Friday, March 30, 2012

March of the Hot Vegan Army - Day #30 - Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming

Know him from: This Scottish star of stage, screen, and film first came to greater prominence in the U.S. as a Broadway phenom in the show Cabaret. He has also appeared in a number of movies and tv shows since then. His recent role on tv's The Good Wife has earned him a series of Emmy and SAG award nominations. Some of his other tv credits include Sex and the City, The L-Word, Frasier, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Robot Chicken. His movies include Emma, Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, James Bond flick GoldenEye, Spy Kids, Circle of Friends, Nicholas Nickleby, Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, a role as Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United, voice work in Garfield and The Smurfs, and a movie Cumming co-wrote called The Anniversary Party. Alan also launched a line a fragrances with a cheeky nod to his last name, called "Cumming."

Why he's vegan: Cumming has been a vegetarian since 2010, due partially to his dislike for meat, but also for reasons of health. He says that the hormones and additives in meat, and the potential toxicity of fish, have convinced him to avoid these products. But he has publicly credited Mike Tyson's switch to a vegan diet as his instigation for going "whole hog" to completely animal-free foods starting in January.

Why he's awesome: One of my first introductions to Cumming was through his appearances on Late-Night with Conan O'Brien, back when Conan was filming in NYC. I always loved to hear that Cumming was going to be a featured guest because he was just so laugh-out-loud hysterical. He is raunchy, rude and gratuitous, and still manages to have this childlike fun and innocence about him - even when he is saying something barely airable on television. For sure, neither Conan nor I could ever keep a straight face. Seriously, if Alan Cumming is ever being interviewed on something, take some time and watch it. He's a riot, and he seems to be saying everything completely off the cuff.

The funny thing is that Cumming has played many very serious roles in his career, and he attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. He has even done Shakespeare. But he definitely is not the sort of actor to put on any "airs" about the roles he takes. The guy's got a definite and irrepressible sense of humor and liveliness, and it just kind of makes me happy to hear or see him in the media. I think of him as one of those people who are young at heart, which is always a good way to be. I mean, heck, he tweeted "Get ye back, seitan!" when he decided to become vegan. I can tell you, most vegans will always appreciate a seitan joke...

So Mr. Cumming, willkommen to the Hot Vegan Army. I think you will have absolutely no trouble keeping us all from being too serious and not having fun. Veganism is certainly not about repressing anything or being deprived, and I think you'll remind us all to follow our bliss as well as our consciences. We all hope you won't be "going" anytime soon. :-)

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