The ultimate performing hyphenate, comic-actress-singer Ann Magnuson has made a career of shattering conceptions. A cult star as singer for campy band Bongwater, Magnuson finally captured mainstream fame on TV’s Anything but Love. This month, she adds pop diva to her resume with her solo debut, The Luv Show. Magnuson, 39, describes these 14 self-penned tunes as ”the soundtrack to a movie in my head about a small-town girl’s quest for happiness in the big city.”
1. If you could be 22, would you do anything differently?
Drink less. I was always a Wild Turkey Girl — I brought that from West Virginia. I also can think of a few guys I wouldn’t have gone out with. But mostly I did exactly what I wanted to.
2. Would you rather be known as a comedian who sings or a singer who does comedy?
I consider myself a writer who acts and sings, or a writer who acts out. I’m a woman who breaks just like a little girl.
3. What would you rather watch through eternity, Valley of the Dolls or Grand Illusion?
Grand Illusion, because I’ve seen Valley of the Dolls way too many times. Maybe Showgirls, because it’s the Valley of the ’90s — though I’m not sure if I could sit through it even once again.
4. What’s your vision of life after death?
You’re taken to a projection room and shown all the possibilities — like, had you taken the subway instead of the cab, this would have happened. If you’d majored in chemistry instead of theater, this would have happened. That’s the movie I’d like to watch through eternity.
5. You’ve said you’ve never gone as far as you’d like on TV. Will that ever happen?
No! But my label did give me a small budget to run wild with an electronic press kit [for The Luv Show]. Probably what Courtney Love spends on lipstick.
6. Who is the rudest celebrity you ever met?
Gary Oldman, by far. He kind of snarled and looked at me as if I’d farted. I’ve never seen such rudeness, and I was crushed because I was such a fan of his.
7. Who is the nicest?
It’s been my experience that the people who are supposed to be so square, like John Ritter, are the greatest. He was fantastic! Some people are huge snobs, and they usually come out of the theater — the Chicago theater.
8. Now that you’re a star, do you clean your own apartment?
I’ll let it go, then do an intense cleaning. [Pause.] Well, honestly, a maid comes to my L.A. digs.
9. Would you ever change your physical appearance?
I can’t even get my eyebrows plucked! When I start dicing and slicing my body is when I want somebody to walk me to the Greyhound station and give me a one-way ticket out.
10. Whom do you side with, Burt Reynolds or Loni Anderson?
They don’t interest me. I find dead people more captivating. Errol Flynn in his prime — nobody living can hold a candle to him!