De Alba on Chablis 

By Entertainer David de Alba*

  When I saw the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", I didn't know what to expect, although I was told that it was a "must see".   One of the few times in a mainstream Hollywood production, a female impersonator without formal acting background had been cast in a major dramatic role.   "The Lady Chablis" was introduced in John Berendt's best selling book of the same name.   Benjamin Knox (The Doll) essentially played himself, with the sassiness of Della Reese and the elegance of Josephine Baker, but with a personality that is uniquely "The Lady Chablis".   She has such a natural talent for acting and dancing that I understand most of her sequences were done in "one take"!   It is my privilege and honor to present to you out there in Cyberspace, the one and only Lady Chablis!

The Lady Chablis

David:  My dear Lady Chablis, let's begin at the beginning.   For those who have not read your autobiography "Hiding My Candy", please tell us how and when you became involved in Showbiz?

T.L.C.:  At 15, in a gay bar in Tallahassee, Florida. (refer to my book)   I have always felt like the gay person movie star, now my Good Pussy is national! LOL

David:  Are there any female stars from the past or present that you idolize or emulate in any way?

T.L.C.:  Female role models, 1. Whoopi Goldberg  (Take her as she is.   Grape lipstick and all)   2. Maya Angelo  (She did what she knew how, when she knew better she did better.   Wisdom!!)   3. Oprah  (Rich, smart woman, 'nuff said.)

David:  Talking about the filming of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", how was your relationship with the director Clint Eastwood?

T.L.C.:  He gave me the nickname "The one take wonder".   How lucky was I to work with the butchest man in Hollywood history, my being gay, and having him just adore The Doll.   It was like he was an uncle with clout.

David:  About your fantastic wardrobe, did the studio supply it or was it your own?   Also, did you do your own hair and make-up or did the studio require the union staff to do it for you?

T.L.C.:  I was paid to use my own clothes, hair and makeup.   Sorry, but nobody can dress The Doll but The Doll.   I designed and did all the bead work on the ball dress.

The Lady Chablis

David:  Did the role allow for improvisation or was all of your dialogue strictly scripted?

T.L.C.:  Clint Eastwood let me ad-lib the entire movie!

David:  After release of the movie did you get offers for any other film or television parts?

T.L.C.:  I have done a lot of TV and I have filmed two TV pilots for the fall.   I will start filming a new movie in 2001 in Spain.   I also do a lot of motivational speeches along with fundraisers.   I have been a presenter at the GLADD Awards for the past 3 years.

David:  I understand that Warner Bros. has purchased the movie rights to your book "Hiding My Candy".   Any news about if and when they plan to develop the property?

T.L.C.:  Yes, my book has been optioned for a movie, and we are now starting to look for a screenwriter; then the process begins.

David:  You were born in Florida, and later moved to New York.   Why did you decide to settle in a "redneck" state like Georgia, where people are traditionally less tolerant of alternate lifestyles?

T.L.C.:  I don't consider Georgia redneck.   At least in the South you know who is what and why.

David:  Do you perform regularly in a cabaret now and if so, do you work alone or do you head your own revue?

T.L.C.:  I have a show called "The Doll Revue".   It has celebrity look-alikes and me.   I also travel alone, do comedy clubs, private parties, and "Club 1" in Savannah once a month.

David:  Now that you have been in a major movie, been successful on the live stage, and written a popular book, what are your theatrical plans for the future?

T.L.C.:  To go to Broadway.   I have been blessed to do it all; that's all that's left.   I am a lucky BITCH.

David:  Your Web site is fascinating and very classy.   Have you met other entertainers or just plain interesting folks due to your presence on the "World Wide Web"?

T.L.C.:  I get mail from a lot of straight people, a lot of young kids, and mostly women.   When I get mail from the gay community it is about doing a show, or a photo is needed.

David:  In the movie you played a transvestite and a working female impersonator.   Many people put everyone in the same category when dealing with a transgender subject.   As you know, there is quite a difference.   Which term best fits your lifestyle?

T.L.C.:  If I have to have a label, and as you know in today's world it is a must, I prefer Female Impersonator, 'cause child, that's what I do.   Everything about me is learned from the female . . . my mom, grandma, girlfriends, stars, etc.

David:  When you go out on the street, and I don't mean attending fancy affairs or going to work in your show, are you always costumed and made-up like a doll?

The Lady Chablis

T.L.C.:  When I can get away without the glamour, I go for it!   That's when I say I am INCOGNEGRO!

David:  Do you have any hobby or interest that occupies your time when you’re not performing on stage?

T.L.C.:  Men, boys, men, and compliments.

David:  Is there anything about yourself that is so "very you" and so private, that not even those closest to you could guess?

T.L.C.:  I have nothing to hide but my CANDY.

David:  If you could "Wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are", what would you ask for?

T.L.C.:  I would wish you and all, JOY ALWAYS, THE DOLL.

Thanks David for caring and sharing, and keep your head to the sky.   Don't think that our spirit is finished; we got work to do!   THE DOLL.

Visit Lady Chablis' Web Site at

* Cuban/American entertainer David de Alba (also known as "Heri, Hairstylist of the Stars") is known for his live singing impressions as a concert artist since 1965.   He has worked at the world famous Finocchio Club of San Francisco (USA) for many years.   Visit the award winning Web Site "David de Alba’s Theatrical Arts & Tributes" at and you can e-mail him c/o