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STORIES BY CHRIS AZZOPARDI

Official Journalist Portfolio

From delivering newspapers as a kid to writing for them, journalism has always been a part of me. Please look through my updated Journalist Portfolio to discover more about my work.

 

WORK

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MISTER ROGERS’S GAY, BLACK FRIEND FRANÇOIS CLEMMONS WEARS TIARAS NOW

Vanity Fair

François Clemmons couldn’t practice everything Mr. Rogers preached. True, Clemmons became one of the first African-Americans with a recurring role on a kids’ TV series in 1968, when he joined Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. As Officer Clemmons, the trained opera singer charmed children and found refuge in the show’s driving force, his friend—our friend—Fred Rogers.

6 MOVIES THAT TAKE PLACE IN A SINGLE LOCATION (MOSTLY)

The New York Times

As we emerge from state-ordered quarantine, consider this: In movies, a locked-down set is often an artistic choice (or sometimes the result of a strapped budget). Some filmmakers find the challenges of these limitations to be a thrill in itself; for others, intimate spaces simply better serve the story.

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I LOVE YOU (BUT DO YOU LOVE MARIAH CAREY?)

The New York Times

No man I’ve loved has loved Mariah Carey as much as me. Even my best efforts to convert the most rigid nonbelievers — apparently, they exist — have proved futile.

Yet when I filled in the prompts on my Hinge profile last year, I still caught myself testing potential suitors to see if they were up for the challenge: “I’ll fall for you if … your favorite Mariah Carey song is a deep cut,” I had written, attempting to connect with other “lambs,” the nickname for those who are considered her biggest fans.

 

My 2014 interview with Dolly Parton was one of 25 interviews published in "Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton."

"One of the more captivating interviews in support of Dolly's 2014 'Blue Smoke' album and world tour..." wrote author Randy Schmidt.

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COVER STORIES

PATTI LUPONE: A QUARANTINE COMEBACK

In Ryan Murphy’s Netflix miniseries Hollywood, the wife becomes the boss, the “black screenwriter” is simply a screenwriter, and the gay leading man is just himself. Naturally, it stars Broadway legend Patti LuPone, who, in conversations like the one we had recently, thrives on brazen authenticity.

BILLY PORTER: BLACK, GAY, AND OUT OF F*CKS

“Now that I have a massive platform, and now that the people want to listen to the Black sissy, I’m gonna talk,” Billy Porter says, fired up, leaning into the camera. On Zoom, Porter commands a computer screen like he does a red carpet.

A CONVERSATION WITH CHER

Cher is so low-key about being Cher that calling her is like calling your mom. “Hi,” she purrs with signature simplicity when I phone her presidential suite in late August. We are speaking matter-of-factly about gay things, political things, Twitter things (“I’m finished with the emojis that we have”). About going to Walgreens and trying to remember why she went to Walgreens. This seems so very … normal?

 

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