Reichen Lehmkuhl seems to have done just about everything. A captain in the Air Force, reality TV star extraordinaire and now host of his own talk show. He talks to Queerty about his experience on E!’s Kill Reality and those pesky Clay Aiken rumors.
What was the experience on E! Television’s reality show Kill Reality like for you?
At first, I thought it was going to be fun, but then it kind of turned into a saga revolving around just a couple people in the house and no one else. That’s when all of “our people” turned off Kill Reality and watched other things on TV, unfortunately.
Was the set really as wild as it is rumored to have been?
Yes, it was more wild than you could ever imagine, but my lips are sealed. Reality stars have money–more than you think–and I don’t want to get sued for defamation. 🙂
There’s talk you have a nude scene in the upcoming DVD of The Scorned, the movie Kill Reality documented the making of? How okay are you with nudity? Would you ever do full frontal?
Yes, I show my ass in the upcoming movie, The Scorned (premiering on E! on Halloween night), but only in the DVD version that you can buy. The TV version will not show it, or at least that’s what they’ve told me. I’m in the shower, washing myself, and soap is running down my back down ontoâ€¦well, my ass.
I guess that happens every time I take a shower. Just this time it was filmed in a motion picture. I’m okay with nudity, but most aren’t, and I would not show full-frontal to the public for that very reason.
After the jump Reichen talks about his ex, new talk show, and American Idol Clay Aiken.
You’ve done your own calendar, you’re writing a book, your own talk show. How does it feel to be a brand name?
It feels good to be a “brand name.” Sometimes it overwhelms me to think of how many people are around me to keep the “brand” together. Agents (I have four now), an attorney, an assistant or two, a publicist. All of this is necessary, and I STILL don’t think I’m that big of a name. I can’t imagine what full-on celebrities deal with, but I’m hoping to find out. It’s my personal obligation to make my name count.
How do you respond to the rumors about a sexual relationship between you and Clay Aiken?
Clay and I have never had sex. And you can bet the farm on that.
What is your relationship like with ex-partner and fellow Amazing Race winner, Chip Arndt?
We are friends and have agreed to always help each other out, especially in times of need. We have been talking on the phone more often lately, but he lives in Miami and I continue to live in Los Angeles.
What was it like serving in the military as a gay man? Did you encounter much homophobia?
I didn’t really admit to myself that I was gay until my Junior year of Air Force Academy. After that, it was very scary to think of getting “caught” writing to a guy or even having a relationship with one. (and I had a couple with some cadets and officers alike, despite the the Bush Administration’s fantasy that we don’t need gay people in the military. The whole thing would fall apart without gay people.)
Do you have advice for gays currently serving in the military who might be reading this?
Yes. If you’re confronted, do nothing, say nothing, sign nothing. Call the folks at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN.org), the lawyers who will defend you for free.
How did your new Q talk show come about?
The Reichen Show (Tuesdays on Q Television Network @ 2:30pm Pacific) came about by the Sr. Executive VP of the Network taking a liking to the Radio Show I was doing on TheFishBowl.com called Coming Out With Reichen. In fact, the producers of The Reichen Show series were steered by the network execs toward a bit of a Radio Show theme for my new TV show…even though it’s on TV.
Expect celebrity guests, ground-breaking gay news and issues, and some sure-to-be surprising moments when I reveal the REAL me.
What is it like doing a live show?
I LOVE IT. I have this tiny thing in my ear that you can’t see, from which I hear constant talk and direction from producers about timing, callers, commercials, camera angles, subject changes, etc. I have a teleprompter in front of me for the small amount of scripted material on the show, a live interactive chat room with fans of the show, and a LIVE production, which makes me even more anxious and crazy. All of it together equates to my giving it my all and making it work. The first episode premiered on National Coming Out Day on 11 October. It could not have gone BETTER!