We recently spoke candidly with one of our all-time favorites, out-comedian, actor and activtist, Alec Mapa (Facebook, Twitter) about Winner Takes All, the gay community, activism and his family life. Winner Takes All will be featured at the Hollywood Fringe Festival on June 23rd and June 24th!
Winner Takes All depicts the ideal of gay beauty and its potential for abuse by narcissistic personalities. The film explores the nature of narcissism and the way it applies to the “looks” hierarchy in the gay community. The film marks a departure for Mapa, who plays a suffering assistant caught in the web of a seductive, self-important theatre artist.
Bambi Weavil: How did you get involved with Winner Takes All? What attracted you to the role of Simon?
Alec Mapa: Hunter was generous enough to call me and offer the role of Simon. I was flummoxed because I usually have to audition for everything but I was attracted to the role because I know what it’s like to be completely infatuated with the wrong person. That was my biggest hobby for most of the 80′ and 90′s.
BW: What I like about Winner Takes All is it addresses the narcissism, manipulation, and competition over Ryker, which is a mirrored reflection of what society promotes in the first place. You work in the entertainment industry where those three characteristics aren’t always left on the cutting room floor….how do you stay grounded in such a competitive industry?
AM: It’s REALLY important to have a life outside of show business that completely nourishes you spiritually and emotionally. I made a decision that I couldn’t really consider myself successful unless I had that. I worked a lot when I first started out but I had no personal life and that made me feel dead inside. My husband and son are my first priority and there’s nothing more grounding than having a family. I’m so grounded, I might as well have an anchor around my neck.
BW: At some point, I think every person in the gay community spectrum especially can identify being involved in a toxic, co-dependent relationship at some point in their lives. What do you think attracts us to what we shouldn’t be involved with?
AM: Sh*tty self esteem. I grew up feeling awful about myself for being gay, so I always had to have a hot boyfriend in order to feel good about myself. It didn’t matter how rotten he was, I had to be with someone in order to feel like I existed. I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s pretty much what attracted me to all the wrong people. After a while I realized that the common denominator in all those car wrecks was me. I had to be alone for a very long time to figure out I deserved to be loved. That took a LONG time.
BW: Winner Takes All premiered at the 35th Annual Atlanta Film Festival – that had to be very exciting! Were you able to personally attend? Have you been to Atlanta before? Anything in Atlanta you’re looking forward to visiting?
AM: Unfortunately, I missed the Atlanta premiere but HOTLANTA is one of my all time favorite places. I have very good friends there and I absolutely think it’s a fabulous place.
BW: You have an active Twitter following and this tweet caught my eye: “If everyone who ever used a gay slur was fined $100,000 we would end this recession.” Really, that’s so true. How much longer do you think the gay community is going to continually allow the constant hate speech, the flip-flop of Donald Trump’s gay rights stance and the constant denial of gay rights to stop being an everyday reality for all of us?
AM: Homophobia can only exist in the presence of ignorance. But on some level I like believe that that kind of hate is eroding because for it to persist is just so cancerous.
I don’t care how religious or conservative you are, when you see those folks waving GOD HATES FAGS placards at military funerals you have to know that that is the face of pure evil. Every decade the pendulum swings back and forth between intolerance and acceptance. It’s gonna keep swinging back and forth until homophobia is just as socially unacceptable as racism.
BW: You’re a tireless supporter of so many non-profit causes – what are some of the most passionate causes you’re involved with currently that you’d love to tell our audience about?
AM: Foster Adoption!! My husband and I adopted a five year old boy we fostered and creating a family is the happiest thing we’ve ever done. There are 500,000 kids currently in foster care and all they want is a permanent home where people will love them. We found our son through the Southern California Foster Family Adoption. I cant imagine life without my son. He is the love of our lives. Anyone who would rather let a kid languish in foster care rather than have a loving stable home is a monster. That means you Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Shame on you.
BW: We both have our Filipino culture in common, how does it influence your life? How do you feel the Filipino culture embraces the gay community? How can I not ask you about the cultural effect of Manny Pacquiao?
AM: I know I’m flipping because I never feel like I have enough food when I have guests. If a Filipino invites you over to eat bring stretchy pants. Filipinos are very Catholic, but everyone has GLBT relative. Everyone. Usually love wins out. My dad is so gay for Manny Pacquiao. They should get married.
BW: You’re a proud husband and father – what do you love most about what each of them bring into your life?
AM: My husband and son keep things very real for me. My husband is my best friend and he’s a production coordinator for RuPaul, so we’re both circus people. I’m a better person because of my husband. He’s the kindest most honest person I’ve ever met. My son makes me a better person too because parenthood demands Patience, and that’s never been my strong-point. I wake up and go to sleep every night in love. Not the gooey kind of love, but real I’m f*cking exhausted but I’ll still do right by you love.
BW: Can you give us a sneak peak of any projects you’re working on now?
AM: Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure on Disney Channel! Fun for the entire family! Sparkly and Pink and I’m in it! Premiered May 20th!
BW: Finish this sentence: Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” album cover reminds you of….
AM: A motorcycle mermaid.
BW: Any thoughts on the soap shutdown with All My Children and One Life To Live?
AM: What is daytime TV without Susan Lucci!