Margaret Cho has been involved in a variety of projects throughout her career. Margaret started out as a standup comedian eventually bridging into television and movies. Margaret currently plays the role of Teri Lee on the show “Drop Dead Diva” and recently appeared on “Dancing with the Stars”. Media Mikes had a chance recently to talk with Margaret about working on the shows and what she has planned for 2012.
Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your experience working on “Dancing with the Stars”?
Margaret Cho: It was pretty tough. I am not a particularly competitive person and I was also touring at the same time we were shooting. The whole time we were shooting I was trying to think of ways to disqualify myself without people knowing. (Laughs) I knew they weren’t going to drug test me so that idea was out. (Laughs) I had a good time hanging out with everyone but over all it’s not really fun or anything. I attended many tapings of this season to cheer on Ricki Lake, Carson Kressley and Chaz Bono. In general it’s pretty tough. Every time I go and watch it’s a real relief to know that I don’t have to dance.
AL: What were the rehearsals like?
MC: I have danced all over the world as I do burlesque and belly dancing. I really enjoy dancing. The schedule was very intense and I was out on the road touring. My partner would meet me on my bus and we would end up dancing in places like laundry rooms. We would show up to the tapings in the morning after sleeping on the road and it was just very difficult to manage.
AL: Do you prefer doing television and films over stand up these days?
MC: I love it all. I will always do standup comedy but I do love acting as well. I think it’s really amazing to be able to transform into different people. Ultimately standup comedy is my true passion. I also like doing music as part of my comedy as well.
AL: Recently you have started performing more music. What was it that really sparked your interest in doing so?
MC: I have been going to shows and have been around musicians for as long as I have been doing comedy. I think comics often become very close to musicians because of our similar life styles. I wanted to do a project that involved that side of my life with people that I really love to work with. That’s how my record was made.
AL: Can you tell us the story behind your love of tattoos?
MC: The people who worked for my father at his book store when I was growing up were all getting tattooed in major ways by people such as Ed Hardy. When I was 12 I didn’t have friends so the workers would tell my dad that if I ever got tattooed I would have friends. That kind of stuck with me my whole life. I started getting tattooed rather later in life around when I was 35. I knew that I was always going get tattooed. I am pretty much completely tattooed now except for the areas you see on camera. I have a great love for artists in the genre and I am good friends with a lot of them. I find it very pleasurable to get tattooed.
AL: Can you tell us about your recent appearance on “30 Rock”?
MC: I played Kim Jong-IL. Tina Fey and I have a lot of friends in common and it was really nice to meet her. I love the show so it was a nice thing to be able to do and a great honor. I have always wanted to play Kim Jong-IL as oddly enough I really sort of look like him. I had a great time playing that role however I was very stressed at the same time. There really is no way of hearing what he sounded like because of his image being so tightly controlled. It was tough so I based him on my mother. (Laughs) It was bitter sweet to play him. The only representative of that country that we have is him which is very disturbing.
AL: Can you tell us about working on “Drop Dead Diva”?
MC: I love it! It’s so fun and the cast is really close. I am very proud to be a part of the show. I’m not sure what’s going to happen on the upcoming season but I am curious to see how things will play out. The new season should start airing around June.
AL: What type of plans do you have for 2012?
MC: I will be going back to work on “Drop Dead Diva” starting in February. When I am doing shooting I am going to be doing a few tour dates. Near the end of the year I will be going back to England for some time before I return to Atlanta. Things will be pretty busy. Filming for “Drop Dead Diva” takes up a lot of my time so I have to cram a lot of things into the year’s end. But I love working on that show.