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Emmys 2017
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Article

Alan Cumming brings ''Annie'' to TV this weekend

The ”Cabaret” star has made his mark as a kid’s hero as well as a drugged-out weirdo

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Alan Cumming
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”Yabba dabba do” and ”The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow” ain’t exactly iambic pentameter, but that hasn’t stopped Royal Shakespearean Company veteran Alan Cumming from wrapping roles in the movie ”The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” and the TV version of ”Annie” (airing Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. on ABC). Far from thinking their peer has sold out with these popcorn productions, his British theater cronies are pleased to see him going Hollywood. ”People there are very impressed that you go and have success and show the Yanks a thing or two,” says the 34-year-old Cumming. ”I’m doing these two big American iconic things, ‘Flintstones’ and ‘Annie,’ and it’s like I’m infiltrating the enemy.”

Cumming, a Scotsman, made an impression on casting directors with his Tony award-winning turn in the Broadway revival of ”Cabaret.” Fortunately, previous roles in such movies as ”Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and ”GoldenEye,” helped him avoid being typecast as the drugged-out, garter-belt-wearing ”Cabaret” emcee. ”The attention I got from the musical made people realize it was me in those other films they’d already seen even though they hadn’t equated it as the same person,” says Cumming. ”So I got offered a range of things — although I did get offered a fair share of transsexual, weirdo druggies, too.”

His weirdest role of all? Perhaps it was as the pretentious documentarian in ”Spice World.” ”My little niece called me the other day all excited,” the actor remembers. ”She said, ‘You’re in my Spice Girls video!’ I said, ‘What am I doing?’ And she said, ‘Well… you’re just in it!”’ Hey, kissing up to young audiences has its practical value: ”You’ve got to get them while they’re young,” explains Cumming, ”because they’ll be running the studios in 10 years’ time.” Looks like someone’s got his eye on a role in the 2009 production of ”Pokémon: The Motion Picture, Part V.”