What a Dame

The toughest part of being an international megastar? "Being in that very high income bracket," admits Dame Edna Everage, who has put in more than her share of hours for her dollars and pounds. On the heels of co-hosting the Queen of England's jubilee concert, appearing on Ally McBeal, and traversing the U.S. in Dame Edna: The Royal Tour (a Tony Award winner), the Australian dynamo is back on the road showering her fans, or "possums" as she calls them, with "gaiety, good humor, warmth, and caring" in A Night with Dame Edna -- The Show that Cares. "It's not a performance. It's a real woman, thinking out loud in public," the Dame explains, wondering if she should "do some of the show in Spanish." Taking a respite from counseling royalty and troubled fellow megastars like Martha Stewart, Dame Edna chatted with New Times on the phone from London.

New Times: You once said that America is going to be the next Australia. What do you love about Americans?

Dame Edna: I have no difficulty in communicating with them. Americans know I'm not talking down to them. I can meet them on a level of equality. There is something slightly, well, Floridian about the way I dress. When I went to Palm Beach, the women in the audience were exactly the same as me, except not as well-dressed.

Have you ever been to Miami Beach?

I've been there privately because my son [and frock designer] Kenny, who really pioneered Art Deco in Australia, is very interested in, well, South Beach and that area. In fact he has a lot of friends who live there and in the Keys.

Would you ever consider doing a reality show like the Osbournes and Anna Nicole Smith?

Well, if I was desperate, I would. But I think people love me for my mystery. I've always managed to keep that in spite of the fact that I'm a very public figure. And people always feel, we know her and yet do we know her?

What's the best advice you've given the British royals?

Don't take yourself too seriously. The queen has a sense of humor but it's very, very submerged. She only has a very limited range of expressions and not all of them are very cheerful.

Speaking of the queen, can you explain why she carries her purse everywhere?

Well, it's a computer. It's a very, very elaborate device really. It's self-destructing.

So there's a button in there?

And there's a laser. She can slice you to bits.

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Nina Korman
Contact: Nina Korman