Johnny Weir Talks to Movieline About Skating Politics, Lady Gaga and Life After the Olympics
After each Winter Olympics, American athletes typically get two weeks of residual attention before they disappear back into obscurity. That is not the case for Johnny Weir, the flashy figure skater from Coatesville, Penn., whose star has only grown brighter since the games ended on Sunday. Weir's docuseries, Be Good Johnny Weir is just over halfway through its first season on the Sundance Channel, and the skater, whose disappointing sixth place finish last week was largely believed to be political, is busy planning his future in skating, fashion and television.
Moveline caught up with the Olympian after a whirlwind day of press to discuss his experience with reality television, his friendship with Lady Gaga and the one clichéd performance that he still wants to try.
Congratulations on your performances in Vancouver. You've been doing so much publicity since Sunday. Does this even feel like a break from the Olympic schedule?
Absolutely not. I've been up and running since 5:30 this morning. I went to bed last night at 4 in the morning. I got up and went right to Regis & Kelly this morning, and I've been running around New York all day today. I think when we get to the beginning of summer though, I will have some time to myself.
I can't believe that Larry King asked you about your fierceness. How did you keep yourself from cracking up?
[Laughs] I did crack up! I mean Larry King, the cutest little old man there is, saying "fierce."
You kept it under control though.
Oh yeah. I mean, nothing shocks me anymore. I've embraced men in thongs, I've embraced women with padded bras. I mean, I can embrace Larry King saying "fierce."
Regarding Be Good Johnny Weir, you've talked about how you want your audience to see how lonely the life of an athlete is. But did making the show -- and having cameras around you all day long -- make the experience any less lonely?
No, because when you're in front of a camera, no matter how comfortable you are, you're always working and you're always "on." It's work. It's not like I'm relaxing in front of the camera really. The life of an athlete does have to be lonely and you have to be focused on your craft and what you do. Loneliness is just a sacrifice you make as an Olympic-level athlete.
Did you like the experience of filming the show overall? Would you do another season?
Well, we're actually talking now about perhaps doing a second season about how I transition into more of a normal lifestyle that isn't leading into the Olympic games that year. If I'm skating, if I'm performing in shows, if I'm competing again -- everything is kind of up in the air right now, but I definitely would be involved again. I think it is important for young people to see other young people on television doing something positive with their life, making positive changes and growing. I don't think there is enough of that on TV. I mean, we've got Jersey Shore, and I don't know what that teaches young kids. I've never watched an episode but I've heard it's uh, quite a show. There are just a lot of things like that on television that are not necessarily empowering to young people, and I want my show to be that kind of beacon for them.