Burlesque performer and ex-wife of rocker Marilyn Manson, Dita Von Teese, 34, is lending her status as a sexual icon to promote the Independent Flim Channel’s “Indie Sex” series – a documentary exploration of sex in film – which premieres this week. She dished to the Resident on the best sex in movies, where to go lingerie shopping in New York, and how it feels to be adored by Hollywood’s poison-penned blogger, Perez Hilton.—Cotton Delo
How did you come to be involved in the IFC “Indie Sex” series? How does it feel to be the face of the ad campaign?
DVT: They asked me to be! As a fan of the IFC, I immediately agreed. I am thrilled to represent this campaign because of its unapologetic approach to sex and sexuality in film. I’m proud to be a part of such a provocative and daring project. I suppose it mirrors my burlesque shows in a way.
What are your favorite erotic films of all time? Which films have you drawn inspiration from for your act?
DVT: Well, most of my shows are inspired by movies from the 1940s and ‘50s, and there wasn’t much sex involved back then onscreen. Because I am performing a strip, it’s more important for me to be less blatant about the sexual content of the acts to offset the nudity. I like the combination of innocence and the strip, because with too much sexual innuendo, it becomes predictable. But I have lots of favorite sexual moments in film … “The Postman Always Rings Twice” has some hot sex scenes, and so do “Queen Margot” and “Henry & June.” I tend to go for films set in the past because I love a flash of stocking and garter!
Do you come to New York often? Are there any particular lingerie stores you recommend?
DVT: Every so often … I like shopping at Kiki De Montparnasse (79 Greene St.) for sexual accoutrements.
Do you have any performances lined up here in the near future? What are your favorite local venues to perform in?
DVT: I love performing in theaters the best, places that have some kind of history to them and feel like a real burlesque stage. I don’t have any plans to perform in New York at the moment, but my upcoming performances are always listed on my Web site dita.net.
How do you think New Yorkers’ attitude toward sex differs from people on the West Coast?
DVT: No, I think any kind of generalization with regard to people’s preferences and behavior is unfair. The only thing I can say is that we all love sex for the most part, and it sure is fun to watch our favorite actors show us what they’ve got on film.
How has your act evolved over the years? Are you still doing the same things now that you did when you started out?
DVT: I’m essentially doing the same kind of show I’ve been doing since 1991, only each show becomes more elaborate. I am constantly trying to one-up myself to make it interesting for me and for my audience. I’ve been performing burlesque – good old-fashioned striptease – for a long time, but I definitely have evolved.
You frequently appear on Perez Hilton’s page, and he has nothing but good things to say about you – quite different from his treatment of other celebs. Is he a good person to have in your corner?
DVT: I’m absolutely thrilled to have him on my good side … I don’t know what I did to get there, and believe me, I make an effort not to do anything stupid in public for fear of the wrath of Perez! It’s not that hard, actually. Just have some decent manners! Don’t drink and drive or act like an ass in public. I guess this is harder for some than others.