For over 15 years, Vanity Fair’s version of the Proust questionnaire has been one of the most popular pages in the magazine. Now they’ve compiled 100 of those interviews in a book. It’s arranged alphabetically, beginning with Robert Altman and ending with Brian Wilson, and is a great read and an even better gift ( Amazon has it for $17).
Some choice answers:
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Lauren Bacall: “a 24 inch waist”
Annette Benning: “Virginity”
Ray Charles: “Talent”
Ted Kennedy: “Silence”
What is your idea of perfect happiness”
Lou Reed: “A rent controlled apartment”
Salman Rushdie: “Life without policemen”
What do you consider the lowest depth of misery?
Maureen Dowd: “No mini-bar”
Eleanor Lambert: “Having nothing to read”
Fran Lebowitz: “French”
Arthur Miller: “Betrayal”
Gore Vidal: “A mirror”
What is your motto?
Sandra Bernhardt: “Kiss ‘em, slap ‘em, send ‘em home!”
Elaine May: “Don’t throw away designer clothes”
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Jimmy Buffet: “Somebody stole my hair”
Karl Lagerfeld” “I spend my life working on that subject”
John Waters: “I’ve had a bad hair life”
What is your greatest extravagance?
Julia Child: “Shoes!”
Deepak Chopra: “Double hazelnut lattes”
Joan Collins: “Lawyers”
Catherine Deneuve: “Spending all my money when I was 17 years old to buy an Hermes Kelly bag”
David Mamet: “On moving house in Boston, empowering my decorator to conduct the whole proceduer while I was away on location.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger: “I am a major shoe queen”
Donald Trump: “Having to only ride an elevator to get to work”
How would you like to die:
Eric Clapton: “Fishing”
Ellen DeGeneres: “No, thank you”
Hedy Lamar: “Preferably after sex”
Olivia de Haviland: “ensconced on a chaise longue, perfumed, wearing a velvet robe and pearl earrings, with a flute of champagne beside me and having just discovered tohe answer to the last problem in a British cryptic crossword.”