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July 31, 2014

'Drop Dead Diva' Guest Star Clay Aiken On His Role & Not Watching 'American Idol'

by Michael Maloney, posted Jul 23rd 2011 2:45PM
Clay Aiken on Drop Dead Diva 'Law & Order: SVU' isn't the only show to make plots out of real-life headlines.

On this Sunday's 'Drop Dead Diva' (July 24, 9PM ET on Lifetime), Jane (Brooke Elliott) represents a teenage lesbian couple after the two are denied the right to attend their high school prom. The show's writers were inspired by the true story of Constance McMillen, a lesbian teen who successfully sued her Mississippi high school for the right to bring her girlfriend to prom.

In a concurrent storyline, guest star Clay Aiken plays a man who was jilted by his Russian mail-order bride.

But the 'American Idol' alum isn't the only openly gay guest star in this episode, titled 'Prom.' Wanda Sykes, Lance Bass and Amanda Bearse ('Married With Children') also play roles, as does McMillen in a cameo as a bailiff.

Aiken, who's kept a low profile this year, explains to AOL TV why he took this role, what he hopes the show's message will accomplish and, surprisingly, which highly-rated reality competition TV program is not on his DVR.

How did your guest spot on 'Diva' come about?
They'd asked me before to be a part of it ... I wasn't able to get into town because I was doing 'Spamalot' in New York. But we kept the door open. When they called back this time, the storyline was a bit more resonant with me because it's based on a true story. After Constance sued for the right to take her girlfriend to the prom, [the school] canceled it. I think the show's goal in casting myself and other known individuals who are out and gay was to make people, who may feel excluded and are watching, see that we're a symbol. We have Lance, Wanda, Amanda and myself who are on the show and we are all out, gay, proud, successful and happy.

Do you sing in it?
I do not. It's nice to be able to do something different. It's one of the few times where I haven't played myself. I've done several TV shows where I have. The 'Drop Dead Diva' producers said to me, "You can play yourself and/or you can sing." I said I didn't want to do either of those things so they gave me this character, which I think is a little more interesting than I am! [Laughs]

Clay Aiken, 'Drop Dead Diva'Do you want to do more acting roles?
I may plead the Fifth on this one ... I loved being a part of it. The people on this show are incredible and I enjoyed making new friends. I also loved being on 'Spamalot' on Broadway. I'm a live performer. That's where my heart is. Being on Broadway is what I enjoy the most.

What else is keeping you busy?
This was actually the only thing I've done this summer. I toured early in the year. I wanted to spend time with my family and my little one [son, Parker Foster]. I've made that my goal for the next several months, [but] I miss working a little bit.

Any thoughts on how 'American Idol' has successfully reinvented itself?
I have watched 'Idol' in six years. I always disappoint interviewers when they ask me 'Idol' questions because I haven't seen it in so long. I don't even know what it looks like!

'Drop Dead Diva' airs on Sun., July 24 at 9PM ET on Lifetime.

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gobluespartyon

Pretty good interview with Clay I have always liked Clay.

July 24 2011 at 2:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
skar919

I'm a new DDD fan and its tonite. I'm excited to see Clay Aiken again.

July 24 2011 at 2:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jcdramey

Looking forward to seeing Clay on DDD. Love the show and the interview.

July 23 2011 at 5:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Becky

Great interview! I can't wait until this episode airs!!!

July 23 2011 at 5:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kta5050

Can't wait to see Clay in DDD. Great show! :)

July 23 2011 at 5:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
htt96

It's really nice to see Clay broadening his horizons and taking on an acting role portraying someone other than himself. I think he would do brilliantly with a TV role and hope this will be a stepping stone in that direction. He's very intelligent and articulate and I'm looking forward to seeing him on DDD.

July 23 2011 at 4:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Bonnie Rugar

I love the show and am looking forward to this episode. Wanda is a gem, Clay is a great guy, and the cast of this show is so good. I haven't seen Lance Bass is a long time, and this will be the first time I've seen Amanda Bearse.

July 23 2011 at 4:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
boots

Love the interview and love watching DDD now thanks to Clay.
I started watching when I learned he was going to guest star on it.

July 23 2011 at 4:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Michelle Francis

Nice interview - thanks! And, he sure is right, Clay Aiken was born to be on a stage. Broadway or concert, he just shines! Am really looking forward to seeing him in DDD. I've watched the show from the beginning and am glad to see him in an episode.

July 23 2011 at 3:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
skyebleu

Good interview. Interesting that Clay wants to do different things, but always returns to loving to perform live. He needs no script for that.

July 23 2011 at 3:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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