Lea DeLaria on “Iceland”, Dream Roles, & Jewish Girls

Lea DeLaria in "Out of Iceland". Photo by Richard Termine.

In a world of cookie cutter show biz types, Lea DeLaria is a truly one of a kind. From her boundary-busting stand-up act to her Broadway-barnstorming (and Drama Desk nominated) debut in On the Town, she has blazed a career that includes acting, writing and singing while remaining true to her  outspoken, “Bulldyke in a China Shop” attitude. And we wouldn’t want her any other way. [Which should be fair warning that the following interview includes more than just a little salty language; Victorian maidens beware.]

Now, she’s back on the New York stage in the romantic comedy Out of Iceland, as a mythical imp (don’t call it a “Troll”!) who adds a twist to the proceedings. Just before the show opened, she shared her thoughts on her swinging London life, her dream roles and the joy of kissing Brooke Shields.

You hear a character described as a “flamboyant Icelandic troll who crawled out of a television” and I’m not sure you think, “Lea DeLaria, of course!” Seriously, what was your response to hearing about this unusual role and what convinced you to play the part?

OK the “TROLL” thing is really starting to annoy me; I DO NOT PLAY A TROLL!!!! I play a “HIDDEN PERSON”. Hidden People in Iceland are like Leprechauns in Ireland. Hidden People HATE trolls, we hate them. So to be clear that description is incorrect and both the author and I are losing our minds over it. Once I read the script I could see an unusual quality to this play. It is a romantic comedy with a twist and I play that twist. What’s not to like? The character I have created is a combination of Bugs Bunny, Beetlejuice and Grouch Marx…so, the comedy is broad and old school and I get to ad lib.

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