When he’s not doing stand-up, starring in movies and TV shows, or whoring about on gay cruises (we’re just spreading rumors), Alec Mapa, “America’s Gaysian Sweetheart,” is arguably one of the busiest gay men in show business. Not only is he funny and friendly (we’re buddies on Facebook!), he also has a killer set of legs that would look just great wrapped around our neck. But until that glorious day, we’ve got our Q&A (Queer & Asian!) to keep us warm.
Q: Before you hit the scene in Hollywood, there was simply “gay.” Now, you’ve raised the bar to what we affectionately call “Alec Mapa gay.” You have such a larger-than-life personality on the air and off, is being out and open everything you dreamed it could be?
A: “Alec Mapa gay”? That's the happiest thing I've ever heard. Being out is ten times better than being in the closet ever could be. It's so stupid that I ever worried that being out would affect my career when the truth is, I didn't really have one until I was. Authenticity is the biggest, best thing we have to offer anyone. The only reason to stay in the closet is because you're ashamed. Period. That's an enormous burden and an amazing waste of time. I'm ashamed of a lot of things. Being gay ain't one of 'em.
Q: We love “Connie and Carla,” and in many scenes you stole the show. How was it performing in drag and what steps did you take to get into the mind of a drag queen?
A: There's a strange cult that's grown around that movie and it's always on TBS. Isn't that the weirdest? I like being in drag for about a minute. It's fun and cute, then it gets uncomfortable super fast. Especially when you have to pee. Drag queens have always been my heroes. They were in the front lines at Stonewall, and in many small towns across the country, they're the biggest, most vocal advocates on behalf of the GLBT community. I had to get into the mind of fearlessness, because that’s what the fiercest queens out there are. Something else takes over when you don't give a shit about what anyone else thinks. I also lost about 15 pounds ‘cause I wanted to look pretty and skinny.
Q: As Suzuki St. Pierre on “Ugly Betty,” how much of that character was on the page and how much did you bring to the role?
A: Every word out of Suzuki's mouth comes from the ah-mah-zing Ugly Betty writing staff. I just show up and try to get through the fashion report word for word. I brought my own glasses.
Q: Was Suzuki ever meant to be a recurring role?
A: I'm gonna say yes, but I've learned that it's a good idea never to make assumptions about anything to do with television.
Q: What’s it like filming in New York now rather than L.A.?
A: It's great in NYC because there's something about the actual city that can never be faked no matter how you shoot it. Having said that, I do miss being able to leave the MODE set, walk to my car and go home and be with my husband and dogs right after work. The miles are nice though.
Q: One final “Ugly Betty” question. Promise. That has got to be the gayest show on TV right now. Is there anything that’s just been too gay to air?
A: Boy, is that a good question. I don't know if it's the gayest show, but it's certainly one of the most gay-positive things on the air. I can’t imagine what it'd be like to be 14 years old and watch a character that's 14, effeminate, and unconditionally loved by everyone. I think there could be lots more boy-on-boy lip lock.
Q: You just came back from performing on a gay cruise. And we know there are some stories to tell from that! Dish, please.
A: I'm not gonna sell out the passengers! They're my friends! Having said that, a bunch of them did look kind of anxious when they saw a narcotics dog on the pier.
Q: What’s your favorite part (or least favorite) of performing on a gay cruise?
A: My favorite part of being on a gay cruise is spending the week with 3,000 gay guys who've all made the agreement to be nicer to each other on board than they are on land. It kind of knocks me out every time. People are always ten times kinder than I ever expect them to be. My least favorite part is being away from my husband Jamie and my dogs. Have I mentioned I have a husband and two dogs?
Q: Any interesting stories develop on the shores of your exotic destinations?
A: I farted in Prada in Rome. Super loud. I had a wicked hangover in Barcelona because I didn't think Sangria could give you a hangover. My luggage never made it to the Mediterranean on one trip and I ended up buying stuff on sale in Ibiza. My friends said I returned looking like a Castilian coke whore. I met Chita Rivera and Charo on two separate trips. I did a super filthy set of stand-up on the last cruise and Patti LuPone said I was funny. That made my year.
Q: America Ferrera, Nia Vardalos or Jason Bateman. Who’s the bigger diva?
A: Jason. Definitely. Also the girliest. He's afraid of bees.
Q: We can’t tell you how jealous we are that you did that “Hart to Hart” movie in the ’90s. Was Robert Wagner as handsome in person as he was in our millionaire-adopts-gay-boy fantasies?
A: OMG, now we're really reaching back. He was pretty gosh darn dreamy, I have to admit. I would totally tap that.
Q: We saw on Facebook that you were in the stage version of “Proposition 8: The Musical.” Was that a full-length version of the Internet sensation?
A: It was pretty much a live version of the Internet mini musical. My friend Wilson Cruz played Jesus Christ and he killed. I got to work with Peter Paige and he was super silly and fun. All we did was sit backstage and complain about our muffin tops.
Q: So what would you like to say to the people who supported the ban on gay marriage in California?
A: What does it feel like to be on the wrong side of history? Someday gay marriage will be legal and you'll live with the knowledge that you were on the side of bigotry, ignorance and smallness. Congratulations.
Q: OK, enough serious talk. What’s next for you? More stand-up,we hope!
A: I'm doing another stand-up special for LOGO sometime this year, and I also have another special coming out on HERE! TV. I also just filmed a pilot for my own talk show on LOGO called Swag Bag with Alec Mapa. It's a cross between Oprah's favorite things and Pee Wee's Playhouse. Fingers crossed.
Q: Finally, what has been the most fabulous moment (so far) of being a celebrity?
A: This one.