My Interview with Andre

My Interview with Andre

For Andre Gregory, the Turth, No Matter How Painful, Is Always Funny

By Rich Simon

January/February 1998

A few years ago, theater director and actor Andre Gregory, probably best known as the beguiling raconteur and spiritual bungee-jumper in the cult classic My Dinner With Andre, had just finished a lecture when a man got up to ask a question. "I'm a writer and a great admirer of My Dinner With Andre," the man said, "and I would like to write something as good. How do I do it?" As the audience tittered at the mix of gush and naiveté in the man's question, Gregory thought for a moment and replied, "I remember the night my wife, who was dying of cancer, was first put on heavy, pain-killing drugs. About two in the morning I suddenly realized that there were certain things I wanted to say to her and if I didn't say them now, she would never be able to hear them. So I rang her up in the hospital and said, 'Sweetheart, there are some things I have to say to you,' and I started talking and whenever she would say, 'I'm getting sleepy,' I would say, 'Wake up, sweetheart. There's more I really have to say to you.' Write from that kind of necessity and your work will be great."

There is something liberating--if a bit unsettling--about being around people like Gregory, for whom, it appears, no subject is too private to be off-limits. Fans of My Dinner With Andre know firsthand the Zen like clarity with which he brings to light the fears, uncertainties and dark shadows most of us are determined to keep under wraps--even from ourselves. But he is not just another psychic…

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Topic: Creativity

Tags: humor

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