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Jacki Weaver Related to ‘Stage Mother’ Role in Many Ways: ‘I’ve Been Queen of the Gay Mardi Gras’

Jacki Weaver Stage Mother
Jacki Weaver in Stage Mother.Momentum Pictures

The many layers of Jacki Weaver! In the upcoming film Stage Mother, the Academy Award nominee, 72, portrays conservative choir singer Maybelline who takes over her estranged son’s drag bar when he suddenly dies. Although the story is complicated and complex, Weaver was hooked immediately.

“When I read the script, it just felt very close to my heart. I am a member of the LGBTQ community for a straight lady,” the actress exclusively says in the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now. “It spoke to me.”

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Weaver noted that she’s from Sydney, Australia — “one of the gayest cities in the world” — which actually helped prepare her for the part.

“I’ve been Queen of the gay Mardi Gras,” she tells Us. “They hardly ever let a straight person do that job, but my husband and I [Sean Taylor], we love going to drag. We’ve always loved drag. The first drag I went to, I was only 16 years old. It was a nightclub, I shouldn’t have been allowed in, but I had a boyfriend at the time who was a famous rock star, so they let us in.”

That’s not the only part of the character that the Silver Linings Playbook star relates to. Weaver had a religious upbringing — she was even part of the church choir and taught Sunday school! — and has an adult son of her own.

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“I have this fantasy about a young person who hasn’t come out yet to their parents, taking their parents to see the movie, and then it being easier for them to have a heart-to-heart talk about it. So it spoke to me on that level,” the Much Love, Jac author says. “I love a story that’s got tragic elements, as well as hilarious elements because that’s what life’s about. I’m old enough to know that even sitting around a deathbed, you can be laughing sometimes. I thought it was a beautiful story.”

The film, which also stars Lucy Liu and Adrian Grenier, highlights both the drag culture and a church-going group — without pushing one over the other.

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“I think it’s important not to make judgments,” Weaver adds. “When you’re telling stories, it’s important to show everyone with their flaws and their good points.”

For more on Stage Mother, pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly. The movie debuts on demand on Friday, August 21.

With reporting by Travis Cronin

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