Celebrating the Best of Man
Morning routine I rise at dawn, so enraptured with life that the mere thought of unconsciousness is repulsive, and swim for two hours. I like to get to the office early so I can help our janitor, Raúl, with his English.
Religion Zen Buddhist Capitalist
Biggest lie you once believed Youth ends at 50
Car Mercedes X740-T Zebra Ultra L74, Silver Class
Cigar of choice I don’t smoke cigars
No, really Corona Gorda (Aurora 1495 BME, Nicaragua)
Weight of wristwatch About two pounds—it’s lighter than it looks
If your home were on fire, which three items would you save? Are we talking about my Tribeca loft, Miami Beach two-bedroom, modest East Hampton cott—
Let’s say Tribeca My MacBook Air, which has drafts of my cookbook and some remixes I’ve been working on for Kanye. A framed letter from my father, begging forgiveness. And a photograph of my dog, Oscar, sandwiched between his namesakes, Oscar de la Renta and Caroll Spinney.
Most humbling moment Staring into the eyes of my newborn son, seeing the reflection of my vintage Public Image Ltd shirt, and realizing that he would never be as cool as his father
List four embarrassing numbers, stripped of context 3.2, 21, 1991, 230,578. What is this interview for, anyway?
Man’s Digest: The Magazine Celebrating the Best of Man Never heard of it. Next question.
If you were forced to make love to any Beatle, which band member would you select? Ringo. Are these really the questions you ask everybody?
Yes. Favorite trick to play on the deaf My assistant just brought me last month’s issue. Hardly any were posed to Tony Bourdain.
Maybe he was the exception. Favorite actor— Jack—
Besides Jack Nicholson Benicio Del Toro does admirable work
Most unlikely possession A tandem bike. A dear friend gave it to me for her birthday in the hope of riding through Paris together—the next week, she died in a tragic modeling accident.
Least favorite Proust question “What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?”
If you could have brunch with four historical figures, what would you order? Eggs Benedict
Who would pick up the check? Nicholson
If you were stuck on a desert island, what song would you incessantly hum? John Cage’s “4’33”
What book would you bring? Something about building rafts
Most surreal experience Getting called by the MacArthur Foundation
Your bio doesn’t mention a MacArthur Grant You don’t hear about the people who turn them down
What were you given a MacArthur for? Having sexual intercourse with your mother
I deserved that. Favorite vacation spot I’ll give you three choices. If you guess correctly, you may ask me anything you want. Wrong, consider this interview over. A) Galveston, where T. Boone Pickens takes me around to all the secluded swimming holes. B) Tuscany, where, upon my death, six white-clad blondes will sprinkle my ashes. C) Addis Ababa, where I chair a foundation helping the poor to better understand global warming.
I’m going to answer “F,” as in “Favorite Batman villain, besides Jack’s Joker” The Riddler
Five favorite Jack movies Chinatown, The Shining, A Few Good Men, and…I can’t. It is an affront to the man’s legacy to limit his oeuvre to five works.
Famous painter you could live without Dalí, a talented creator of dorm-room posters
Least favorite person on a postage stamp Bart Simpson, a phony rebel
If you could go back in time and assassinate one beloved historical figure, who would you choose? John F. Kennedy, moments before Oswald’s bullet. I like clarity.
Favorite moment from this interview The next and final question
Evening routine I plunge into the loneliest hours of the night, me a vampire and the city my damsel. When at last I become so fatigued that I need smelling salts to recall my surname, I drag myself home and to bed, where your mother feverishly awaits me.