Johnny Weir Talks to Movieline About Skating Politics, Lady Gaga and Life After the Olympics


As an Olympic athlete, you obviously get certain advantages that other levels of athletes don't get but now that you're becoming a celebrity too, what added perks are you now discovering?

Oh, absolutely. I'm getting so much more support from not just the fans of figure skating but celebrities and people in the celebrity world have been amazing. I mean, I just sat today with Joy Behar and [member of the Real Housewives of New York City cast] Jill Zarin and Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin. They all know who I am, they all support me. They all say, "Johnny, you were robbed!", and that is an amazing thing. I'm going out to the Independent Spirit Awards this week -- as well as the Oscars -- and Rachel Zoe is going to help dress me. I'm getting all kinds of crazy things and perks.

Most winter Olympic athletes disappear after a few weeks of press following the games. You have your show on the Sundance Channel and I know that you are contemplating fashion design. How else do you plan to build the Johnny Weir empire?

I definitely want to keep skating and performing, and that is something that I'll never want to give up because I love it so much. If I want to compete, and I have the power and the strength, I will keep on competing. I'm definitely not ruling that out. But I want to further my education, and I've love to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and learn the basics of fashion and design. I'd like to really build my business and really conquer the world of fashion.

[Olympic gold-medalist skier] Lindsey Vonn just announced that she will guest-star on an episode of Law & Order. Would you consider acting?

I feel like it is very clichéd for Olympic athletes to go into acting because they think they can, but I legitimately think that I could act if the right part came along. I have had some offers and it's just something that if I feel is right, I will do. But I don't think I have any distinct future in acting. I'd like to try it once or twice but in general, I think fashion is the way for me to go.

From watching your show, I know that you have a tight inner circle -- with your mom, your coach, your publicist, your friends -- and they are all giving you different advice and feedback. How do you deal with all of these different voices around you?

I like to consider myself a somewhat clever person so I definitely know what will work best for me and what is the smartest decision for me. Even if not everyone agrees, I like to have opinions from my team but in the end, everything is decided by me. I am very good at micromanaging and every part of my life is decided by me. I've never wanted to be in a situation where someone else is in control of my destiny.

I read in your Vanity Fair article that you are friends with Lady Gaga. What did she have to say about your performance at the Olympics?

Well, I keep in touch mostly with her mom through my agent because Gaga is so busy and I'm so busy. It's very hard to keep in touch all the time but I was getting messages of good luck and love and support. You know, I respect and am so inspired by what she does. She has, of course, seen me skate and loves what she sees. She loves when I skate to "Poker Face" and things like that. One thing that I was really disappointed with was that I told Gaga that if I did well at the Olympics, I would be able to perform at the exhibition and I would perform to one of her songs.

She said, "Oh my god, I would definitely fly out to the Olympics and I will cry if you skate to my song in the exhibition." So I was really disappointed that I didn't get to do that but again, it's really political. I was in sixth place; you need to be in the top five to skate exhibition. They needed to have a Canadian in the exhibition, so the Canadian was bumped ahead of me. That is stuff that I cannot control. But Lady Gaga is a huge inspiration to me, and her support means so much.

It wasn't ideal or even fair, but you will continue to be a great example of perseverance for your fans.

Well, I'm at the point in my career where I do really take the ice every time I perform for my fans. The support that they have given me over the years has kept me skating, kept me inspired and pushed me to be the best that I can be for them and for everybody that is right there with me when I compete.

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  • Velvet Crush says:

    Johnny Weir is the definition of elegance, both on and off the ice. Thank you for inspiring me with your wit, artistry, and perseverance.

  • stolidog says:

    He'd be an awesome inspiration if he chose to become a PETA spokesperson. Until

  • Jamie says:

    I love Johnny Weir even more after reading this, and I didn't think that was possible. He is such a rock star. God bless him.

  • Save Skating says:

    It's wonderful that Johnny Weir can take comfort in the crowd reaction (his "gold medal"), but the fact remains that the performance of the night at the 2010 men's Olympic competition was trashed by the judges for political reasons. For the record, Weir landed exactly the same number of triple jumps (and in very similar combinations) as Evan Lysacek, who won. The difference is that Johnny did them much better, more smoothly, with better takeoffs and landings. For that he was buried in 6th place.

  • thatgirlinnewyork says:

    lovely interview. it's heartening to read a line of questioning that doesn't challenge someone like weir to dis his fellow skaters or otherwise provide catty fodder. you've managed to allow johnny his humanity, something we can all appreciate.
    that said, when people like stolidog (previous comment) insist that johnny isn't redeeming unless he renounces fur or works for peta, it's rather disingenuous. do you feel you're winning anyone over with the bullying and violence? and do a hypocrisy check, please--if you're eating meat, wearing leather, a down-filled coat, or taking pharmaceuticals, these are all produced at the expense of an animal's comfort. equally, take a look at your carbon footprint: are you driving, buying packaged foodstuffs, cleaning your home with chemicals, or eating gmo produce? then you're contributing to the degradation of the planet for both humans and animals. the more you cut down your fellow human beings, the fewer humans there will be to protect the earth and animals you love--and we need both for peaceful coexistence.

