Leslie Jordan Talks Instagram Fame & His Viral Quarantine Videos

Leslie Jordan continues to be the Instagram star the world needs right now.

The 64-year-old has always been known as a beloved actor with standout roles in shows like Will and Grace and American Horror Story, but he’s recently risen to fame on the social media platform for his daily broadcasts. These often-viral videos include everything from showbiz stories to singing and dancing, though they all aim to lift the spirits of anyone who’s feeling down as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

Leslie checked in with E!’s Jason Kennedy on an Instagram Live for In The Room on Monday, where he explained that until recently, he didn’t even know what the words “viral” and “monetize” meant. In fact, when one of Leslie’s videos took off, he described a friend calling him to say, “You’re viral!” only for him to respond, “No, honey, I’m fine. I’m here at mamma’s…I don’t have that virus.”

And even though monetizing content is the name of the game on Instagram—especially for those with millions of followers, which Leslie has recently garnered—he said he has no plans to do so long as people are to practice social distancing. 

“I mean, I’ve been approached!” Leslie explained. “I said, ‘Listen, I just do this for fun, for free. And I got a big job lined up, you know, Call Me Kat. I got a big, big, big television series coming on Fox. I don’t need, you know…I’m gonna be rich as s–t.”

He continued, “Until the hunker down is over…I’m going to do it for fun and free. After that, woo! All bets are off! I’ll be the biggest whore in Hollywood.”

Until then, Leslie said he doesn’t want to get in the habit of planning content. He does, however, intend to maintain his position as “the founder and the guiding light of the Dylan McDermott fan club for middle-aged gay men.”

“And I’m, right now, the only member,” Leslie told Jason. “But interest has been expressed. And I’ve been asked to open it up beyond gay people and I’m considering that. I’ll bring that up at the next board meeting…which is me. I’m the only one on the board.”


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Otherwise, Leslie doesn’t feel any pressure to churn out content (or use props, as one of his followers once suggested). And while he tends to avoid the comments section on his posts, he does enjoy other sorts of feedback. The “best” commentary, he told Jordan, comes in the form of random texts and calls from all sorts of people.

“I mean, you know, because I was for years in the rooms of recovery—which I’m very open about, I’ve been completely clean and sober for 22 years—I’ve given my phone number to every drunk in Hollywood,” Leslie explained. “There’s not an old drug addict in Hollywood that doesn’t have my phone number. Because that’s a part of my recovery! Helping people.”

And it seems as though that’s what he’s continuing to do, one video at a time!

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