John Leguizamo Says Patrick Swayze Was ‘Neurotic,’ ‘Difficult’ on To Wong Foo: ‘He Couldn't Keep Up’ | lovebscott.com

John Leguizamo Says Patrick Swayze Was ‘Neurotic,’ ‘Difficult’ on To Wong Foo: ‘He Couldn’t Keep Up’

John Leguizamo is kinda speaking ill of the dead.

Leguizamo remembers his To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar costar Patrick Swayze as being tougher to work with than the late actor’s reputation might suggest.

“I love To Wong Foo,” Leguizamo said of the 1995 drag queen road comedy in an interview with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live. “A very important film.”

But when Cohen asked the actor about working with Swayze, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2009 at 57, Leguizamo responded with a little less enthusiasm.

“All I hear about Patrick Swayze was just what an absolute angel he was,” Cohen said.

Leguizamo shot back: “Hmm. That’s different than what I experienced. Rest in peace, I love him. He was just neurotic. And I’m neurotic too, but I don’t know, he was just – it was difficult working with him.”

After Cohen suggested that the Dirty Dancing star may have just been a perfectionist, Leguizamo continued, “I don’t know, just neurotic, maybe a tiny bit insecure. And then Wesley [Snipes] and I, we vibed, ‘cause, you know, we’re people of color, and we’ve got each other.”

Leguizamo also said that his improvisational performance style didn’t quite sync with Swayze’s approach.

“I’m also like an improviser, and he didn’t like that,” he recalled. “He couldn’t keep up with it, and it would make him mad and upset sometimes. He’d be like, ‘Are you gonna say a line like that?’ I go, ‘You know me, I’m gonna do me. I’m gonna just keep making up lines.’ He goes, ‘Well, can you just say the line the way it is?’ I go, ‘I can’t.’ And the director didn’t want me to.”

The Ice Age star went on to explain how his deviations from the material improved his character, Chi-Chi Rodriguez.

“I invent my role. I rewrote that role,” Leguizamo said. “I expanded that role, ‘cause that role was nothing. Douglas Carter Beane may disagree, ‘cause he wrote the script, but he knows what I brought to it. He knows. He’s incredible.”

Leguizamo also noted how he’s seen To Wong Foo impact some of its queer viewers.

“It was very important because a lot of transgender kids, [LGBTQ+] kids come up to me, who are now I guess a little older, they said because of that show and my character, they felt confident to come out to their parents,” he said. “And I felt like, ‘Wow, that’s what art’s supposed to do.’ Art’s supposed to give people courage, art’s supposed to teach people empathy, that’s what I got in the business for.”

via: EW

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