On the eve of his breakthrough documentarys release, Out caught up with the star of possibly the most offensive movie ever made. So what does Brno, the worlds most famous gay Austrian,* think of all the fuss? And how did he help Arnold Schwarzenegger lose two ounces in five minutes? Mo Rocca dared to ask.
Out: Its good to meet you, Brno. Before we begin, are there any subjects off-limits today?
Brno: Zere are a couple of things. Im basically a shy guy who doesnt really like talking about himself -- ich made zat very clear in all three of mein autobiographies. I vould alzo ask you not to bring up ze subject of my first real boyfriend, Jesper Klindl. I really dont want to talk about him or what happened after ich broke up with him. He killed himself.
Im so sorry.
Zats right, committed suicide, all because of little old me! In ze note he left, ich vas mentioned five times -- his mother vas only mentioned once! No big deal, vassever.
Dont worry, we dont have to talk about that.
Did I mention zat he killed himself because I dumped him? He said life vasnt worth living vit out me, und he clearly meant it! I remember his funeral -- ich vore ze most amazing floral print shirt over zese beautiful fawn buckskin hipster pants.
OK, moving on --
I looked great!
-- you are one of Austrias top fashion reporters and now, with the release of your film, youre about to become a global superstar. Where did it all begin?
Ich have alvays been incredibly fabulous -- in ze first ultrasound picture ever taken of me in mein mutters womb, you can clearly see zat Id taken ze umbilical cord und wrapped it round my waist with a knot at ze side, like a Marc Jacobs snakeskin serpentine belt.
So you always just knew that you would become Austrian Gay TVs Brno?
From ze minute I vas born, ich vas destined to be Brno. Instead of drinking baby milk formula, ich used to snort ze powder. Most babies first vords are mama or dada -- Brnos vere, Im gay -- get ber it.
Lets talk about the film. What do you hope audiences come away with?
If zeyre hot black guys, ich am hoping zat zeyll come away upshtehen!
What does the movie say about fashion?
You know ze song zat says it doesnt matter vat you wear, just as long as you are zere? Vell, mein movie says pretty much exactly ze opposite of zat. You know it makes me so angry, ze lack of respect fashion gets. Did you know zat not one world war has ever been started by a model? People should think about that.
Indeed, the movie touches on some pretty hot button issues.
It shows zat besides ze beautiful things in fashion, zeres alzo ein ugly side too. Like some of ze less pretty models und Karl Lagerfeld. OMG, zat guy looks like Boris Yeltsin in drag! He tried to hit on me at Milan last year. Ich told him, I dont care how thick your gloves are -- youre not touching it!
You also address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What role could fashion play in brokering peace?
Getting ze fashion community involved is definitely ze only way zat ze fighting vill ever stop. Did you know zat not one suicide bomber has ever blown zemselves up wearing Marc Jacobs? Und zere really is so much both sides can learn from each other fashion wise. Ze Juden have a strong look -- two hats, curly sideburns, thick glasses -- but all zose black heavy coats in ze desert, no vonder theyre so uptight. Und ze Palestinischers have great flowing robes, vhich are very forgiving to a fuller figure but really dont prominently display ze merchandise vhen guys are window-shopping. Zis can be frustrating if youre looking to lose some liebecreme in a hurry. No vonder a lot of zose guys are as angry as Nicolas Cage caught vizout his wig on.
For the record, the difference between Hamas and hummus?
It vas so embarrassing in mein movie thinking zey vere ze same thing! Hummus ist ein terrorist organization und Hamas ist ein Arab boy band.
And how would you describe your own fashion sensibility?
Mein philosophy is treat your clothes like you would do a pet -- love zem for a week, zen stick zem in ein plastic bag und throw zem in ze Danube. Alvays carry changes of outfits. At my friend Keith Trent DArbys vedding last Saturday, I started at 3 p.m. in a powder blue silk sleeveless Balenciaga page boy smock paired mit low-rise velvet Vivienne Westwood culottes. Zen, at 8 p.m., after throwing up ze wedding meal, ich managed to squeeze into mein Mugler catsuit und by 3 a.m. ich was in ze bushes at ze back of ze spatel wearing just ze sweat of a Filipino waiter called Cesar.
In the film you make quite an impression in Velcro.
Ja, zats right. Because of a minor hiccup vith a Velcro suit at Milan Fashion Veek, ich vas fired from mein job und ze fashionistas turned on me. Ich vas stunned -- zey were ze last people zat I expected to be shallow und two-faced. Ich still find it hard to talk abaus zese events. It was worse than 9/11 -- it vas 9/12.
How do Austrias fashion police compare to the American fashion police?
Ze American fashion police are much more prepared to look ze other vay. In Austria ze fashion police have actual powers of arrest. For example, in Vienna, if you vore sveatpants vith cowboy boots you vould be shot on ze street. Austria has a very proud fashion tradition -- as well as creating ze entire look for World Var II, ve also today have a very influential Vienna Fashion Week. We also have a Vienna Fascism Week. Its similar, just less black models.
