FRESNO, Calif. — Grayson Perry, an author, actor and visual artist who has been known for dressing as characters ranging from the Tigger from Winnie the Pooh to the Count from Julius Caesar, spoke with The Associated Press from his home this week about his controversial views on Trump and American culture.
Perry, who has dressed as characters such as Tigger and Julius Caesar in his films, sometimes starred in art exhibitions and painted his own portraits, reflected on his latest book, “A Life,” which he co-wrote with fellow artist John Barber.
“A Life” is expected to be a series of books and videos in which Perry will give short, friendly lectures to the audience about his theory that groups of right-wingers are more friendly with other groups than liberals.
“People don’t know how this can work,” Perry said of his approach to Trump, in which Perry defines his political ideology as a “far right” faction predating the Republican Party and including many of Trump’s Republicans.
Perry said he believed Trump has been “dominated by the advance of corporate interests and people trying to sell things that they can sell.“I think he doesn’t actually listen,” Perry said of Trump. “He would do something and then I think he would make a passionate speech on one of the things he was doing. Maybe the speech did impact him a little bit, but I don’t think it affected him that much, if at all.”
Perry has acknowledged having gay sex in his youth. His defining character in the recent documentary “Ladybug and Flea” is a dude in leather slacks who conducts a gay porn film.
Perry’s latest book “A Life” is an interview book that is intended to be a history of the first-person letters he received from political figures.“A life,” he said, “is more boring than fiction” and is intended as a “beautiful record of American life.” “I sort of knew I wanted a historical record,” Perry said. “I don’t think politics are cool anymore. I’m a novelist and a storyteller. I got a solid career kicking ass without trying to be involved in politics.” Perry is a minority. The issue of Hollywood diversity was on the minds of many at a literary event hosted by the Los Angeles Times last week. Actress Lea DeLaria drew a loud round of applause when she quipped that “Harry Potter movies were partly better than The Hunger Games.” Perry said that, like the Hunger Games and other popular literature, “most Hollywood movies are scripted to make money.” “I think the best scripts in the world are coming from writers who don’t want to be a money grabber,” Perry said. “I think the best play or great novel is going to have a clear political message.”