Cher sat down for a wide-ranging interview yesterday with Anthony Martin on CBS Sunday Morning, discussing music, aging, her mother (the subject of tonight’s Lifetime documentary, Dear Mom, Love Cher, and other topics. Of course the Dark Lady discussed her true-blue queer fanbase and why she wouldn’t dare set foot in Russia. (You reading this, Elton John?)
Mason: You got an offer to play at the Olympics in Sochi. You turned it down?
Cher: Well, back channel offers are kind of the way they do it. And so I got an offer to do a couple of different things, and I have to tell you, I have such wonderful Russian friends — the most lovely people, just unbelievable. And so it was hard to say no to them, and I have great fans there. But you just can’t cross that line.
Mason: Which line?
Cher: The gay line. (laughs) You just can’t.
Mason: You can’t?
Cher: No, you can’t. As much as I would have wanted to do it, just to do something at the Olympics and be an American ambassador or sing or open or whatever. I would have liked that. It never came before, and it probably will never come again. But as much as I love my friends there, I just couldn’t do it.
Mason: Did you think about it for long? Or was it obvious?
Cher: No, I wished. (laughs) I was excited for a minute, and I think I didn’t realize how horrible it was. But you just can’t go there. But I have to tell you, my gay following has kept me in the old days alive, you know, when no one else came to see me. You know, you’ve checked on me; I’ve had really bad times.
Mason: They’ve always been there?
Mason: Did you hear from them? Did anybody know you were considering this?
Cher: I don’t know. No, I guess it just came out when I talked about it. I don’t even remember talking about it. I actually should have kept my mouth shut. Just, if someone asks me a question, I have such a hard time not answering it.
She also discussed her image and when it first emerged.
Mason: Somebody asked you once if the ‘Cher persona’ was a burden. And I think you said something to the effect of, it’s so inextricably intertwined with me—you can’t separate them?
Cher: Yeah. I’m not sure. What is the Cher persona?
Mason: Well, what do you see it as?
Cher: I don’t know. Is the persona, I run around naked and I’m frivolous and go out with young guys?
Mason: I don’t know.
Cher: I mean, there’s a lot to me, but I don’t know what that is. What is a persona? It’s not who you are that you pretend to be?
Mason: Do you think you’ve ever consciously tried to create an image apart from yourself?
Cher: You know, I was Cher when I was four. I’ve elaborated a little bit. (laughs) But I was Cher when I was four. I haven’t changed that much. Taller!
Oh Cher, don’t ever change. Actually, it seems like you’ve got that covered.