Late actress Anne Heche did a podcast interview back in January for “Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef” that was just published now that she has died — Heche’s family announced her death on August 12 and she was taken off life support on August 14 after a car crash a week earlier that left her in a coma.
In the interview, she spoke at length about “Dancing With the Stars.” Here is what Heche had to say about her experience on the show:
Heche Said Doing ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Was a ‘Huge Moment’ For Her
On the podcast, host Yontef asked Heche about her time on “Dancing With the Stars” and the late actress had nothing but praise for the show, calling it “a huge moment for [her].”
“[Going on ‘Dancing With the Stars’] was a great move, I thought. That was a huge moment for me. I was very thrilled to do ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ … I’m a dancer, I love to dance. I don’t know how to do things right, so I thought that would be a blast to be able to show,” said Heche.
She continued, “We were given an opportunity in this moment to reintroduce me to an audience that I had not been reaching and never had the opportunity to reach. It was fun on very many levels.”
Heche Said Her Late Father Would Have Loved It
Heche went on to say that her father, Donald Heche, who died in 1983, would have loved to see her channeling her “inner showgirl” on “Dancing With the Stars.”
“My dad died of AIDS in ’83. If he were alive, I would say I brought out my inner showgirl. If it was up to him I would’ve been in sequins and fake tiaras my whole life, right? So I was finally dancing out this inner showgirl, which I thought was so much fun,” said the actress.
She also said that her final performance on the show, a paso doble to Katy Perry’s “Rise” that she and partner Keo Motsepe knew was going to be her last week, was a “terrific opportunity” to show people who she was.
“My last performance, which we knew very well would be my last performance, I turned inside out for gay rights and human rights. We used ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ one of the costumes as our inspiration and I feel like I raised a flag for who I am and what I do and how much I love and it could not have been a more fun experience,” said Heche, adding that she also made great frirends and saw the show as a “terrific opportunity to take some risks and show everybody what [she was] about.”
After she died, Motsepe posted several photos and videos to his Instagram account and Instagram stories to honor his late partner.
“I love you, Anne Heche,” was his simple message on a photo post.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba added her own tribute post, writing:
Anne was one of the stars on @dancingwiththestars that truly touched my heart. Her personal story was one that reached into my heart and squeezed it. I could feel the pain she felt, and I could also feel her resilient and courageous soul. And it was touching.
I had no idea all that she had gone through in this lifetime and I felt a connection to her and the struggles she faced in life. Despite her trials and tribulations, she had a bright light when she came out on that stage to dance.
Every time she performed, there was a sense of complete joy and a celebration of life. It was pure. And it was special.
Heche Also Said Doing ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Was Much Harder Than Any Movie She Ever Filmed
When asked if it was harder to shoot a movie or do “Dancing With the Stars,” Heche said “Dancing With the Stars” and it wasn’t even close.
‘Dancing With the Stars’ by far! By far. … ‘Dancing With the Stars’ [is] very very specific. I did not know it would be that specific. Hands down that specificity was way harder to articulate and put into my body and be judged and have no audience … ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ hands down more difficult,” said Heche.
She also said that having no audience — because season 29 was the season during the height of the pandemic — was a unique challenge for her.
“I can do Broadway, I can move a theater around — admittedly I’ve only done two shows but I’m pretty good at it. Taking an audience’s energy and playing with it, that was always kind of my intrigue with ‘Dancing With the Stars,'” she said, so it was particularly hard that no audience was there.
But it was still a great experience for her, she told Yontef.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season on Monday, September 19, on Disney Plus.
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