Gossip queen Lainey Lui channels bitchiness into blogs
Lui lives in Vancouver, where she said she enjoys a "quiet, domestic life" with her husband. But Canadian celebrities are not the primary subject matter of her blog. Canadians, she said, don't want to read about their own.
"For some reason we can’t take our own celebrities seriously. It’s almost like they’re jokes. They’re punchlines. There’s something about the Canadian psyche that’s embarrassed of its own. It’s almost as if, if we’re not at some root folk festival, it’s a sell out."
On the other hand, we are pratically rabid with enthusiasm when it comes Hollywood stars. As soon as an American celebrity comes to town we lose our shit, Lui said. She was distainful of stalker fans and she wouldn't name celebrity hang-outs in Vancouver. It encourages loser behaviour, she said. "The whole Twlight fantasy when it was happening was completely mortifying."
We spend some time discussing how she feels about gossiping for a living. It must be a question that she is asked frequently: how does it feel to spend your time picking apart other peoples' lives?
"I’m not going to sit here and say that what I do is important. It's not life changing, it's not important. But life is about balance...I read other things, other than gossip magazines."
Lui said that she has her limits when it comes to what she will cover on her site. For one, she has no interest in allowing reality stars to take up space on her blog.
"We are truly lacking in celebrity these days. It's fucking criminal. I can’t believe the same word can be applied to these people. I don’t know why we, the collective we, have made these people stars."
Lui claimed that she has never watched an episode of the Bachelor.
Coming from someone who makes a living lobbing verbal grenades at people, it seems borderline hypocritical to take such a stance, but Lui is nothing if not confident of her opinions, especially regarding the rich and famous.
She had biting words, bording on the vitriolic, for a certain former Friend.
"I don’t identify with Jennifer Aniston. I think that she’s weak. I think she doesn’t do good work, I think her movies are pathetic. I think she’s a fraud."
Angelina Jolie, on the other hand, is an example of a woman doing things her way in Hollywood and in the bedroom.
Who does Lui think had better sex: Angelina and Billy Bob, or Angelina and Brad Pitt? "Brad Pitt. I think that she was able to dominate Billy Bob Thornton."
It's clear from our conversation how to avoid landing on Lui's verbal hit list - act just as strong as she does. Lui respects strong women, and she is energized by her friendships with other women.
"My comfort zone has always been around girls. I’m a girls’ girl. You have women who don’t have a lot of girl friends, who feel more comfortable in male environments, we all know girls like that."
But she's also conscious of the stereotype of the gossiping, meddling harpy. Gossip might be considered have a reputation as the purview and weakness of women, but boys gossip too, Lui said.
"I think that gossip is an immortal way of communication and I think that women are more open about acknowledging gossip as a part of our lives because we’re just more evolved that way."
Perhaps surprisingly, Lui said that she maintains a cordial relationship with other gossip bloggers, including Perez Hilton and Michael K at DListed. "We’re all trying to help each other. We’re all trying to share traffic." She's even encouraging of up-and-coming bloggers, "My first piece of advice is to find your voice, whatever that voice is. My voice is snarky, bitchy but also deeply, deeply gossipy."