News Article

Stupid Questions

EW asks Patrick Swayze stupid questions -- The actor is faced with his mullet, body hair, and relationship with Ja Rule

The man. The myth. The mullet. That's right, all you Baby wannabes: Patrick Swayze -- who busted moves in ''Dirty Dancing'' and busted heads in ''Road House'' -- is back, this time as adventurer Allan Quatermain in the Hallmark Channel's ''King Solomon's Mines'' (June 12) and in this summer's rerelease of the cult hit ''Donnie Darko.'' But does he have the fancy footwork to dance around our Stupid Questions?

In ''King Solomon's Mines'' you play an explorer in search of hidden treasures. Which of your films should be buried and never unearthed again?

The film that launched me, [1979's] ''Skatetown, U.S.A.'' I played the leader of a roller-disco gang. I had wild, long hair that people called a mullet.

I was going to soften you up with easy questions before bringing up the mullet. Should we go there now?

Whatever blows your skirt up.

You're familiar with the term ''Swayze mullet''?

It makes me want to puke. I HATE MULLETS. But I didn't have a mullet. It was just a mullet in pictures when I combed the top back.

Sorry, but you so did.

I so didn't. Look at Bodhi in ''Point Break.'' That's Zen-like surfer hair. Look at Dalton in ''Road House.'' It was still sufficiently long down around the ears.

Oh, dear, denial-ridden Patrick...

Okay, you're right. I have to live down the Swayze mullet.

How did you get yourself to glow in ''Ghost''?

It's my natural effervescence. I love to say that word. EFFERVESCENCE.

Is hair afraid to grow on your body?

When I played a drag queen [in 1995's ''To Wong Foo...''], my biggest issue was it took me all this time to grow six hairs on my chest -- and I had to wax them off? Now I have 12 hairs. It's a literal forest.

Was it your work in ''Tiger Warsaw'' or ''Three Wishes'' that inspired Ja Rule to cast you in his video for ''The Reign''?

There's this term that seems to have caught on throughout the hip-hop rap world: ''I'm Swayze.''

I'm sorry?

If you do something cool or it's time to get down, you say, ''I'm Swayze.'' If it's time to kick ass, you say, ''I'm gonna Swayze on your ass.''

You're telling me I can walk up to Ja Rule and say, ''I'm gonna Swayze on your ass,'' and he'll know what I mean?

Everybody does. LL Cool J. Snoop Dogg.

Have you ever walked past Jennifer Grey and failed to recognize her?

Once [my wife] Lisa and I were talking to her for 10 minutes before I realized who she was. To me, ''Dirty Dancing'' wasn't about Swayze shaking his ass. It was about the cool, funky Jewish girl who gets the guy.

Hey, ''I'm'' a funky Jewish girl too. Anyhow, when I wake up tomorrow, should I hope for a ''Red Dawn'' or a ''Steel Dawn''?

''Red Dawn'' -- because all the scenery is of my ranch. So if it was a ''Red Dawn,'' we'd be waking up together.

Originally posted Jun 04, 2004 Published in issue #768 Jun 04, 2004 Order article reprints
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