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John Cameron Mitchell On His “Shrill” And “Good Fight” Characters: “Gay Assholes” Are The Price Of LGBT Assimilation

“The price of acceptance: queer Republicans!” Mitchell joked. “Queer goddamn Republicans!”

Posted on May 2, 2019, at 1:02 p.m. ET

Allyson Riggs / Hulu

John Cameron Mitchell, best known for the films Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus, has been all over our TV screens lately — albeit not in roles that have particularly endeared him to viewers.

The actor has been playing "two horrible gay bosses": in the Hulu series Shrill, also starring Aidy Bryant, and in another guest appearance on The Good Fight, playing a "Milo Yiannopoulos clone," that's set to air Thursday night.

"I'm returning by public demand to torture Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo, who has the best name in TV," he teased in an interview on BuzzFeed News' AM to DM on Thursday.

The actor said he has been overjoyed to play the villainous boss to Bryant's character, Annie, in Shrill, a body-positivity comedy-drama based on the memoir of writer Lindy West.

"Somebody's got to be horrible for sympathy to be laid upon Aidy Bryant," he said of his role as Gabe, the "former grunge performer" who "probably had a band" but now serves as the tyrannical editor of a Portland, Oregon, blog where Bryant's character toils away without notice.

"It's a fun role to play," he said.

James Reddington/BuzzFeed News

The real Lindy West used to work at the Stranger in Seattle under editor and sex columnist Dan Savage, but Mitchell said he didn't base his character on him.

"I wasn't thinking about [Savage]," he said. "I personally didn't read that part of the book because I didn't want to think about it."

Mitchell said he was set to meet with the show's producers Friday to discuss the show's next season.

"I'm going to meet with them on Friday to talk about where my character's going, which shows don't usually do," he said. "They just kind of kill you off and make you do stuff. This is female led. It's the best bosses I've had."

He's also been a big fan of filming in Portland, which he described as "a great town."

"It's different from the LA or New York vibe," he said. "It's more like, 'How are you feeling? What do you want to do?'"

"You know, assimilation, the price of that is? Gay assholes. Trans assholes. The price of acceptance: queer Republicans." – John Cameron Mitchell on his "The Good Fight" and "Shrill" roles

Mitchell, who is currently promoting his podcast musical Anthem: Homunculus, said he's found a knack for playing "terrible people...my worst gay nightmares."

"Because, you know, assimilation, the price of that is?" he joked. "Gay assholes! Trans asshole!

"The price of acceptance: queer Republicans!" he said, laughing. "Queer goddamn Republicans!"

Watch the full interview with John Cameron Mitchell below:

Full interview: John Cameron Mitchell stops by #AM2DM to talk his new podcast "Anthem: Homunculus," "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," and playing terrible bosses on #TheGoodFight and #Shrill

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