John Cameron Mitchell
The Tony Award–winning actor and writer, 55, who directed Nicole Kidman in 2010’s Rabbit Hole and the upcoming How to Talk to Girls at Parties, will tour Australia for the first time with a new show, The Origin of Love: The Songs & Stories of Hedwig. The star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells WHO’S Cynthia Wang about his musical inspirations.
The singers who remind me of my childhood David Bowie was very powerful to me, and also Barry Manilow. There was a kind of showbiz-y, Broadway thing about him. I, of course, intuited his queerness, which was quite obvious. He was always a bit closeted but there was a song called “All the Time” that was very gay to me. He was a great comfort to me as a kid. Live performance that had a great impact Patti Smith at a secret show in a small bar in [New York’s] East Village. I was dancing like crazy and I turned around during “Horses” and realised that no-one else in the whole place was dancing. I turned back around and she just sort of braced her hand on my chest like I was holding her up and sang “Horses” right into my face. She was like my buddy. Go-to song as a DJ to kick off a party I probably would start out with “High School Dance” by The Sylvers. They were kind of a Jackson 5 clone but they were actually really good. They were a family also, and they had their own Michael Jackson named Foster Sylvers, who had a great song called “Misdemeanor”. First album I ever bought
Elton John’s Captain Fantastic. It has some classic tunes like “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, which was based on him about to marry a woman!
Mitchell tours from June 22– July 17. He plays the Sydney Opera House on July 6.