Cher: “Donald Trump is a thug”
CHER shares her thoughts on that orange fellow she trolls on Twitter, disco naps before Mardi Gras, the 20th anniversary of Believe, Mamma Mia 2 and, crucially, her favourite emoticon. You're welcome.
You're in Sydney to play at Mardi Gras. Is there any truth to the persistent rumours of a full Australian tour being announced?
I'm not sure.
That's not a no ...
I can't say.
OK, how do you condense a 50 plus year career into 18 minutes for Mardi Gras?
I'm just picking the best songs.
That's a tough call
I know. You just figure out what everyone loves and you try to do those ones.
So Believe, If I Could Turn Back Time ...
You got two of them right.
You probably won't be on stage until 3am. Are you a night owl?
I actually am. I'll probably take a nap but it won't make any difference, you run on adrenaline. It will work fine.
How seriously do you take being a gay icon?
I've always been quite happy to be a gay icon. Especially gay men, they either love you or don't even know you're on the planet! I've known gay people since I was young, my mum had tons of gay friends, women and men. I just always took it in my stride.
There were some health scares surrounding you last year - how are you now?
Good. I've been working like a crazy woman. I worked in Las Vegas, then went to Washington, we flew home on a Sunday night, got up the next day and did all my errands then was on a plane to Sydney the next day.
So you're hardly at death's door then ...
I was never at death's door, OK. That just sounds better than 'Oh, she's not feeling well.'
You sent a message saying 'We won' about Australia getting marriage equality when you announced your Mardi Gras performance. Did you follow the campaign?
We know what's going on here. And people tell you.
That's the beauty of Twitter.
I actually like Twitter quite a lot. People were Tweeting me about it. I know what's going on.
You're brilliant on Twitter and fearless when most celebrities are beige or let their assistant Tweet for them. Does it ever get you in trouble?
Yes. I take very few Tweets down. I could count on 10 fingers and maybe have two left over as far as Tweets I've deleted. But there are many, many I want to remove. I tried to do it the other day, I'm going to have to sit down with someone and take some of them off. Some of them are too over the top, some are too stupid. For the most part I do think it out after I've done it and then it's pretty much too late.
TRUMP👶 WOULDN’T PUT HIS MAMMOTH ASS IN DANGER IF THE”MARINES”HELD HIS HAND‼️He said he turned his back on man who got a cut at mar a Lago....Said it was disgusting.I made decision twice. it’s a bitch & there’s nothing Heroic About it. last time Meryl Ran,I saiid💩.& Ran 2— Cher (@cher) February 27, 2018
It's been a good outlet for you to vent about Trump, is it therapeutic for you?
Yes. You can do other things, but when you have a President that is not burdened by the truth it's very difficult. We hate him. There's nothing to like about him.
Your friend Kathy Griffin got into a lot of trouble when she mocked him and she said the Secret Service got involved. Have you had anything like that from criticising almost daily?
No. He blocked me early on. He tweeted me a couple of times, I said I can't imagine that Lincoln or Kennedy or FDR or any great President would have taken time to Tweet me when they had a country to run. Then he blocked me.
Did you know him before he got this job?
I was at a party where he was once, but I don't think I would have gone out of my way to meet him. And he probably wouldn't either, I'm not his type of girl.
You Tweeted a lot about gun control in America after the Florida massacre. Do you think things will ever change?
There are a lot of people who have had enough of it for a very long time. I'm not one of the people who think people shouldn't be able to own guns. It's our right to do it. But when they wrote the second amendment it was about owning guns to fight off wild animals and hunting for food and they were muskets. They could have never imagined it being about assault weapons. My brother in law was a fireman; he and I have gone to the shooting range and had a great time shooting targets, but I'd never hunt anything. I don't believe in that. I think there's not enough control on guns. There's way too many guns in America. No good can come of that. You can buy one at a gun show, you don't have to have any background checks. There needs to be many more restrictions.
Trump lawyer pays off PORN STAR WHILE trump’s WIFE WAS PREGNANT,OR HAD JUST GIVEN BIRTH.HE HAS NO LOYALTY,& NO MORALS‼️— Cher (@cher) February 14, 2018
LADIES,THIS IS THE WAY HE TREATS HIS WIFE,THE WAY HE TREATS WOMEN‼️I DONT NEED A HOUSE 2FALL ON MY SISTER 2KNOW HES TRASH & MELANIA SHOULD #TakeHisAssDown
Trump wants to arm teachers. Thoughts?
