There is a specific type of Southerner that does not get nearly enough attention, and it is the old Southerner who has seen some shit, since dried up in order to fly right, and has therefore lived to describe that shit without sparing any details. And perhaps no one is a better example of this type, who can monologue for five hours and never spend one second being boring, than Leslie Jordan, reigning storytime king of Instagram.
Jordan’s interview with The Guardian should really be read in its entirety, but if you only have a few moments, here are the highlights:
On sharing a cell with Robert Downey Jr.:
“It was while serving time for three counts of driving under the influence in a year, in 1997, that he says he crossed paths with the then down-on-his-luck Robert Downey Jr. “They came to me and said: ‘We don’t have any room for him, he’s downstairs waiting, but we can’t let you out until 2am.’ It’s a rule in California, that you can’t let a drunk out until after the bars close.” So the pair became cellmates for a short period until Jordan could be released. In 2001, they met again while filming Ally McBeal, but Downey Jr couldn’t place him. “He said: ‘Didn’t we? Are you?’ and I said: ‘Yep, 152, pod A, cell 13, you was top [bunk], I was bottom.’”
On being pranked by fledgling prankster George Clooney:
“He remembers a more pleasant run in with George Clooney, while filming the 1992 police procedural Bodies of Evidence. “He’s the prankster. I was on a diet and he got tired of hearing about it, so he went to the wardrobe people and told them to take my pants out by about two inches everyday. So my pants would be hanging off and I’d come in and tell everybody: ‘The inches are just falling off with this new diet.’ By the third day, I was like: ‘It’s just a miracle.’”
And finally, on spitting at Gary Busey because he was hangry and the Big Brother house was “a dump,” while also managing to utter the words “Fuck Ryan Murphy”:
“He says his hypoglycaemia turned him into a monster – at one point, he spat on the actor Gary Busey – and he wasn’t surprised when he was voted out in week two. Before I can finish asking about his financial remuneration, he jumps in: “I’ll tell you exactly how much – it was $150,000. I said to my agent: ‘I can’t be trotting over to London, I’ve been offered American Horror Story with Ryan Murphy,’ and he said: ‘Listen, the initial offer is $150,000,’ and I said: ‘Fuck Ryan Murphy, I’m in.’” Two years later, he made his American Horror Story debut anyway.”
Please read the whole thing, and tune back in during the month of April when I will almost certainly be here effusively praising Jordan’s forthcoming memoir How Y’all Doing and my editor, Julianne Escobedo-Shepherd and I will be dueting a review of Jordan’s imminent album of duets, which includes pairings with Dolly Parton and Eddie Vedder, whom Jordan says he met though a Secret Service agent friend via the Obamas because of course he did.