Andys Blog

Andy Cohen chats with John Benjamin Hickey.

on Oct 23, 2006

If you saw Flags of our Fathers or Infamous over the weekend, then you saw John Benjamin Hickey. He's one of those rare actors who's got a great mix of concurrent roles on stage, film and TV. He's also one of those rare actors who is out of the closet (paging Kevin Spacey). And he's also my very good friend, neighbor, and one of the most fun people I know to hang out and chat with.

With two films in theaters, how could I pass up the opportunity to share some Hickey with Andy's Blog readers!?

HI, HICKEY! WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?
I'm driving in LA on my way to the movie theater to see The Departed.

BEFORE WE GET TO YOU, IT'S STILL RUNWAY MANIA AT BRAVOTV.COM.... YOU WEREN'T TOO HAPPY WITH JEFFREY WINNING. WHY?
Well, since I've seen the finale two more times since the night of the premiere, I totally get why he won. I don't know if I have that sophisticated an eye as far as fashion but I see what they saw now. I was so blown away by Uli and how great every piece was of hers. I didn't think every one of Jeffrey's pieces was great. For that one zipper dress alone, he deserved to win. I've come around to Jeffrey.

LET'S PLAY CO-STAR WORD ASSOCIATION.... YOU'VE HAD A TON OF THEM AND I WANT THE FIRST WORD IN YOUR BRAIN:

RYAN PHILLIPPE
deep

BETTE MIDLER
superstar

KRISTEN JOHNSTON
funniest ever

NATHAN LANE
genius

LIAM NEESON
sequoia (big tree)

NATASHA RICHARDSON
diamonds

CYNTHIA NIXON
eccentric

HILARY SWANK
vitality

VICTOR GARBER
ruthless! very ruthless!

LAURA LINNEY
deeper

WHAT'S IT LIKE BEING DIRECTED BY CLINT EASTWOOD?
The greatest experience of my life! Like being in a room with Miles Davis -- not that I've been in a room with Miles Davis, but that's how I imagine it would be like.

IS HE AN INTIMIDATING MAN'S MAN, OR WHAT IS HIS VIBE?
I wouldn't say he's unintimidating, but that's not because of him, it's because of whatever baggage you bring.

YOU'RE ALSO IN INFAMOUS PLAYING TRUMAN CAPOTE'S KIND OF BOYFRIEND OR PARTNER JACK DUNPHY. WERE THEY BFS? WHAT WAS THE DEAL THERE?
They were partners, lovers, and boyfriends for some 30 years and Jack led his own much quieter life. They had something worked out to where it worked for them, because Truman got around much more than Jack did.

AND REVIEWERS ARE ALL OVER TOBY JONES' PORTRAYAL OF CAPOTE. THEY SAY HE'S EVEN BETTER THAN PHILLIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN..
I loved him -- thought he was a total reincarnation of Capote and an inspired and giving actor. He was so much fun to work with. Andy, is this a boring interview?

NO, SWEETIE, IT MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT A BORING INTERVIEW. THERE ARE ABOUT 200 MORE BORING INTERVIEWS OUT THERE WITH A LADY NAMED NICOLE KIDMAN SO DON'T WORRY.
OK, good....

A FEW YEARS AGO YOU STARRED ON AN ABC SITCOM ABOUT A MARRIED GAY COUPLE CALLED "IT'S ALL RELATIVE." WAS THERE EVER PRESSURE FROM ABC TO TONE DOWN THE GAY? WAS THERE A LINE YOU COULD NOT CROSS?
Actually, surprisingly -- given that their parent company is Disney -- we met little resistance. For whatever you may have thought about that show, it did offer Middle America a monogamous gay couple like a lot of married couples and I thought that was cool. It was cool to get to do that on network television -- especially on ABC. They never censored us in any shape or form. Granted it wasn't the most cutting edge show, but even so....

DO YOU THINK BEING AN OUT GAY ACTOR HAS HURT YOU OR HELPED YOU?
I think the only time it hurts me is when I think about it too much, and there have been times that I've thought about it or freaked out about it and that makes you crazy. I think at the end of the day if you're a good actor then you're a good actor. People don't care. At times I've thought about it more than anyone in show business or anywhere has!

FOR SOMEONE FROM PLANO, TEXAS, YOU ARE A TOTAL SNOB ABOUT FOOD! WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS IN NYC?
Cafe Luxembourg, Bar Pitti, Babbo, the cheeseburger at Joe Allens can't be beat, Il Cantinori -- il Cantaffordy as we like to call it -- and my neighborhood fave is Good on Greenwich Avenue.

AND IN LOS ANGELES?
If you find a great restaurant in LA, call me!

TOUCHE! YOU ARE ALSO A MAJOR MUSIC LOVER AND I ALWAYS TURN TO YOU TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE WHITE-HOT MUST-HAVE MUSIC TO DOWNLOAD. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
I am a big John Mayer fan and I love his new album -- I don't know how cutting edge or white hot he is but I think he's a great songwriter and really cool. I'm 43 years old, so my days of the Justin Timberlake fanclub may be over. I have been listening to a lot of country lately and I love Lee Anne Womack. I've also been going deep with a lot of 70s stuff -- like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young -- and I've been obsessed with Joni Mitchell's "Ladies of the Canyon", one of the great albums of all time.

OK WELL JBH, CONGRATS ON TWO FILMS IN THE THEATERS AND WE ARE GOING TO BE WATCHING FOR MORE OF YOU! ENJOY THE MOVIE!
Thank you Andrew, talk to you soon! Keep up the great work at Bravo! I can't wait for Top Design!

YOU AND ME BOTH! CHEERS!
Cheers!