Steve Buscemi, David Duchovny, Chloë Sevigny, Moby, Alexander Wang, Jim Parsons…Some Rather Fascinating Quotes From BlackBook’s Best Interviews of 2018

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Moby image by Jonathan Nesvadba

 

As you can obviously tell from being devoted readers all this time, BlackBook loves to travel, eat well, look sharp and, most importantly, be as all-around cultured as possible.

But our favorite pastime by far is sitting down for a chat with some of the most fascinating figures of our time in music, film, fashion, food, sometimes even space travel, and learning what it is that makes them tick. All while hopefully getting them to admit to something genuinely revelatory, or even a little…embarrassing. 2018, of course, was no different, as we pulled up a chair with everyone from Chloë Sevigny to Alexander Wang to Steve Buscemi, Jim Parsons and rising music/acting star Leon Bridges.

As we close out the year, we look back on some of the most amazing quotes from those very same interviews. Their wisdom, is our gift to you.

 

Moby

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“The main force that hinders that which is spiritual is simply our hereditary humanity. We’re born with ontological amnesia, seemingly unaware of the 15 billion year old quantum crucible from which we’ve arisen. Simply, we know nothing. In a way, we are the void – not that we see the void, we’re just clueless as to the actual nature of the Universe. So we stumble along and make mistakes and assume that we’re doing our best when the truth is that we’re not seeing through a glass darkly…we’re not even seeing.”

Sarah Jessica Parker

Interview by Hilton Dresden
“I don’t think it’s necessary to have experiences to play a part. I think as actors, what we’re mostly trying to do is find things that are different, unrelatable, foreign, unfamiliar. No, there was no point of reference [for Divorce] in my own marriage. But I didn’t need that to be the case, nor did I need it to play Carrie Bradshaw or any of the characters I’ve played. I think what’s most important are words that feel truthful.”

Peter, Bjorn & John

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“There is no shortage of darkness to inspire in the present day. The idea behind the title [Darker Days] was indeed mainly the Swedish winters, originally. But Trump, Brexit, old Swedish Nazis forming the third biggest party here at home, and above all climate change and the possibility that we are actually getting near the end of the world, thanks to our western capitalist lifestyle, isn’t exactly cheerful stuff. And it’s stuff you constantly think about; so it’s hard to keep out of songs.”

 

Actress Lola Kirke

Interview by Glenn Garner
“I think in a lot of ways, [in Gemini] you see a celebrity who is inundated by her own celebrity. I think that anonymity is a form of freedom, and it’s very interesting that we live in a world where people are constantly seeking to sacrifice their anonymity for the freedom that they perceive fame brings. It’s really exciting to get to evaluate those values in this film.”

Chinese Artist Liu Bolin

Interview by Hillary Latos
“Since 9/11 I was thinking about my body and how I could become invisible within society, as there are a lot of conflictive ideas between humans and society. My idea of disappearing reflects a lot of those conflicts.”

Sharp Objects‘ April Brinson

Interview by Hilton Dresden
“I’ve grown up watching Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. They are such successful and talented actresses, who I have looked up to since I was young. Being on set with them was so surreal.”

 

 

Chef David Chang

Interview by Alissa Fitzgerald
“I’m still ashamed about the dried deer tendon, still mad at myself that I had to spit it out. I would have vomited and that would have been worse. I hope I can get to a point where I can eat it, but I don’t know if I’ll ever love it. I love Peking duck and Vietnamese crawfish.”

Island Records Founder Chris Blackwell

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“Yes, I believed in [U2) completely because of how real they were – and because of their passion. From the start, I wanted to follow their direction, and let them be in control of their own destiny. It worked, obviously. They also quite literally had a lot to do with changing Ireland.”

Ute Lemper

Interview by Aaron Hicklin
“Yes, it goes back to 1988 when I lived in Paris, performed in the musical Cabaret, and won a French Tony award. [Marlene Dietrich] was still alive, living in Avenue Montaigne. The press was busy comparing me to her, and I felt embarrassed and wrote her a letter to express my admiration and thankfulness. A month later she called me and we had a three-hour conversation that took me a very long time to digest. She spoke a lot, about everything big and deep and sad and beautiful in her life. I kept this kind of secret and carried it with me.”

