Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Jai Rodriguez: From Queer Eye To Queer Ear
by Jesus Desire
2007-11-01

This article shared 3663 times since Thu Nov 1, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


by Jerry Nunn

For years, people have known Jai Rodriguez as one of the quintet that is featured on the TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Now, as the series reached its last episode, Rodriguez talked about the show, languages and his future.

Windy City Times: Hi, Jai. I gave you a call to talk about the big finale for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Jai Rodriguez: Yeah.

WCT: You sound so sad.

JR: We have been away from the show for a year and, for us, it is bittersweet. It was weird that we didn't have a special show to sum it all up.

WCT: I interviewed Ted [ Allen ] before and he said everyone is busy with side projects all the time.

JR: Yeah, a lot of these projects are from what people did before. It's using Queer Eye for a springboard for that.

WCT: Well, you have many things going on that I want to talk about. You were born in New York, correct?

JR: I was born and raised in Long Island in a very strict born-again Christian family. So you probably would not have guessed that I would get my start playing a drag queen dying of AIDS on Broadway. The first official word that I was gay was when Queer Eye aired.

WCT: So that is how you came out: through the show?

JR: In a very, 'Hello world, I am here!' There could have been speculation before Queer Eye but when the whole world knows, you can't really take it back.

It's interesting that my family has stepped in because my mother doesn't understand it but loves me and knows that there is nothing I can do to change it. Any kind of support from her is a huge step.

WCT: You are Puerto Rican and Italian descent. How many languages do you speak?

JR: One. With my last name, people are constantly speaking Spanish to me, so I am conversational with that. I recorded a song in the studio with Emilio Estefan and thought I was so good and he was like, ' Jai, I couldn't teach Shakira English in one day and I am not going to be able to teach you Spanish in one day, either!'

WCT: You have a big theater background. What was your favorite role that you played?

JR: I did a play in Lincoln Center with Hope Davis. There was no music to support me, just straight acting. On camera, I liked being on All My Children and playing a young dad. That's always fun, having babies on soap operas and you are gay.

WCT: I can imagine. What was your audition like for Queer Eye?

JR: It was very strange. I was told it was a new Bravo show and they wanted me for this hosting thing and would be the nightlife expert. I went in to the audition and to my right was a brightly dressed blonde guy and to my left a gay Buddy Holly. I thought they were auditioning for the same part. I later found out that Carson and Ted were there to throw me off my mark and see if I could keep up. I took that as a personal attack and I was very sassy and witty. That turned out to be what they were looking for. My agent called me and I started the next Monday.

WCT: So, it happened that fast?

JR: For me, yes, because I was the replacement.

WCT: What was the most challenging part of being the cultural guru?

JR: I think, for me, [ the most challenging aspect was ] that I was so young and did not have a cultural background. I was figuring it out as the cast and producers were figuring it out. Culture? What the hell does that really mean? I felt like I didn't have enough to do. And sure enough, the reviews came out and they said [ I was the ] 'weakest link.' I felt it was not my fault since there was no script to go by. After season one, they made it point to give me something to do with purpose.

WCT: What has been your favorite makeover?

JR: My makeover. I started the show as one person and completely left as a different person.

WCT: So Queer Eye has changed your life, too. What will you miss most about the show?

JR: The chemistry that we all had. I don't think we understood that until we moved on to other projects. I am also going to miss the paycheck and the times that we all had together. We were a family—a dysfunctional family—but a family none the less.

WCT: So what are your upcoming projects?

JR: I was just on [ the F/X TV show ] Nip/Tuck. I also have a new show on The Style Network with Daisy Fuentes called Ultimate Style that starts in November.

WCT: You have a new song that just came out.

JR: It's on airgomusic.com and on my myspace.com . Actually, I am dying to have a reason to come back and perform in Chicago.

WCT: Well, we can look forward to that.

JR: Thanks. My Nip/Tuck episode airs in December and the final season of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is currently on Bravo.


This article shared 3663 times since Thu Nov 1, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

STRUT marks World AIDS Day with 14th Annual Fashion Show 2023-12-05
- On Dec. 3, John Fleming and Madman Productions presented the 14th annual STRUT fashion show at Joe's on Weed Street, 940 W. Weed St. As in previous years, the standing room only show was a fundraiser, ...


