Alan Cumming, an actor for all ages

Theater classes gave him a way out. "When I started to act, it was something that I was good at," he said. "And also other people would tell me I was good at it. So my father, he couldn't just be the authority, do you know what I mean?"

In school he met and married actress Hilary Lyon. The marriage lasted eight years.

But he's described himself as being bisexual, and five years ago he married Grant Shaffer, a graphic artist.

"I think people associate with me [an] easiness with myself, comfort with myself, openness about many things, including my sexuality. And I think that people connect to that and I think they like me for that. So I think, if anything, my career - to be in a very mercenary kind of agent-y way - it's been a good thing for me to be as open as I have been, and to be out in that way."

These days Cumming couldn't appear more settled-down, as he walks around his Manhattan neighborhood with his two dogs, Honey and Leon.

"I still go out and have fun, but I'm not as crazy as I used to be, I think," Cumming said.

"So you don't miss the wilder times?" Altschul asked.

"I still have wild times," he replied.

He's got a saying he's fond of repeating: "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

But he's not terribly moderate in his new film, "Any Day Now." He plays a drag queen, half of a gay couple prevented in court from rescuing a disabled boy.

After being given numerous gay-rights awards, Cumming felt the film spoke to basic human rights. "I want to live in a world that I feel is right. And I think it's about being Scottish, actually. We have a really big sense of sniffing out injustice."

But then we get back to the fun - and off-color - side of Alan Cumming.

He has a fragrance line (his second fragrance is called the 2nd Cumming), which Altschul describred as a "very approachable" fragrance.

"I may be naughty, but I have substance behind my naughtiness," he said. .

He brings many of his sides together in photographs he started marketing this year.

It all adds up to one complicated personality.

"I don't want to over psychoanalyze you - " Altschul said.

"But let's, I've spent all this money all these years!" Cumming replied. "We might as well do it on TV."

"This, you know, lack of memory of your childhood and this kind of empty span of time where you just have little punctuated bits of memory, do you feel like you have a childlike quality to you, a playfulness?"

"Yes."

"Do you feel like part of that part of your personality is kind of recapturing time lost?"

"I do think that. I think in a funny sort of way, I had to grow up. I had my life backwards in a way. I mean I think a lot of people have this kind of quality. And as they grow older it gets more muted. And with me it's kind of the opposite way. As I've got older I'm more - "

"Getting louder and louder."

"Yeah, because I'm more able to be who I am," Cumming said.

And if Alan Cumming thinks he's just in the process of opening up, watch out.

"How many careers can you squish into one man?" Altschul laughed.

"I'm not done yet, Serena," he replied.

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