Bridget Everett Is One Bad Mother In “Patti Cake$” And “Fun Mom Dinner”

The alt-comedy cabaret star feels like “the luckiest girl at last call."

Bridget Everett, a chardonnay-scented breath of fresh air on New York’s cabaret scene, has finally gone Hollywood.

Tough and tender like a hard-living hussy with a heart of gold lamé, the chesty chanteuse has been busting out into the mainstream, opening for pal Amy Schumer on tour and appearing in Schumer’s eponymous Comedy Central series. But Everett is exploding this summer with major mommy roles in two movies, the indie hip-hop drama Patti Cake$ and the star-studded female buddy comedy Fun Mom Dinner.

Bridget Everett
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The 45-year-old Kansas native and karaoke queen breaks down how boobs, booze, and gay boys helped her make it bigger on the big screen.

You’ve been an alt-comedy cabaret staple in New York for more than a decade. Have movies always been part of your game plan?

No, I just hoped people would keep letting me do live shows. I can’t believe what’s happened in the last couple years, but I’m blown away and incredibly grateful. I feel like the luckiest girl at last call.

Has Hollywood changed you?

Oh, I’m such a cunt now. Don’t even talk to me. [Laughs] No, I’m the same person, but I do have a small dog that I carry around in a purse.

Patti Cake$/Jeong Park/Fox Searchlight

You’re often asked about your famous friends and fans like Amy Schumer and Patti LuPone, but I just want to know if your new A-list connections have led to any celebrity hookups.

Not recently, but I promise to stay the course and get some more good work done, if you know what I mean.

You studied vocal performance, but you don’t have acting training or a great deal of film experience. What was it like to tackle such significant roles in Patti Cake$ and Fun Mom Dinner?

My stage persona is so large and wild, like a feral cat. Then I come onto these movie sets that require a completely different set of skills, and I did not have them. But these people asked me to be in their movies because they wanted me there, so they were willing to be patient and get me to where I needed to be.

You’ve had memorable small parts in Trainwreck and on shows like Girls and Lady Dynamite, but your first film role was “Drunk Party Girl,” one of Carrie’s potential assistants, in the 2008 Sex and the City movie. What do you remember about shooting that scene at Starbucks with Sarah Jessica Parker?

I was shitting my pants, but she was so lovely. I’d just done a show in New York called At Least It’s Pink with Michael Patrick King. He actually wrote that part for me, but I still had to audition. He was like, “I wrote this for you, so don’t fuck it up.” It’s weird how life has evolved, because I just co-wrote a pilot with Michael and Bobcat Goldthwait called Love You More, which comes out on Amazon in September, and now I’m friends with SJP.

Sex and the City/New Line Cinema

Have you gotten used to the glamorous life?

I still pinch myself all the time. I got to work with Cathy Moriarty in Patti Cake$ and I’m such a big fan of hers, specifically in Soapdish. She came over and jotted her number down while I was doing my hair and makeup test. I was like, “You probably shouldn’t give that to me because I will be calling you—and often.”

You also worked alongside big names like Molly Shannon and Toni Collette in Fun Mom Dinner.

I was so intimidated by Molly Shannon, I was convinced she hated me, but she’s the nicest person in the world. And Toni Collette glows like one of them Twilight people. Honestly, it never starts to feel normal because it’s all happening to me so late in life.

At 45, you skipped the ingénues and went straight to playing moms.

Well, I never would’ve gotten to play the princess anyway. It’s a little weird, though. I’m like, “You guys know I don’t have one maternal bone in my body, right?” But it all comes down to love, really, so sometimes I just pretended I was talking to Poppy, my dog.

Fun Mom Dinner/Momentum Pictures

Those familiar with your edgy stage act know you as the mother of a soon-to-be-aborted singing fetus. Did these mom roles awaken any maternal urges?

No. I did almost adopt another dog recently—a Pomeranian in a little wheelchair—but I just can’t be showing up at the airport with two dogs.

Melanie in Fun Mom Dinner is a type-A suburban mom. Barb in Patti Cake$ is an alcoholic Jersey divorcée who gave up her dream of being a rock star when she got pregnant with her daughter, an aspiring rapper. Could you relate to these women?

Melanie reminded me of my stage persona, because she’s buoyant, full of love, and she wants everybody to be happy. But I also related to Barb’s bitterness, frustration, and loneliness, because I lived through those feelings for many years while my career wasn’t going anywhere. Also, my parents had an ugly divorce, so after seeing my mom live through that pain, I definitely understood where Barb was coming from.

Much like you, both Barb and Melanie enjoy doing karaoke, particularly Heart ballads.

That was so surreal! Doing karaoke was me living the dream for many years, and now I’m doing karaoke in movies? It’s crazy. But, you know, that’s who I am—a girl who likes to hang out in a bar and sing a couple songs.

Patti Cake$/Jeong Park/Fox Searchlight

Unlike you, a loyal chardonnay drinker, Barb jumpstarts her night with Jäger shots and Melanie orders three fingers of Scotch.

Let me just tell you that those were very specific character choices. A big part of building those characters was knowing what they drank.

The Fun Mom Dinner credits feature some of your awkward teenage photos. When did you blossom into the confident, bodacious woman we see before us?

I’m still working on it. I don’t like to look at old pictures where I’m too thin—my friend says that TBT should stand for Thin Back Then. I do love the way I look now, and I think I’ve got great tits.

Why do you think you’ve always attracted such a large gay audience?

I don’t know, but I’m so grateful. Without the gay audience’s support, I wouldn’t have a career. I feel like gay men respond to a wild woman who’s at home in her own body. But I don’t think about it too much, because I’d never want to start catering to anybody. I just want to be myself, and I hope everyone keeps enjoying the ride.

Fun Mom Dinner is in theaters and on VOD August 4; Patti Cake$ is in theaters August 18.

Celebrity interviewer. Foodie and Broadway buff in Manhattan. Hates writing bios.