First of all they have a hard enough time doing their job without supplies. Then you're going to arm them with weapons? Also what he said about how he'd run into the school without a weapon, I was crying with laughter. Literally, tears were coming out of my eyes. He had had four or five deferments because he had bone spurs - he can still play tennis - but he didn't go into the Armed Services. And then there was that first telephone call he had where he bashed your Australian Prime Minister, I was thinking 'Oh my God, they've always been our allies! Are you crazy?'
What's it like watching the world getting more conservative?
My friends, people I know, and many people around the United States, are not ridiculously conservative. Everyone has their right to have an idea. But this right wing insanity makes no sense. It always manifests in not doing anything for other people. They don't want people to have Medicare, a million things. He's now trying to get rid of food stamps and give people a box with canned meat and no vegetables or fruits. That I will come out against with everything I have. I was in all the marches. I was in the march the night he became the President. I never call him the President, I call him trump, all lower case. He's lower case for me. He's a thug.
What's your take on the #metoo movement?
I don't know one woman who hasn't had some portion of that problem. It's so late, but at least it's here.
Well, I'm not going to go into that. But I don't know one woman who hasn't been harassed. It's not just physical, there's many forms of harassment.
This year is the 20th anniversary of Believe.
Oh my God.
That's a good thing isn't it? The song is timeless
Yes it is, it's just a long time ago. You forget. You think 'Oh my God, that was so long ago and I was old then!'
People obsess about your age (71). Does that bother you?
I don't like it. It doesn't bother my mother who's 91. She always says 'If you don't pay any attention to age it won't pay any attention to you'. I don't subscribe to that theory. When I talk about my age on stage people clap and I still don't know why they're clapping. Would I rather be 40? Of course. And I don't believe any woman who says otherwise.
Madonna says the entertainment industry is still ageist towards women.
It's true. But you're asking me how I feel. Women can say or feel however they want so God bless them.
You're still at the top of your game though
That's true. I'm always surprised I can get up on stage and run around for 90 minutes and have a good time and that I can still sing.
You're in the new Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again sequel, what ABBA songs are you singing in that?
Fernando is one. And Super Trouper. It was so different for me. I'd never done a real musical before but the people were so much fun, and the director was so brilliant and Meryl (Streep) was there, so it was a joy.
Any more movies on the horizon?
There's two. One that I hope to direct, it's so stupid, all actors say that, but this is a movie that I've known pretty much since I was young. I saw it and it just never left me. I think now is the time to make a great remake. And am I going to tell you the title? Absolutely not.
Will you be in the next series of Will and Grace?
I think they'd like me to come on it. I wouldn't turn it down.
Again, that's not a no ...
There are a lot of things I won't do, but if something sounds like it will be fun then I'm going to think about it and if there's time then I'm gonna do it. I wasn't planning to do Mamma Mia. My old agent, who is now the head of Universal, just called and said 'Cher you're doing Mamma Mia 2 and hung up'. I can't say no to him and he knows that.
Is the musical based on your lifestory The Cher Show still in the pipeline?
I'm working on it constantly! More than I ever thought I would. I think it's going to be good. They're difficult, you're always polishing and polishing and polishing.
Can you still do your five minute plank?
Yeah. I can't do it every time but I can do it. I was actually surprised I could, I was totally flabbergasted the first time.
You got papped in Sydney and said you still own hats that have lasted longer than boyfriends?
(Laughs) Someone said something about hats and I was looking at photos of how strange my hats always were and I was always with a different boyfriend, so yeah, that's me.
It's been five years since your last album, are you working on any new music beside the Mamma Mia songs?
I am, but I'm not going to tell you about that either.
How are the Vegas shows going?
Great. If they weren't I'd tell you that too but they are. I love it. I love the arena there, it's so wonderful. It's like a baby arena, people are allowed to get up and dance, they can come to the lip of the stage, the vibe is great.
Finally, you love an emoticon on Twitter, which is your favourite one?