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Interview: Megan Mullally of 'G.B.F.'

Perhaps not everyone—translation: most guys—would be eager to say that the way they changed between high school and college was a total increase in sexual activity. “G.B.F.” co-star Megan Mullally, on the other hand, doesn’t hold back.

“I had not had any sex in high school, and that all changed in college,” says the actress, 55, by phone. “I was crazily prudish. I think I made out with a lot of guys, but that’s it. Capital I-T. I was not having any other hanky panky. I think it was just because the guys in my high school were not too cute. They were either really preppy jocks or they were just too nerdy.”

In “G.B.F.,” opening Friday, best friends Tanner (Michael J. Willett) and Brent (Paul Iacono) think they don’t have anyone to choose from. Their high school has no openly gay students, and while Brent wants to come out, Tanner doesn’t. When the latter unintentionally comes out first and becomes the trendy sidekick of the school’s most popular girls, the fact remains that romantic options are slim to none. Mullally (“Children’s Hospital,” “Party Down”), a Northwestern alum and Chicago theater vet, plays Brent’s mom, who tries to show her son that he can come out to her whenever he feels comfortable.

If anything changed in her performance style during her eight years in Chicago:
“I really learned everything when I lived in Chicago and did theater. I didn’t study theater at Northwestern, so all my training came from doing plays and musicals in Chicago. I never really took an acting class.”

If she ever looked back on that time and wished she had taken more classes:
“[Laughs.] I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, Matt! No, I’m not that kind of person. I’m not an analytical person. [If I were I might’ve gotten in my way.] I’m much more of an instinctive person and actress. … Even though I wasn’t in the theater department [at Northwestern] I did a lot of plays and musicals in college and so I learned a lot about performance. And then I moved to Chicago and did a lot of theater there and learned even more.”

If between “Will and Grace,” “G.B.F.” and the upcoming “Date and Switch” (about guys who make a pact to lose their virginity before prom), she’s trying to maximize her gay fanbase and be an icon:
“No, I just take jobs based on whether or not I feel like I can make the part work, make the character work. So it isn’t anything to do with any group of people. The gay audience is one of the best audiences in the world. I have a band called Nancy and Beth, and when the gays come out [for the concerts], that’s when the parties start. That’s always fun. No, I just took the part because I thought it was kind of funny and the movie was cute. I only worked on it for like two days.

If she and her husband Nick Offerman watch “Parks and Recreation” and “Children’s Hospital” at their house:
“Sometimes we’re in stuff together and sometimes we’re in stuff separately, but we usually watch all of it together. So that kind of helps because sometimes the first time you see something it’s kind of hard. Sometimes I watch stuff and I think, “Well, that was pretty good.” But sometimes I watch stuff that I did and I’m like, “Well, it could’ve been better.” And he does the same. And so I’ll say, “Oh, man, I think I blew that one scene,” and he’ll be like, “No, you were good.” It’s a nice support system. We never really sit there and say, “You were really terrible in that.” Because I never think he is terrible, and we are supportive of each other.”

When we can expect her and Offerman to run for office in Illinois, since they’d be a shoo-in to win:
“Oh, gosh. Illinois. The next election cycle I’m sure we’ll be running.”

What would be on their platform:
“Meat and holding hands. Yeah, holding hands more, and don’t be afraid to eat red meat.”

On her part as a call girl in “Risky Business”:
“I don’t have any lines in ‘Risky Business.’ I got boiled down to an extra. I tested for the lead. Did not get it—spoiler alert—and then they really liked me. I still keep in touch with all those guys, the guy who directed it and the producers and stuff. But I played one of the hookers and I had a couple of lines that got cut, and then I just [walked] around in a pink baby-doll nightgown that was here down to my hoo-hah in the background of a couple of scenes.”

Given the opportunity to either tell a joke or sing part of her favorite TV theme song:
“I heard a joke recently. [Laughs] What’s the last thing you want to hear when you’re giving Willie Nelson a blowjob? ‘I’m not Willie Nelson.’”

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

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