Someone who should be putting out a holiday album? The great Olivia. We've been hopelessly devoted to her since Grease and Xanadu — not to mention the queer cult classics It's My Party and Sordid Lives. As she prepares to release her new holiday album and a concert DVD, Olivia Newton-John and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the 59-year-old Aussie icon reveals why she honestly loves her gay friends and fans.
By Brandon Voss
The Advocate: I have to believe you and gays are magic. Can nothing stand in our way?
Olivia Newton-John: My gay audience is very sensitive by nature and has always been there for me in difficult times.
When you attended opening night of Xanadu on Broadway, how did it feel watching Kerry Butler mimic your accent and mannerisms?
I laughed so much because she really got me so well. She even got the awkward leg things like the knees knocking. I went backstage and told her, and she was dying because she thought I'd be mad or something. She doesn't know I have a sense of humor.
What encouraged you to return to lesbian ex-con country singer Bitsy Mae Harling in Logo's upcoming Sordid Lives?
Because Del Shores, the writer and director, asked me! It's actually going to be the prequel to the movie.
So you'll be playing younger?
Well, we'll just have to use good lighting, won't we? [Laughs] I lost a very good friend recently who was gay but very afraid of coming out. He committed suicide. It gave me an extra incentive to do Sordid Lives — to get the message out that you should love yourself for who you are.
The Advocate, December 2007.