What Adam Rippon Really Wants to Do Is Act

"I've been offered a couple of cameos, but I haven't had time," says the Olympian, adding that he's considering being a contestant on the upcoming all-athletes season of 'Dancing With the Stars.'
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Adam Rippon

Adam Rippon, the first openly gay U.S. Olympic figure skater, is all over Hollywood these days. Since winning the bronze in South Korea, the 28-year-old has been meeting stars and attending industry events (like the Oscars) but what he really wants to do is act. 

"I've been offered a couple of cameos, but I haven't had time," he told The Hollywood Reporter at the Human Rights Campaign gala in L.A. on March 10, where he received the organization's Visibility Award. "I would love to try it. I mean, I’ve acted like I wasn’t a disaster for 28 years so I could probably do anything.”

And yes, he would turn to his new friend Reese Witherspoon for guidance. After Rippon and the Oscar winner engaged in a Twitter lovefest during the winter games, they finally met when they both appeared earlier this month on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“If I were to act I would love if I could do it with Reese because now I feel very connected to her and she’s one of the nicest people I have ever met,” Rippon said. “I’m sure she would make sure I was taken care of.”

If Witherspoon isn’t available, there’s always Faye Dunaway. He met the Mommie Dearest star at the Vanity Fair Oscar party. “Someone tapped on the shoulder and she said ‘Hi, I want to introduce myself,’ and she said, ‘My name is Faye Dunaway,’” Rippon recalled. “I was like, does she really not think I know who she is? She was like, ‘I loved watching you skate in the Olympics.’ I was like, ‘Um, I loved watching your career over the past few decades.’”

And then there was meeting his celebrity crush, singer Shawn Mendes. Rippon tweeted a selfie with the pop star along with a caption that read, in part, “I planted the seed and I saw the harvest.”

“I still think he has no fucking clue who am, which is totally fine,” Rippon laughed. “I’m not upset at all.”

Speaking of the Oscars, where is the headline-making Jeremy Scott harness that Rippon wore to the show? “It’s at Jeremy’s studio,” he said. “But you know how you leave something at someone’s house when you want to see them again — 'Oh, no I left my watch at your house, can I come and get it?'— well, I accidently still have the pants so I have to return the pants. Jeremy does have to see me again.”

Louis Vuitton may not get the same kind of love. Just before walking on stage at Stephen Colbert, Rippon lost a middle button on his LV shirt. And then another popped off later that day. “That was Louis Vuitton’s fault,” Rippon said. “I was basically wearing a napkin with a tie around the neck.” (For the record, Rippon was carrying a Louis Vuitton pouch at the HRC gala.)

Next up for Rippon is the six-week Stars on Ice tour starting April 6 followed by possibly competing on the upcoming athletes-only season of Dancing With the Stars. “I think it would be fun,” he said. “It’s for athletes and it’s supposed to be quick and short.”

On whether he’d prefer to dance with a man or woman, Rippon shrugs, “I don’t really care,” before quickly adding, “I can do whatever I want.”

He also says he wants to be a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and doesn’t rule out a crack at a music career. In December, he made his singing debut when he belted out a cover of Rihanna’s "Diamonds" before skating to the song at the 2017-18 Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Japan. “I’ve always enjoyed singing,” he said. “My first concert was in front of 10,000 people. I had a wonderful time but I really owe it all to my great producer who worked with me and trained me in the few hours that we had together.”

The one thing that Rippon doesn’t want to do at the moment is slow down. “Do I know where I am right now? Barely,” he said. “But I am having a fantastic time. I’m doing my best to kind of soak in every moment and just enjoy it.” 

This story first appeared in the March 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.