Stupid Questions

'Whoa' Be Gone

Stupid questions with Joey (um, Joseph) Lawrence -- The ''American Dream''-er and former teen idol talks about bad-hair days and Nell's bosom

He's Mr. Joey Lawrence, a.k.a. Joseph (his official professional name), a.k.a. Joe (what the recently married 26-year-old actor/singer/ex-teen idol calls himself). He's best known for his roles on ''Blossom'' (as Joey ''Whoa!'' Russo) and ''Gimme a Break!'' (as cute little Joey Donovan), but now he's branching out and playing sharp ''American Bandstand'' producer Michael Brooks in NBC's new '60s-era drama, ''American Dreams.'' Feeling a bit nostalgic, we decided to engage Mr. Lawrence in the time-honored tradition of stupid questions.

If Joseph Lawrence ran into Joey Lawrence at a bar, drunk off his rocker, what would he say?
He'd say, ''Why did you let the producers of 'Blossom' force you to keep your hair long for six freaking years?'' I wanted to cut that hair so bad, man, and every year they were like, ''We need the repeat-offender look! Keep it! It's awesome!''... I mean, there are some shots of me when I was walking and a gust of wind blew, and I was like, ''Oh, my God, it looks like four dead cats have crawled up my head!''

Ever consider challenging Keanu Reeves to a ''whoa''-off?
Joey Russo's ''whoa'' was more of a shocked ''whoa.'' Keanu had that surfer thing, that ''Whoooooa,'' the heavy-night-partying ''whoa.'' I think mine's definitely friendlier, definitely less drama involved there.

As someone who has lived to tell, what was it like to be pressed into the bosom of Nell Carter?
I don't really remember much, other than there was very little air, and it was really dark in there. It was sort of like reverting back to the womb.

In your song ''Nothin' My Love Can't Fix,'' you sing ''I'll take you up so high/You'll start forgetting you were ever down/Kisses will dry your eyes...'' Now, wouldn't kisses technically make your eyes wet?
Actually, yeah. Unless like you wipe your lips first and get 'em real cakey, then maybe they can actually absorb some of the tears. I don't know what the hell I was thinking.... It's that abstract sort of double negative. Maybe two waters cancel each other out and become dry, you know?

On eBay, there's an autographed photo of you in which you're bare-chested, wearing a blazer, and holding out your arms in a check-me-out pose. How much should I bid?
Oh, geez. My God. Personally? I'd pay whatever it took just to get it the hell off there.

Originally posted Oct 20, 2002 Published in issue #674 Sep 27, 2002 Order article reprints