 

Photo by David Andrako 

 

Crazy Rich Asians Star Fiona Xie

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“Everyone wants in on what’s good. For the Asian community, it’s also a movement to have a platform to share their real stories and to be heard equally. Ultimately, we are all humans that want to be understood, loved and accepted and to transcend all boundaries for great opportunities.”

Spacehog’s Royston Langdon

Interview by Adam Pollock
“Bowie recorded Blackstar at The Magic Shop on Crosby Street, which was where Spacehog made The Chinese Album. I know it well. Whilst I was working with Spotify the label brought the record in to play for us, think it was the October before it came out. Made me sign an NDA and it was referred to by its code name Danny. Top secret. As soon as I heard it, I knew he was off. I emailed him immediately but alas, never heard back. Now, every time I hear ‘Dollar Days’ and specifically his line ‘If I’ll never see the English evergreens I’m running to’ my heart breaks. Makes me cry every single time.”

David Duchovny

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“To be honest, I think we were all kind of slightly disappointed in what we did [with the original X-Files] – and so we had to come back and do it better. That’s what these episodes are about. And in a way it was fun to revisit the origin of it, and to kind of lay claim to it. There’s also this new sci-fi boom, and it was kind of like, ‘Let’s show the kids how it’s done.’ We didn’t show them last time.”

 

Image Courtesy of The X-Files

 

B-52s’ Fred Schneider

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“Well, campiness suggests being ridiculous without realizing it. I have to say, we actually knew exactly what we were doing.”

Macy Gray

Interview by Hilton Dresden
“Red represents emotion, and all the songs are about emotion, and feeling from the heart – and the heart is red. It’s a jewel, and it’s a jewel for me to be making an album like this, 20 years later. Red: a bright awesome color that you also see when you’re nervous about things; and I’m nervous about the album coming out, so it’s just representative of everything I’m doing at this point in my career.”

Steve Buscemi

Interview by Aaron Hicklin
“I remember going in to read for one part and asking the casting director if I could read for the lead; and she looked at me, and said, ‘Oh no, they’re going to get a name for that part.’ I thought, ‘What is she talking about?’ And then I realized: ‘Oh, you’re going to get a name – you’re going to get an actor whose name people know.’ I was like, ‘Ok, I have to get a name now, it’s not enough to be a working actor.’”

 

Steve Buscemi in The Death of Stalin

 

Samantha Ronson

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“I always said I hoped to keep DJ’ing for as long as I loved it. I still love it. It still makes me happy, so I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. Ultimately, though, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as getting a crowd going for our own songs – those songs that started as bad days, that went from paper to a piano, and then to the stage. You can’t really beat that.”

DJ/Producer Chris Liebing

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“I think in general it has been changing for the much, much better. Promoters have become more professional, sound systems in clubs have become way better and the experience for the people in the clubs therefore is a better one. Electronic music is still conquering the world, there are new places to discover, new artists are coming up. I think it is a pretty exciting and amazing time right now.”

Actor/Singer Jamie Campbell Bower

Interview by Hilton Dresden
“With acting I’m portraying a character and with music I’m being me with no barrier. Of course, they’re both creative outlets and share similarities, but for me the differences between playing Christopher Marlowe or a red eyed Vampire, and walking out on stage with my band and playing a sweaty rock show and living that life far outweigh the similarities.”

 

 

The Slits’ Tessa Pollitt

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“I prefer ‘female empowerment’ to ‘feminist.’ Has it succeeded? It feels like we have come around some kind of cycle and things appear one step forward, two steps backwards; if I look worldwide I would say…no! There is a lot of female suffering, and domestic abuse seems on the rise. I see and feel much divisiveness on many social and political gender levels. It feels time for a new revolution, I feel a change in the air!”

Alexander Wang

Interview by Hilton Dresden
“Pride has always been very close to me. Having been born in San Francisco, it’s been such a privilege to be a part of that gay community. In New York, it’s such a big celebration as well, and that’s something I wanted to be a part of. It’s not just about celebration, but about how this message of inclusivity and sex positivity in the world right now is really important.”

