MOVIES

John Leguizamo Found Patrick Swayze ‘Difficult’ To Work With

While “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” is a bona fide cult classic, it’s perhaps understandable that Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo’s on-set chemistry wasn’t exactly perfect. Both Swayze and Wesley Snipes entered the movie as established leading men, and while Leguizamo had a decade of roles under his belt, his profile wasn’t quite as high. As such, Swayze and Leguizamo essentially had the same dynamic as their characters, established drag queen star Vida and young “drag princess” Chi-Chi — but while Chi-Chi is very much a protégé who yearns to learn from the more experienced drag queens, Leguizamo’s ideas about acting clashed with the way Swayze preferred to work.

Despite their on-set differences, Swayze and Leguizamo delivered amazing performances. In fact, they were both nominated for a Golden Globe for their roles in the 1995 movie. Looking back, Leguizamo says that his improvisation was a crucial part of elevating Chi-Chi to that level. “I rewrote that role. I expanded that role, ’cause that role was nothing,” Leguizamo said in the “Radio Andy” interview. “Douglas Carter Beane may disagree because he wrote the script, but he knows what I brought to it.”

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