Leslie Jordan has had quite the midlife career as an actor-comedian on stage and film (Southern Baptist Sissies, Sordid Lives) as well as TV, most notably on Will & Grace, for which he won an Emmy Award as Karen's arch-nemesis, Beverly Leslie. He also authored the well-received autobiography My Trip Down the Pink Carpet. Jordan has more recently adapted his life story into a one-man theatrical tour, which had a successful run Off-Broadway and in several other cities it has played.
If you don't live in one of those cities, though, you can now enjoy Jordan's performance in the comfort of your own living room. My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, which was recorded in Atlanta, is out on DVD this week from Breaking Glass Pictures. It further confirms Jordan's penchant for self-deprecating humor as well as his great integrity as an openly gay recovering alcoholic trying to survive in Hollywood.
In the film, Jordan shares accounts of his unbridled upbringing, the most shockingly hilarious of which is when he details the long-term phone sex relationship he had with the town "pervert" while posing as a teenaged girl. He also shares stories about numerous celebrity encounters he's had since his arrival in California, including a young George Clooney, Mark Harmon, Faye Dunaway, the late Robert Urich and the reportedly well-endowed Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee fame. Jordan also recounts such surreal experiences as playing a monkey in a Japanese commercial alongside a camel-riding Boy George, and going on a panties-shopping excursion for actress Beverly D'Angelo.
My Trip Down the Pink Carpet is directed by Amanda Bearse, an actress-director perhaps best known for the 1985 horror film Fright Night and for playing Marcy D'Arcy on Married ... with Children. She came out as a lesbian in 1993. The film is only so-so technically, with apparent dubbing of Jordan's lines at a couple of points. As long as Bearse, though, keeps the camera firmly focused on her star's remembrances — by turns rambunctious and poignant — she and the film don't go wrong.
Reverend's Rating: B+
Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.