Pro­file Cyndi Lau­per

The ’80s icon who just wanted to have fun, bares her strug­gle jug­gling ca­reer and fam­ily on re­al­ity TV but she’s still got it all, writes Sh­eryl-lee Kerr.

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - CELEBRITY -

‘‘What’s re­ally hard is to keep the in­tegrity of work and to keep the in­tegrity of your home life’’


CYNDI Lau­per is pac­ing a rented French villa look­ing anx­iously at her en­tourage, lips pursed.

A new ‘‘fierce’’ out­fit has high shoul­der pads and kicks up at the back in the worst places.

She is just hours from singing to a VIP crowd at Cannes. Her cos­tumer is close to tears. Pins are be­ing whipped out, sug­ges­tions of belts and bus­tles made and re­jected. More frowns. ‘‘Does my butt look fat?’’ she asks, look­ing like a be­fud­dled shi tzu with the weight of the world on her shoul­ders. ‘‘I don’t look like a pan­cake butt do I?’’

‘‘Nooo, you’ve got a Nicki Mi­naj thing go­ing,’’ as­sures one delectably groomed male at­ten­dant.

The car ar­rives but now the cos­tumer is giv­ing in to the in­evitable.

‘‘Why is she crying?’’ asks Lau­per, gen­uinely per­plexed, from deep in­side the gi­ant black ve­hi­cle. ‘‘Does she want me to change?’’

She leans for­ward, as if half tempted to start over. Pan­icked voices re­as­sure her. She sits back.

Wel­come to the lat­est celebrity re­al­ity TV show, Cyndi Lau­per: Still So Un­usual.

The ’80s Grammy-win­ning su­per­star, due to tour Aus­tralia at the end of the month, and fa­mous for hits like True Colours and Girls Just Want To Have Fun is now mov­ing into the role of TV star.

The gay rights ac­tivist has pre­vi­ously done a colour­ful stint on Don­ald Trump’s diva free-for-all, Celebrity Ap­pren­tice, fa­mously scold­ing him as wrong for call­ing her friend Rosie O’Don­nell ‘‘dis­gust­ing’’.

In Still So Un­usual she lets cam­eras trail her for 12 episodes in the new Fox­tel se­ries.

It may lack the off-the-wall, slack­jawed weird­ness of The Os­bournes and the in­sa­tiable drama queen­ing of Keep­ing Up With The Kar­dashi­ans, but it makes up for it in real-world life-bal­ance worries, al­beit A-lister style.

Among the in­sights into Lau­per’s world is the drain that comes from con­stantly be­ing stopped by fans for pho­tos and au­to­graphs at ev­ery turn.

A day at Coney Is­land with her hus­band of 21 years, David Thorn­ton, and boy-band looka­like son De­clyn, then 14, turns sour.

‘‘There are those peo­ple, who do not leave my mum alone,’’ De­clyn says in ex­as­per­a­tion. ‘‘They’re like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Cyndi Lau­per!’ It’s a lit­tle an­noy­ing. I’m just try­ing to spend some time with my mum, guys. You’re never done with them (fans).’’

David, all tanned and cool in a white suit and un­but­toned shirt, leans back and of­fers a more philo­soph­i­cal com­men­tary.

‘‘When your wife is a rock star, you never have a pri­vate or per­sonal life,’’ he says.

‘‘And even if you do, you’re wait­ing for it to be in­ter­rupted. For me I have to come to peace with that. The flip­side of that is you are af­forded op­por­tu­ni­ties to do things you’d never be able to do.

‘‘As you’re older and wiser, you recog­nise that. When you’re younger, you go, ‘This is bulls---’.’’

If it’s al­ready hard enough to stop fame im­ping­ing on her fam­ily life, what on earth pos­sessed the mu­sic star to sub­mit to star­ring in a re­al­ity TV show?

Lau­per ex­plains that Mark

Bur­nett, who pro­duced The Ap­pren­tice, ap­proached her to star in a scripted com­edy. She tells Hol­ly­wood Re­porter, ‘‘I re­alised my life is a com­edy, so we might as well film it. I think the show is fun. It shows the strug­gle with the jug­gle. For most women, it’s re­ally hard to work and have a fam­ily, and we kind of want it all.

‘‘I am lucky be­cause my hus­band helps me so much, but I think that peo­ple can re­late be­cause it’s about try­ing to do well and stay close as a fam­ily.’’

It’s a mes­sage Lau­per re­peats to a con­tin­gent of for­eign press in Cannes.

‘‘What’s re­ally hard is to keep the in­tegrity of work and to keep the in­tegrity of your home life,’’ she says. ‘‘I al­ways thought I could have it all but I never re­ally thought about who was gonna do it all.’’

As if on cue, her har­ried per­sonal as­sis­tant in­ter­rupts to haul her away for a sound check.

Af­ter Lau­per re­luc­tantly leaves the lime­light, she shares her de­light in hav­ing just learnt she has a huge fan fol­low­ing in Poland.

‘‘David Has­sel­hoff might be big in Ger­many but ap­par­ently I’m big in Poland,’’ the 60-year-old says with grav­ity and sat­is­fac­tion.

Time flies when you’re swirling around the eye of the Lau­per storm. Soon enough, it’s show time. Her dress might look like an ode to twin vol­canos, but so what? Ev­ery­one is ready. The tears are dried. Butt pro­por­tions are for­got­ten. Cyndi Lau­per steps on stage.

And the crowd goes wild.

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