Since her latest album “Cuz I Love You” dropped last spring, Lizzo has been everywhere. She performed at Coachella (with her trusty flute named Sasha), rocked the Met Gala in a cotton-candy pink gown and sat next to Sandra Bullock at the MTV Movie and TV Awards. Over the weekend, she sang “Truth Hurts” at the BET Awards and earned a standing ovation from Rihanna. And in September, she appears in “Hustlers,” a drama set in a strip club with Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B, which will inevitably make Lizzo an even bigger star.
On Wednesday night, Lizzo belted out a 45-minute set in New York at a Pride concert sponsored by American Express. “Pride is not just a holiday,” the 31-year-old singer told the screaming crowd between her songs. “It’s a lifestyle. When I look outside and we see all the celebrations going on, I didn’t see this when I was growing up. This is progress. You should all be proud.” She talked to Variety backstage about her year, what’s next and why she’s an ally for the queer community.
What does it feel like to be Lizzo right now?
Pffft! There’s a thong rammed into my ass right now, so deep that it’s brushing up against my bone. If I cough, the tip of my ass, my anus, brushes against the thong. It’s happening right now.
Is that a metaphor for something?
No. It feels pretty good.
Why is it important for you to perform at Pride?
I guess it means a lot of things. It means that people want to have a good time, they want to celebrate and they want to do it in a safe space. My shows are very inclusive safe spaces for everyone, especially marginalized people, more specifically the LGBTQIA+ community.
Do you have a message for the community?
Nah. They got their message. The message is loud and clear. It’s called Pride, not hide. Everybody, more than ever, is wearing their hearts on their sleeves and wearing their messages on their backs. I think we all know what’s up. We all can feel it right now. It’s time to represent and it’s time to persist and keep going. There’s progress to be made and we’re moving forward.
Are you an ally or a member of the queer community?
Are you a member of the community?
Yes. I’m gay.
Oh s—! So I was doing this interview [when this same question came up], and I was like, “Are you gay?” He was like, “No, but some people might think I am.” He looked at the camera and was like, “If my wife is watching this…” I would never push somebody out, but I couldn’t believe it. It was an opportunity and he took it.
I’m an ally, but you know what? Here’s what I’m going to say about sexuality. I think what we knew about LGBT, and then LBGTQ, and then LGBTQ+. There are so many more wonderful letters to add to the spectrum. In the future, we’re going to be like, “This binary box we were put in was really restricting.” I was raised in a world where you only had a few options and you chose that option. I, of course, lean heterosexual. I think that penis is incredible. You can agree?! But I also think it’s unfair to the human existence to limit the spectrum of what you’re capable of sexually.
How did you feel to have Rihanna stand up for you at the BET Awards?
I don’t know, man. It was so cool. Everyone wants to know what it feels like to have Rihanna stand up. I didn’t know she was there until the end. I saw the seating chart, but I was like, “She ain’t going to be out there during my performance. There’s no way.” And when I finished and she was standing there clapping, I was like, “What?” I haven’t met her. I didn’t talk to her. For me, it still feels like a GIF on Twitter.
But you did meet Sandra Bullock at the MTV Movie and TV Awards. There was that photo of you that went viral.
Sandy was there. Tiffany Haddish was there, too. And Tiffany goes [to Bullock], “It’s nice to finally meet you.” And I go, “Right?” Because it was like damn, everybody wants to be friends with “Miss Congeniality.” I leaned over to agree with Tiffany: “It’s finally nice to meet you.” I never felt that way about nobody, but for some reason it felt real comfortable to say that to Sandra Bullock
What can you tell me about your movie “Hustlers”?
Coming to a theater near you. I’ve seen some of it. It’s going to be very sexy. I turn it up. Everybody else had training. I had no dance training. So I’m really out there wobbling.
Did you improvise?
I was just twerking in the strip club. I did what I had to do.
Would you like to do more movies?
I think if the role is right, if the time is right and if the check is right.
I heard a rumor that you might be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So you aren’t going to be in “The Eternals”?
Bitch, what? What the f— is “The Eternals”?
It’s a new Marvel movie. I heard they were interested in you.
Who would I play? Maybe they are talking to my people, but not me. Now I want to be in the movie. Whatever comes to me is supposed to come to me.
Do you do all your own social media?
Yes. Who else would do it? I do my own social media. And I do Sasha’s [the name of her flute, which has an Instagram account called @sashabefluting]. I run her page. Yeah, she’s a f—ing lazy ass bitch. She sits in her case all day, like, “Can you post a video of me?” And I got to come up with the captions.
Your song “Truth Hurts” just went platinum.
I am platinum. I love being platinum. I worked so hard. It’s for a song I put out two years ago, and it was a song I really believed in and wrote when I was crying. It was such a pivotal moment in my life. I feel like it was destiny that it was my first platinum song ever.