soft un­der­belly. Given you’re so fa­mous for your voice, is it hard to do a gro­cery run or con­sult with a girl­friend in a depart­ment-store dress­ing room and re­main incog­nito? With­out ques­tion. Peo­ple tell me, “Just don’t speak!” But if I so much as say “Uh-huh” then it’s all over. Not that I’m com­plain­ing. Peo­ple say they can’t be­lieve this is my real voice and all I can say is, “Who could make this up?”

Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia 3: A Mon­ster Va­ca­tion is in cine­mas on Thurs­day.

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