Speaking of black women, any fashion advice for Michelle Obama?
Ja -- shtop hanging round Barack! Firstly, hes so hot he makes you look frumpische, und secondly, just cause he had sex with you on two occasions 10 und eight years ago to further his career, it doesnt mean youre going to turn him. Let him go! If he wanted a beard, hed grow one!
Does your network -- Austrian Gay TV -- offer any programs for straight viewers?
Ze closest it has to a straight show is Gerhard Schvetterings new home improvement programme, G.A.Y.D.I.Y. Last Vednesday, he had a really great feature on how to get stains aus of sauna wood.
German Heidi Klum hosts Project Runway. Is there an American reality show on the horizon for Austrian Brno?
Ich am hoping to do an American wersion of Austrias most popular reality show, Ze Amazing Master Race. Either zat or remake a show ich did for a vhile in ze 90s called Get ber It! It vas amazing! If something really bad had happened to someone, like zeyd just broken up or lost a father, we would redo their house for zem. We vould start out mit two loud hailers shouting Get ber it! Zen we take everything out of ze house. We had zis guy whose vife died in a fire, so to cheer him up, ve brought in zese amazing curtains and it totally transformed his apartment!
Lets turn to American politics. Do you think well ever see gay marriage in red-state America? In a state like Utah?
Utah has all zese Mormon familien mit one man und maybe eight vomen. Zat means ein lot of hot guys going spare. So its only a matter auf time. And youre telling mich zat all zose women dont chew each others burgers when ze husband is busy mit ze youngest, prettiest wife? Come auf it!
And if Brno were to have sex with a woman?
Zats just not going to happen. Mein female freund in Vienna, Framke, keeps begging me to give her a baby -- she even asked my last boyfreund to throw up in her vageena. But zeres just no way.
Readers want to know: If you could walk down the aisle with any gay American celebrity?
Senator Barney Frank. Ich love power, und a chubbische like Barney ze Bear would make Brno even more schvelte. Like Elton und David. Apart from Barney, it vould have to be Lance Bass from N Sync. Cute though he is, ich vould still make him vear ein Justin Timberlake face mask.
You and California governor Arnold Sch-warzenegger are both Austrian. Do you feel a special bond with him?
Of course, ve have so much in common! Ve are both Austrian, ve are both massive movie stars, und ve both like hanging out vith guys, pushing our bodies to the edge of pain! It vas an honor to meet him again in California recently. Our encounter was very similar to the first time I met him, which vas backstage at the Mr. Universe contest in 1983. He was competing for the very last time and was just overweight for his division. He needed to lose two ounces in five minutes -- Brno was only too happy to help out.
You work fast. Some personal questions: What is your favorite gaycation spot in America? Fire Island? P-town?
Ich refer you back to my Utah answer. So many single hot guys mit nowhere to put it -- talk about ein Salty Lake! If not zere, it vould have to be New York. Zhere are so many different kinds of guys -- black, white, Asian. It is like putting mein face in ein bowl of Neopolitan ice cream, und just as messy!
Now as the world knows, youve adopted an African baby and named him O.J. Who inspired you?
Ich know people zhink ich have copied Madonna und Angelina, but it wasnt like zhat -- zeir adoptions are based around publicity, vhereas vith me it happened quite naturally. Ich vas in Africa during ein flight stop-off und ich needed some change for ze vending machine. I gave zis voman mein iPod in exchange for change to buy a Diet Coke und baby O.J.
You travel a lot. Will you have help raising O.J.?
It is quite a struggle raising ein child -- I mean he cries all ze time und does scheisses in his unterpants -- but zen again, so did mein last boyfriend. Vhen ich vent to Africa, I had thought of getting a baby leopard, but zey really are hard vork und need looking after 24-7.
Of course, Brangelina didnt stop at one. Any thoughts on expanding the fam?
Ich have heard zat next season, South American kids -- especially little Brazilian street orphans -- are going to be HOT HOT HOT! Ze trouble is, vhat do you do mit the old babies vhen zeyre not cool anymore? Its not like a labradoodle, vhen ze problem can be solved mit a Louis Vuitton zip-up tote bag, a handful of rocks, und
The Sex and the City girls -- Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte -- which one are you?
It changes. Sometimes ich am romantische like Carrie, sometimes ein bit slutty like Samantha, then I could dye my hair ginger like Miranda, und occasionally if Im very tired, ich can be bland und forgettable like the other one. Basically, zeyre all old now, so ich am not like any of zem. For a start, ich am carrying less fat und have far less body hair. Ich think ve both know zat if ich am anyone in Sex und the City, ich am Big!
Well this has been pretty mind-blowing. Whats next for Brno?
Im through with devoting my life to others -- just for once, I want to spend a little bit of time thinking about Brno. You know, Id quite like to vin a Nobel Prize. Is zere one for fashion journalism?
*We know he's not really Austrian.