I’ve been a subscriber and reader of Vanity Fair magazine since 1987. When it comes through my door each month, the first thing I do is flip through to the back page and find out who answered the latest Proust Questionnaire.
The answers are supposed to offer the taker (and reader) an insight to their personality and life. I just think it’s kind of fun, like reading a Cosmopolitan magazine questionnaire but without the stomach-churning embarrassment.
In the past Catherine O’Hara, Mary Tyler Moore, Hedy Lamarr, and Robert DeNiro have answered the questionnaire. I figure, if they can do it, so can I.
This month, it’s Daniel Radcliffe’s turn. And mine as well. (photo credit: www.ethnos.gr)
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A sunny day, wonderful food, my family nearby, everyone talking and laughing, lots of wine (and no hangover the next day)
2. What is your greatest fear?
Losing someone I love.
3. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Women. All women, of every era and time. We’re very under-represented in the history books and the more I learn, the better.
4. Which living person do you most admire?
I admire Margaret Atwood for her story-telling skills, Richard Dawkins for his stalwart, logical opinions, and Michael Palin for his humour, kindness and longevity in show biz.
5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of empathy.
7. What is your greatest extravagance?
Lyra and Blue.
8. On what occasion do you lie?
Whenever I need to get out of trouble, which happens less and less the older I get.
9. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I have the Irving chin. I shall say no more on this subject.
10. When and where were you happiest?
1969. Prince Edward Island.
Prince Edward Island is a happy place. (photocredit: en.wikipedia.org)
11. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I’d like to be able to say “no” without it turning into an “all right, I’ll do it”, 5 minutes later.
12. If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?
If I could wave a magic wand, I’d wave it over my parents and utter the phrase, “You hate alcohol”. Then I’d sprinkle pixie dust on them and dart away with a flutter of my dainty wings.
13. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Overcoming my fear of public speaking. Now I find it difficult to shut up.
14. If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?
A Ragdoll cat. I’d like to be called Lyra, please.
Lyra, in her kitten days.
15. What if your most treasured possession?
My sense of humour. I crack myself up a lot more than you’d think.
16. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
When my parents died.
17. Who are your heroes in real life?
The Brontë Sisters. Or, as they were known in their day, Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. They were forced to use male pseudonyms to get their works published, as female authors were universally scorned at that time. They wrote for the pleasure of telling a story, not for the money or the fame.
18. What is it that you most dislike?
Blind allegiance to people, organizations or creeds that don’t bear up to close scrutiny.
19. How would you like to die?
Quickly, painlessly, and looking like Ali McGraw in Love Story. Or, as Maxwell Smart said countless times in Get Smart, “Of old age”. Either way will do.
20. What is your motto?
“Tough, but fair”. I just like saying it – in reality, I’m not tough at all. Don’t tell my kids.
There, all done. I wonder what profound insights I’ve unintentionally revealed about myself. Now it’s your turn – you want to give it a try as well?