Fran Drescher is in D.C. again, so the question is – is she an actress today, or a lobbyist?
And you might say – well, um, there’s a difference?
Since both politics and showbiz depend so heavily on strong narratives for leading characters, the skill sets of each overlap conveniently.
“Being executive producer of ‘The Nanny’ gave me experience on how to run a company and turn it into something,” says the Queens native (yes, that is her real voice). “And I’ve applied it to this, coming up with an idea and turning it into a movement.”
That would be her dedication to raising awareness and improving screening of gynecological cancers, which she knows all too well, being a survivor of one. Her nonprofit org, Cancer Schmancer, pretty much single-handedly fought for congressional legislation aimed at ensuring that women’s cancers are diagnosed early, when they are most treatable.
The bill was signed into law last January, but she has been coming back to Capitol Hill regularly ever since to make sure it receives adequate funding.
Hence, the reason she’s in town again and why she’s being feted at the posh eatery Teatro Goldoni, deep in the heart of K Street’s blue-suit corridor.
“Washington is really the bigger stage because what happens here is so important and has so much impact on us all,” she says. “If a studio makes a stinker of a movie, no skin off our noses. But what happens here really matters.”
Assuming you can cut through the old-boy machismo that still weighs down some corners of congress.
“I remember when we were still trying to get the bill passed,” Drescher says. “I was sending e-mails to all the senators saying, ‘Let’s not make this a battle of balls, otherwise women will lose.’”
—By William Triplett in Washington.