Dancing Queen


By Aaron Hicklin

OUT: Your r'sum' includes a long list of credits, from Bananarama and Elton John to choreographing Anne Hathaway in Ella Enchanted. You obviously had a lot of experience with celebrities before you became one.
BT: I think that's what grounds me. It's a great learning curve to watch how people handle fame. You see people reacting to it in different ways, and a long part of my life is like being a doctor. There's a certain code, and you don't discuss what you see on the set, because basically you will never get employed again. It's part of your professional ethic. Maybe because I come from this background of so much theater as a kid, I have that kind of peer respect even when they behave like assholes. I don't think it makes you look good to gossip anyway. It's very easy to be nasty about Madonna -- it's very easy to be nasty about anyone. But look at the good things first. Who else has had that kind of career, been able to really tap into the mood of her audience constantly over, what, 25 years now? So, OK, she can't act, she can't do films, but I think when you become such a product of your own making, that you're so, so designed, so contrived, it works within the pop industry. Acting is the opposite -- there has to be an element of revealing yourself. In acting you really have to get rid of all the shit and connect with the truth. Cher can do it, but you can't do everything.
OUT: When did you realize you were gay?
BT: Oh, I don't think I've ever been 'in.' I've never liked being ghettoized in any way. I can't stand that. I think people should interact regardless of sexuality, race, religion -- by now we should be well beyond that. In my hometown I used to go out with straight people. I didn't have gay friends because I didn't know them. That only happened when I went to Paris and I was in this theatrical environment and it was the '70s -- that was another world. And it was brilliant. But it wasn't so much about going to gay places, because the clubs then didn't have all this bullshit there is now. You had models, actors, gay, straight, and anything goes. And if you liked somebody at the end of the evening, you might or might not spend the night with them. But it wasn't a meat rack. And it didn't matter if you were famous or not -- you didn't have to worry that someone was going to sell the story for $100,000 the next day. Now people are so fucking desperate, if they've got something on somebody, they're going to sell it. It's almost like soliciting -- it's like getting into the trash of somebody with ulterior motives. A lot of people make their careers out of defamation.
OUT: Have you had that experience?
BT: Unfortunately, I've been so busy! [Laughs] I'd love to have a bit of defamation! Bring it on! But there isn't much to say -- all I've been doing is working.