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Gay Times February 10 - Issue 377

Ugly Betty's Alec Mappa

Jamie Tabberer takes on the actor behind Suzuki St Pierre.

US actor and comic Alec Mapa just called Naomi Campbell “a giraffe”. Getting celebrities to slag off other celebrities shouldn’t be this easy. But I can’t say I’m surprised: before our interview, I stalked Mapa on Twitter (call it research), and was much amused by one tweet specifically: “Remember when gay men worshipped talented women? Anytime someone queens out to Miley [Cyrus], Judy Garland throws up in heaven.”
I sense Mapa’s got more than a little in common with his scene-stealing character in Ugly Betty: bitchy fashion reporter Suzuki St Pierre. But hang about – was he actually paying Campbell a compliment when he called her a great, stinking mammal?
“Growing up, you see giraffes in books, but they look completely different in real life. It’s the same with Naomi – when she guest starred on Betty, I couldn’t stop staring at her. She’s beautiful. She was…otherworldly.”
OK, so he WAS being nice. Thus, it slowly transpires that Alec’s nothing like the gay caricature he presents on screen, albeit for his infectious personality and almighty cackle.
“I do play a lot of effeminate, flamboyant characters,” he freely admits. “But I always make a point of being the one telling the gay jokes. When it comes to the way gay men are shown on television, I can usually tell when the writers are gay or straight.
“When they’re straight the character is set up as a punch line. He or she is set up for the audience to laugh at rather than laugh with.”

To read the full interview, pick up the February 2010 issue (HOT TV ISSUE!) of Gay Times out now.

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