Stupid Questions

Stupid Questions with Kelly Clarkson

The ''American Idol'' winner talks about her new tour, the VMAs and being a marine biologist

Since she's been gone from American Idol, Kelly Clarkson hasn't been selling baby tees at a mall kiosk. She hasn't even cohosted a single acne-cream infomercial. Rather, AI's original champ has made two wildly successful albums (2003's double-platinum Thankful and 2004's triple-platinum Breakaway) and one mildly atrocious flick (From Justin to Kelly). Currently on tour, she'll make a pit stop at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 28 to sing the ubiquitous ''Since U Been Gone.'' But before that, Clarkson must face the music by answering a few Stupid Questions.

What kick-ass stuff are you doing to wow audiences on this tour? Do you mount an inflatable microphone and ride it around the stage? Bite off the head of a bat? Maybe spray the audience with Kabbalah water?
No, I'm going to be coming out on a motorcycle completely naked. I come out and scare everyone.

And where do you go from there?
I just put a hat on and go right into the opening song, ''Walk Away.'' And usually people do. They all walk away.

In ''Behind These Hazel Eyes,'' you sing, ''So together but so broken up inside/ 'Cause I can't breathe.'' Then in ''Since U Been Gone,'' you sing, ''But since you been gone/ I can breathe for the first time.'' What gives? Are you some sort of bipolar asthmatic?
''Hazel Eyes'' is about the dipstick who completely screwed up and now is unhappy and you're happy. And then you're just shouting praises at the fact that he's miserable in ''Since U Been Gone.''

I hate to keep throwing your songs back in your face, but seriously...can we make this dream last forever?
[Pause] What song is that?

Your first hit? ''A Moment Like This''?
Oh! I was thinking of all the songs on Breakaway... Yeah, it can last as long as I want to.

How about this: What if I told you it was all meant to be? Would you believe me, would you agree?
No, that's crap. I think you make your own destiny.

So, what should I put you down for at this year's VMAs: lip-synching debacle, hospitalization due to ''exhaustion,'' or hair-pulling fight with a diva-to-be-named-later?
I'm going to start a fight. Me and Hilary Duff. Isn't she always in the news for being in fights with some other chick? I want to be the new one. Two Texas girls go at it. And maybe throw in Beyoncé. That's three Texas girls.

As a kid, you wanted to be a marine biologist but had a change of heart after watching Jaws. Did you decide that you didn't want to be an actress anymore after seeing From Justin to Kelly?
I decided that when they showed me the script. Yeah, that's the most horrible — yeah. I had to do that movie because I won the show. I didn't have a choice. Contracts. They can be crappy.

While getting his chest waxed in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Steve Carell unleashes a torrent of expletives, including ''AhhhhhKellyClarkson! When someone turns you into a swearword, isn't that the ultimate validation?
When a virgin screams your name, you know you've made it.

Originally posted Aug 26, 2005 Published in issue #837 Sep 02, 2005 Order article reprints