Adam Goldberg

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“Acting was something I did and wanted to do in some form or another since I was very small. It’s almost more akin to my love for baseball as a kid. Sometimes I’m on a set and think, ‘Hmm, I’m a grown man and I’m still playing little league. What the hell am I doing?’ But I’d also been passionate about music, photography, writing, filmmaking, since I was a kid – though I suppose I never saw those forms of expression as a viable means by which to make a living.”

 

John Travolta

Interview by Hillary Latos
“There are only a couple of roles that I think I could’ve taken that would have made my career transition smoother. Splash was written for me, as well as Days of Heaven, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Pretty Woman. I don’t know if I had done those if I would be where I am today – but overall I’m happy with what I have chosen. I like very much that I can choose my characters and roles; that’s more interesting to me than having a perfect arc to a career.”

Dance Music Icon Judy Torres

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“I woke up one morning with an annoying pain in my eye. A few days later, I was blind. I landed in the hospital, and by the end of the week, the doctor told me about the diagnosis. I was absolutely shocked, how could this happen to me? I contemplated suicide again – right there in the hospital. I read all the books about multiple sclerosis and none had happy endings. An ex-boyfriend came to visit me in the hospital and didn’t feel sorry for me at all. He told me to get up – that as long as I could still sing, I had no right to be upset.”

Electronic Music Superstar Richie Hawtin

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“What do you think is left for any type of music? Electronic music lives and breathes through technology, technology that is continuing to evolve and offer new, exciting possibilities in sound creation, performance methods and interactivity. As we push forward into a future based on and assisted by more and more technology, techno will be the only soundtrack that makes sense.”

 

Image by Jordi Cervera

 

Foster the People’s Mark Foster

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“I had parked in a guarded lot. At the end of the session, the LAPD called my cell phone, ‘Hey Mark, this is Officer Johnson, why don’t you give me a call back about your car?’ So we walked out into the lot, and my windows were broken. They stole everything I had from my flight, even my toiletries. It was such a low blow!”

Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll

Interview by Ken Scrudato
“We’re still doing this music thirty years later. Something was written in cultural stone back then, and it’s still going now. I also think [rave] was the last great youth culture movement – there hasn’t been one since. Culture has dissipated, a lot of people are specializing in a lot of little things. In one way, it’s a shame, because I really liked those tribalistic youth culture movements. But at the same time, everyone is now able to just follow their own path.”

Jim Parsons

Interview by Hilton Dresden
“As much as you can’t separate the current topic of gender fluidity, and possible transness maybe coming from this child – that’s there, and that’s important and one of the reasons why I loved [this film] – it really was much more [about] just these well-drawn human beings and the conversations and arguments they were having. [Director] Daniel [Pearle] has such an ear for the way people talk, and the way people fight. So this was a case of it both being meaningful and well-written; and as much as I wanted to produce it, part of it was that if this got made, I so desperately wanted to play that character. It would have made me very sad to let someone else say those words.”

 

Jim Parsons in A Kid Like Jake

 

Singer/Actor Leon Bridges

Interview by Kendah El-Ali
“I studied dance in college. When we performed a Bob Fosse repertoire, African or even a jazz piece, we had to pick out outfits for dance. The costume shops were filled with vintage clothing, and that is where my love for vintage started. I would steal pieces from the costume shop and wear them.”

Model/Activist Alaia Baldwin

Interview by Ireland Baldwin
“I do love so many designers!  Overall, I would have to say Azzedine Alaia. His influence on fashion, clothing, and sculpting of the female form in a garment is something that can never be replicated. He was one of a kind, he was revolutionary. He understood a women’s body better than anyone else.”

Chloë Sevigny

Interview by Glenn Garner
“I mostly gravitate toward auteurs. I like writers or directors that I feel are visionaries or you know, want to tell stories in a different way and different kinds of stories. Those are the filmmakers that I’m attracted to. So, I’ve had a pretty lucky run so far. But I probably would have played any part in this movie [Lean on Pete] just to get a chance to be a part of one of Andrew’s films. It’s kind of how I’ve navigated my career.”

 

Chloë Sevigny in Lean on Pete