INTERVIEW: Amanda Lepore
Transsexual sex symbol, movie star, and singer – well that could really only describe one person, the fabulous Amanda Lepore. You’ve definitely seen her – as the cover girl for MAC cosmetics, on Swatch watches, in countless fashion ads, hosting events around the world, and the infamous “Sunglasses at Night” video for Tiga. Working with producers Fatal Art Syndicate, Cazwell, and Larry Tee, she has compiled a remix EP as a teaser for her upcoming artist album. Warning: the electro is as sexy and spicy as she is.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Well, first I want to tell you that you’re absolutely beautiful, as is your voice.
Amanda Lepore: Oh thanks.
RS: How did you decide to become a singer?
Amanda Lepore: I was asked to go out a lot and make appearances and I always that I could do more. I’ve always had an interest in it and now I can really entertain a crowd.
RS: When you host an event, what you do on stage as a host?
Amanda Lepore: I’m just asked to do different things. I’ll help out if people are having birthdays or whatever, if I am in New York, I just hang out. I get drinks and invite my friends and dance.
RS: That sounds really cool.
Amanda Lepore: I have responsibilities. With the Sunday Party, I do a lot of contact with Cazwell, but usually I don’t have any responsibilities in New York.
RS: How did you meet up with Cazwell?
Amanda Lepore: He was just in the same scene as me. I would hire him for my birthday parties. It was a Larry Tee kind of thing. I used to always hire him for my birthday parties, to perform and that’s how we became friends.
RS: Larry Tee wrote “My Pussy” for you. What was it like, the first time you heard the song?
Amanda Lepore: I thought it was kind of easy and funny and everything. It came out good with really good beats. People really liked it.
RS: What about Larry Tee’s music attracts you to him?
Amanda Lepore: I like everything that he does. He is really good, really professional and good at what he does. He’s been doing it for years.
RS: Is electro you favorite kind of dance music?
Amanda Lepore: I like it – it’s definitely robotic and dancey, and kind of fun.
RS: I hear Perez Hilton had some fun with the song also. Are you friends with Perez?
Amanda Lepore: Yes and that was really flattering. Larry played it for me. Plus, I did “Another Gay Sequel” and he wrote a really funny song for that, too. It was really funny, really campy.
RS: Awesome. You also did a cover of the Waitresses song “I Know What Boys Like.” How did that come about?
Amanda Lepore: The people that I worked with producing “My Hair Looks Fierce” and “Champagne,” knew the girl that was in the Waitresses, so they got the rights to do it. I always liked the song, so I said that would be great. They had this thing on a Friday night, a bling party, that I did. It was a live band, and I did that song and people liked it so much that they remembered it, so they thought that I should do a cover of it.
RS: Very cool. Your EP that’s out right now, there’s lots of remixes. What’s your favorite remix of one of your songs?
Amanda Lepore: I like the originals more than the remixes.
RS: You also have an album coming out soon. What should we look forward to on the album?
Amanda Lepore: Well, we tried to make each song a different style. We took at lot of time for each individual song – they were all really good songs.
RS: You also are coming up in a movie, too. Tell us about that.
Amanda Lepore: Yes, I have a role in Another Gay Sequel as a transsexual airline stewardess.
RS:What’s it like, being on the big screen? Have you seen yourself in a movie before?
Amanda Lepore: I didn’t see it, but I saw myself on the big screen when I was at the Maxwell. They have a big screen computer, and I saw myself on a light ball coming out of the spaceship. It was good. So if the big screen movie is anything close to that, I’ll look great. (laughing)
RS: Well, you look great everywhere you go. How much time does it take for you to put together your look each day?
Amanda Lepore: Well, for the daytime looks, I get ready really fast. Sometimes I won’t take a shower, or I’ll take a quick shower, but usually at night, I like to really pamper myself. I spend an average of three or four hours. Three hours minimum, usually. But that’s washing your hair and conditioning it and putting it up in a style and doing everything. I really like to take a bath, and use this skin care stuff, and all that kind of thing. I’m really girly.
RS: Is Mac your favorite makeup?
Amanda Lepore: I’ve liked MAC makeup forever. I think that they make the best eyelash options of anyone.
RS: I also see you do a lot of work with Heatherette. What about their fashion inspires you?
Amanda Lepore: I like a lot of the flashy stuff they’ve put together. I love the rhinestones and feathers and all that.
RS: You were in the video of Tiga’s “Sunglasses At Night.” How did he approach you to be in that video?
Amanda Lepore: Hal from Gigolo Records. I used to work at Patricia Fields and he saw me modeling ties. I would wear them in different ways – across the breast and various ways that you could wear them. So he asked me to be the spokesperson for Gigolo Records, and then shortly after that, he flew me to Berlin to do that video.
RS: In addition to being in videos, your face has been on all kinds of products. Swatches. Dolls. Do you have your own doll in your room?
Amanda Lepore: No. I had all three of them, but I gave them away to hairdressers that did my hair for free for years. I don’t really have that much stuff around my house, and usually anything with me on it, I give away to friends. I have everything but myself around my house.
RS: And do you still live in the hotel?
Amanda Lepore: Yes. I have a really cheap rent, so it lets me buy all the shoes and clothes I want.
RS: . There’s also the Swatch with you on it. How did that come about?
Amanda Lepore: That was when David LaChapelle lived in New York. He came up with the idea. When he was asked to do the David LaChapelle Swatch, he decided to do me all over it, and it was called Trannie Time.
RS: Are you friends with Christian Siriano?
Amanda Lepore: I see him around in the clubs.
RS: . He made a quote about how straight people have white trash and trailer parks, and the gay people have drag queens and trannies. Did you hear about this?
Amanda Lepore: Yes, the ‘tranny messes’ and all that.
RS: Yes. How do you respond to Christian’s use of the word ‘tranny mess’ and everything?
Amanda Lepore: I don’t know. I’m probably like the other end of the chain because I’m always really meticulous and together. I don’t know what to say to it.
RS: What advice would you give for inspiring trannies and drag queens out there?
Amanda Lepore: I think to have fun with everything, and not taking everything too seriously. You can make a career out of being yourself, you just have to enjoy what you’re doing.
Posted June 16, 2008