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Harvey Fierstein

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Hard to believe the film version of Torch Song Trilogy (R, 121 mins., 1988, New Line) addressed then-taboo social issues like same-sex parentage and antigay violence when it, er, came out at the height of the AIDS crisis. Feisty Fierstein rang up EW moments before slipping into a dress for a matinee of Hairspray.

On the extras, you say that Anne Bancroft and Matthew Broderick worked for ”nothing.”

Actors will always work for nothing! We have to act in a lot of s — – to pay the bills, so when we find material we love, we bite.

You make a swipe at an unnamed closeted actor. Care to elaborate?

No. I would never out that actor, because somebody who thinks they have to hide would be the worst spokesperson for our community!

Did you really starve yourself for a year for this role?


Could you do it again?

[Laughs] As I sit here eating! I don’t know that my older body could do what my younger body did.