Rose McGowan, a sex symbol and star of "Charmed" and the new "Conan the Barbarian" film reboot, says she feels "uncomfortable" around large groups of straight men and and prefers to visit gay nightclubs.The 37-year-old actress made her comments to the gay-focused magazine The Advocate. She added that she was partially raised by drag queens.
"It's not that I don't have straight friends, but en masse they make me uncomfortable - especially a bunch of straight men," she said. "I was at a party recently, and I started getting really twitchy and weird. My friend was like, 'What is wrong with you?' I realized that it was all the straight people. I was like, 'These are not my people. I have to leave."
McGowan, who has in the past dated shock rocker Marilyn Manson, added that she herself is not bisexual. She was born in Florence, Italy. She and her six siblings, including a gay sister, were raised in a commune run by the Children of God religious cult. Her parents later left the group and broke up.
McGowan came to the United States when she was a child and spoke no English.The actress, who has often showcased a unique, sometimes flashy clothing style, was bullied at school. When she was a teenager, her mother suspected she was on dr*gs and put her in a rehab clinic. McGowan ran away and spent a few days living on the streets, according to People magazine. She later moved with her family to Seattle and lived by herself.
"At 13, when I was a runaway, I was taken in by the most amazing drag queens in Portland, Oregon," McGowan told The Advocate. "We didn't always know where our next meal was coming from, but there was so much camaraderie and love," she said. "Not to mention, those girls could paint a face, and I learned how because of them."
"I looked like I was about 8," she added. "I could finagle my way into lots of different places. Whether it was how I danced or the way I looked, I was always quite celebrated in the gay clubs. To this day, I only go to gay clubs. I'm perfectly at home there. I also like watching hot boys and hot girls who can dance."
McGowan emancipated herself at age 15 and relocated to Los Angeles, where she began working as an extra on film sets. She later landed a role in the Pauly Shore film "Encino Man," which was released in 1992. When McGowan was about 21, she was discovered by director Gregg Araki, who cast her in his 1995 film "The Doom Generation."
McGowan later starred alongside Shore again in the 1996 movie "Bio-Dome," which also starred pop singer Kylie Minogue, who would later become the comedian and actor's girlfriend in real life. Also that year, McGowan appeared in the hit horror film "Scream." In 1998, she played the lead clique members in the teen comedy "Jawbreaker," which earned her an MTV Movie Award nod for Best Villain.
But McGowan's breakout role was that of young witch Paige Matthews in the WB drama series "Charmed." She joined the show in 2001, replacing cast member Shannen Doherty. "Charmed" ended its run in 2006.
McGowan dated and was engaged to Manson, who appeared in "Jawbreaker," for more than two years before they split in 2001. She later dated Ahmet Zappa, son of the late singer Frank Zappa, and was engaged to Robert Rodriguez, who directed her in the 2007 action-horror flicks "Planet Terror" and "Grindhouse." They are said to have ended their relationship in 2009.
Also that year, McGowan nabbed a recurring role on "Nip/Tuck," a plastic surgery-themed series created by Ryan Murphy of "Glee" fame. Several months ago, the actress appeared in an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" as playing sexy bombshell Cassandra.
In "Conan the Barbarian," a remake of a 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger fantasy film, McGowan plays the villain Marique, a witch and the daughter of an evil warlord. Jason Momoa portrays the title character, who seeks revenge for the destruction of his tribe. He previously starred on the show "Stargate: Atlantis" and plays Khal Drogo on the HBO fantasy series "Game of Thrones."
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