Sitting on a rooftop patio that overlooks Toronto, I tried to picture the outlandish outfit Perez Hilton may be in today. To my surprise, the celebrity blogger came up the stairs in a marled, grey-brown knit sweater, dark-washed, blue jeans and a pair of white slip-on sneakers. He had paired it with sunglasses that had reflective lenses and translucent frames, balancing his minimalistic look.
Hilton was charming and easy to talk to. He was in town to help launch his new play that will premiere in Toronto and New York later this fall. Full House fans have probably never imagined him as the head of household Danny Tanner, but soon we will be able to see him take on Bob Saget’s role in National Lampoon’s adaptation of the American sitcom. Here is what we chatted about.
JILL ADAMS: Why did you decide to participate in the musical?
PEREZ HILTON: I’m a big fan of the creators of the show. I’ve seen their other New York parodies — they did one about Saved by the Bell and one about Show Girls — and I loved both of them. When I heard about this one, I had to be involved. I reached out to [the creators] and jokingly said I’d play Mary-Kate and Ashley.
Instead, I’m playing the patriarch of the family, Danny Tanner. We not only lovingly lampoon the show and the characters, but we also incorporate elements of the actors’ real personal lives. I’m just excited to get to spend some quality time in Toronto and have fun. I get to do my day job and, at night, I get to play.
I did an off-Broadway musical back in 2012, I’ve done a lot of acting recently in film and TV, and back in the day I got my college degree in drama from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. It’s nice to have this full-circle moment.
How will Danny Tanner be portrayed in the musical?
If you don’t know Full House, you will still enjoy the show — it’s a completely new production. But if you’re a fan of the sitcom, you’ll “get” everything. You’ll know how they think their family is the best and how my character, Danny, can solve any problem with his famous dad-speech. During the show, he loses his ability to give these famous speeches, so all hell breaks loose, and that’s where the hilarity ensues.
What are the costumes going to be like?
I’m going to be wearing some high-waisted jeans — it’s very ’90s — and I have a good wig. It will be very, very throwback. I don’t know exactly what I’m wearing yet because we haven’t started that process. But we’ve talked about it, and I’m on a diet now because Bob Saget was really skinny.
What other projects do you have on the go?
I’m doing more acting later this year. I have a horror movie coming out, which I did with Heather Morris from Glee. It’s called Most Likely to Die, and I don’t want to give anything else away about my character yet.
I’m working on a bunch of other things too. What’s so fun is that I have my steady main gig, but I also get to do all these other cool projects on the side that keep it especially entertaining for me.
You attend a lot of Red Carpet events. How do you choose what to wear?
It depends on the event. I will often purposefully wear things that I think will get me on the Worst-Dressed Lists because as a guy it’s that much harder. Fashion on the Red Carpets is overwhelmingly female-dominated, so I would rather be on the Worst-Dressed List than no list at all.
Sometimes I like to wear shocking outfits — I’ve done everything.
You often relate your outfits to current social events — for example, many of us will remember your Kim Kardashian champagne glass T-shirt, and your Miley Cyrus impersonation. Where do you find your costumes?
I buy almost everything online, and I’m thankful for the Internet for so many reasons. One, it gives me work, and two, it gives me inspiration. I love pop culture, and I love tying pop culture and fashion together.
Many people have tried to replicate your success in both fashion and celebrity blogging. In your opinion, what are the key components of a strong blog?
It really helps if you’re doing something that others aren’t. Back when I started in 2004, there weren’t that many — if any — websites talking about celebrity news. The celebrity magazines themselves weren’t even talking about celebrities on their websites; they were just using them as tools to get people to subscribe to the magazines. Things have really changed since then.
When I talk to young people and students, I reference the musical Gypsy. [One of its songs] is one of my mottos. It goes, “You gotta get a gimmick if you want to get ahead.” It means that if you really want to be successful, you need to look within. When you’re able to do that, you truly succeed because there is no such thing as a special idea, but there are special people.
Full House! The Musical! kicks off in Toronto on Aug.18 and is headed to New York on Sept.7.