Gay News

Chicago Red Stars down Houston 3-0 2023-08-06
- In local pro women's soccer action, the Chicago Red Stars closed the UKG Challenge Cup play in historic fashion with three goals all assisted by defender Casey Krueger, blanking the Houston Dash 3-0 on Aug. 5 ...


Gay News

Stefanie Clark reflects on life as a both a fashion model and senior advocate 2023-06-15
- An oft-repeated quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald—usually taken out-of-context—suggests that "there are no second acts in American lives." Local activist—and, as of lately, model— Stefanie Clark has been putting a ...


Gay News

Viktor Luna moonlights once again on Project Runway 2023-06-14
- Out and proud fashion designer Viktor Luna returns for more challenges in the upcoming season 20 of Project Runway. The Emmy Award-winning competition series has assembled 14 designers from its past, with Christian Siriano serving as ...


Gay News

Chicago House welcomes spring with 'Secret Garden' event 2023-05-12
- On May 7, Chicago House presented its annual spring fashion brunch, this year titled The Secret Garden, in the Winter Green Ballroom of the Harold Washington Library. The annual event, which some now regard as the ...


Gay News

Billy Porter discusses his fashion choices, personal ambitions 2023-01-30
- Billy Porter—the Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner—needs no introduction—especially to the many fans of his character Pray Tell on Ryan Murphy's hit TV series Pose. Coming up exclusively in theaters Feb. 3, Porter will star as ...


Gay News

WORLD Murder suspect arrested, Israeli official, conversion therapy, couple's win 2023-01-08
- Kenyan authorities arrested a suspect in the death of fashion designer/LGBTQ+-rights activist Edwin Chiloba after his body was found dumped in a metal box by the roadside near the town of Eldoret, according to CNN. Last ...


Gay News

Annual STRUT event shines spotlight on World AIDS Day 2022-12-07
- On the evening of Nov. 4, the annual STRUT fashion show celebrated its 13th edition at Joe's on Weed St. As in the past, STRUT shined its spotlight on up-and-coming young fashion designers while raising funds for ...


Gay News

Chicago History Museum holds special screening, panel discussion 2022-11-07
- The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum presented a special screening of the Youtube Originals series Supreme Models: The Documentary and a panel with an array of A-list fashion industry panelists. Among the participants were ...


Gay News

Chicago History Museum to host 'Supreme Models' screening Nov. 4 2022-10-19
- The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum will host the official Midwest screening of Supreme Models and an exclusive in-person celebration on Friday, Nov. 4, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at The Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark ...


Gay News

FashionBar hosting Chicago Fashion Week, PFLAG conference 2022-10-01
- Fashion Bar announced that it's hosting Chicago Fashion Week. The shows will take place Oct. 16-23 at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave. Additionally, FashionBar will host the. PFLAG Northern Illinois conference at Water Tower ...


Gay News

Chicago Fashion Week taking place April 24-May 1 2022-04-19
- FashionBar, LLC announced Chicago Fashion Week will take place April 24-May 1 on the third floor of Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave. Some of the shows will include "Emerging Students" (April 26), "Trans, Media ...


Gay News

Designs for Dignity gala on May 19 2022-04-19
- Designs for Dignity's annual fundraising gala, "Spirit of Design," will take place Thursday, May 19, 6-10 p.m., and will celebrate more than 20 years of impact on Chicago's nonprofit community. The event will take place at ...


Gay News

Chicago Fashion Week April 24 to May 1 2022-04-05
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — FashionBar, LLC is pleased to announce Chicago Fashion Week powered by FashionBar LLC, scheduled from April 24th to May 1st at Water Tower Place on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. FashionBar is proud to celebrate this ...


Gay News

LGBTQIA+-focused talent group launches in Orlando, Chicago and Miami 2022-03-31
- Orlando-based experiential marketing company, 82 South, Inc., has launched MODE (Made on Diversity and Equality) Talent Group this month to promote LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented talent for bookings in fashion ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.