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Bridget Everett Goes Butch in HBO's Camping

Bridget Everett Goes Butch in HBO's Camping

Bridget Everett Goes Butch for HBO's 'Camping'
Anne Marie Fox/HBO

The cabaret star spills the beans on braving the great outdoors.

Bridget Everett isn't really an outdoor girl, but she's braving the dusty California desert in HBO's new original series Camping. When a group of women, led by Jennifer Garner, and their partners descend on a camping ground for birthday celebration, Everett's tough-as-nails Harry attempts to provide them with nuggets of wisdom when she isn't telling them where the outhouse is. OUT caught up with Everett about stripping back her cabaret glamour to brave the California heat, the importance of playing a queer character onscreen and what is was like to film an episode of Real Housewives of New York.

You strike me as more of an indoor girl and your character is a bit more rustic. What was that like to play?
You are 100% right. I like to be inside, I like to be on that sectional with my Pomeranian drinking a moderately priced delicious bottle of classic California chardonnay, so being out in the woods and filming when it's 95 degrees and dusty and sweaty and disgusting, I don't enjoy that. Even when I was younger and did sports, I was on the swim team so i could always stay cool. I don't like to sweat. But what i did see in harry was a fun loving, larger than life sweetheart and I identify with that, that was a joy. But camping, no thanks. I don't enjoy it. I don't want to sleep on a fucking mat on some rocks and a bear or coyote come and snatch me up in the middle of the night? No thanks.

Was being on the set like being at camp?
We were filming on a ranch, it was dusty and hot. You do one scene around a campsite but it can take six hours and when it's in the hot California sun in the summertime...they're first world problems but it's not enjoyable. I was running back to my trailer anytime I could.

Did that environment force you and the cast members to bond in a way you wouldn't have otherwise?
Absolutely. Jen and the others, they like to do pushups and jumping jacks between [takes]. It felt like a real adventure, it felt like a camping trip. The characters we're playing are all a little bit complicated and maybe not likable all the time, but honestly everybody behind the scenes was fun and we were making the best of being in the great outdoors which is beautiful, and I love looking at it and I hate that our planet is being burned to the ground by our shithole president. I love looking at it and I want it to stay that way, I just don't want to sleep in it.

I guess from now on you won't be taking roles where you have to shoot outdoors or are you still down?
I'm still on the hustle, I still gotta make that money. My dog's gotta get that organic chicken, it won't pay for itself.

What was it like working with Jennifer Garner?
Heaven. She's a real life movie star. She's so beautiful, she glistens, but she's also warm and lovely and a total team player. She's so gracious it's unbelievable.

Your character is a lesbian, and the show was very intentional about creating a diverse cast.
I want to see the people I know in the world I'm watching, and that's a large part of my community. I like that Harry is the wise one, and that she's unlikable among a bunch of unlikable people.

In a lot of your work, especially your cabaret work, is very glamorous and Harry is the exact opposite. Is it fun to play against what you normally do?
I love it. Harry had a uniform, comfort's key. When I'm onstage I don't wear a bra, it's nice to feel good in your skin and that was essential for Harry. I'd look in the mirror and go "good god, who is that?" it gives me a kind of swagger that I don't normally have.

What is it like to be on a show produced by and centered around women?
I loved the environment and the warm, wet womb feeling of it all. It's been mostly my experience, I've worked a lot with Amy Schumer, it's the world that I end up in and I really enjoy it. I love men too, don't get me wrong, but most of my career I've been supported by women and gay men and I don't really see that changing in the near future.

For the gays, I have to ask about being part of Luann's cabaret. I gagged so hard when I watched the Real Housewives of New York finale and you showed up. What was that experience like?
It was totally wild. I obviously am a Housewives fan and specifically the New York housewives, I feel like they've been a part of my life for so long. So being upstairs in the dressing room with Luann and she's holding court and Sonya comes up and she looked beautiful and she says, "I'm not drinking tonight because last time we did this number and I took off my dress!" They really are like they are on TV, they're these wild, larger than life, colorful people and I couldn't believe that I was in it. It doesn't feel real, it's one of those only in New York experiences. Where else does that happen? Rachel Dratch was there that night and we were at the party standing over by the cupcake tower eating frosting and going, "Oh my god, what did Dorinda just do? Oh my god, what's happening with Bethenny?"

If you were a housewife, what would your tagline be?
I'm not flexible, but I'm a real good sport.

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