  • stolidog says:

    I'm sooooooo bored with this....
    if you really, really think there are similarities between wearing leather and wearing mink, so be it.
    As far as I recall though, cows aren't skinned alive for their hides. Certainly, Foster farms and KFC do attrocious things to chickens, which is why I don't eat them, but that's beside the point.
    The point is that factory farming, while disgusting and vile, is the only way millions upon millions (and billions upon billions if you count the whole world) get meat, which is considered by most people to be a necessity.
    A coat made of clubbed and skinned-while-still-alive baby harp seals is not really in the same catagory of what's needed to survive.

  • Joy says:

    It's my experience that you can have all the human support in the world but at the end of they day the things you lost or didn't win still sting a lot. Johnny Weir has a lot of support here, from me and others, but I know that I would still be hurting if some silly political thing kept me from getting what I deserved. Especially if that was a friggin Olympic medal. So I don't feel like there's much I can say that will really make anyone feel better, other than I hope you rise all the way into stardom and I keep getting to see your face on the magazines in the check outline at Wallgreens. 😉
    And, guys, people have been skinning, eating, killing, and basically hurting animals for centuries. Go back and kick your ancestors or something and leave this guy alone. I honestly believe that if animals have the brain capacity to understand that their situation is wrong they would have done something about it themselves. Do you really think there are a lot of animals that would hesitate to kick your butt if they even felt threatened by you? And I had a horse step on my foot once, for no other reason than I was in the wrong place at the wrong moment. There doesn't have to be a good reason to hurt something, it happens anyway, every day. There are a whole lot of problems with our world and that is only one of them. Petroleum comes from the remains of dinosaurs, you know. Think about how many times your use oil based products a day. And you don't know if that dinosaur died painfully and even if it did, would you refrain from putting gas in your car of you had to get somewhere? The animal kingdom is based on a different rule than ours is nowadays: kill or be killed. I think we forget that a lot, and think that since we have more brain power, we are obligated to be better people. We aren't obligated, and we don't try to be better anyway, not in most things. Maybe it makes you feel morally more secure, but personally I really just don't care. I'll nom upon all the animal hides I want to, because that's my personal choice. You don't get to decide anything for me.

  • marcela says:

    Johnny is a spokesman for Childhood Obesity for the 'nPLAY Foundation so his involvement in charitable efforts is amazing!!!

  • pearl says:

    thank god you don't get to decide anything for the rest of us. I love Johnny Weir, but to get this upset and vitriolic in defense of his use of fur is sad. In your eagerness to defend our treatment of animals, you actually have trotted out most of the urban legends about them. Why not put all that indignance to good use and educate yourself. There is no shortage of information, much of it accurate, on the internet. Do your homework and take a deep breath before you get back up on your soapbox.

  • Yi says:

    Did you actually read the whole article and writing this STUPID comment?

  • Yi says:

    Did you actually read the whole article and writing this STUPID comment?

  • Anon says:

    Stephani had performances during the same time as the exhibition so she couldn't have made it there anyway. It's not like she can be two places at once. And she knew this way before she made a promise to Johnny to come see him. I know Stephani and she was just being nice. I adore Johnny. Just wish he would see it for what it is and stop acting so naive and just get over it.

  • hank920 says:

    Someone's comments here about eating meat as a matter of survival..THINK again.. People have for millenia and can survive without meat. If you want fur, you should be made to go out and hunt it down for yourself. If people were meant to have those things, they should be obligated to capture it in the wild and prepare it themselves. The other problem with meat is the way it has been mismanaged by the Monopoly of meat processing companies, right down to chickens. Rent the movie FOOD, INC. and see for yourself.The only reason we are not dying from old contaminated meat recently is the companies soak it in Ammonia first before packaging. Evan Lycseck wore feathers, and I am sure no bird died for him to have them. I applaud Johnny Weir for not bending to the establishment. But this is not about Leather or fur, its about Ice Skating and Johhny Weir.

  • MLD says:

    If you know Lady Gaga, then you'd also know how her name is actually spelled. Nice try.

  • Superior info. Appreciate it a whole lot. For sure, often it would seem we are keying in towards cyber-breezes…. then, a person can leave a comment that in some way connects someone to the outside world and you just know you have a community.

  • You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I've been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you're an inspiration to me and i'm sure many others!

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