If you’ve ever watched James Lipton’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, at the end of the interview he asks each guest to answer a sort of questionnaire. The actors’ answers are often funny and revealing. Lipton’s questions are adapted from the Proust Questionnaire, which dates back to late 20th century France where it was used as a sort of confessional parlor game.
Here’s a translation of the original questions (I updated a couple) and my answers. Try them out with your spouse or friends. Word of caution: The questions may seem innocent enough but if you’re honest, your answers can be more revealing than you realize or intend, as you can tell from some of mine.
Q: What is the principal aspect of your personality?
A: I paint the world with my own brush.
Q: What are your favorite qualities in a man?
A: Questioning, dark humor, thick skin, thirst for knowledge, interesting life experience, doesn’t take himself or life too seriously.
Q: What are your favorite qualities in a woman?
A: Aside from the obvious– what can I say, I’m a pig — fun loving, open to new experiences, forgiving … very forgiving.
Q: What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
A: Willingness to listen, share openly, tell me what they really think, and, most important, put up with me.
Q: What is your main fault?
A: I am high maintenance, don’t listen well and constantly need attention. The thing is, I think that’s all by design — the mind works in funny ways.
Q: What would be your favorite occupation?
A: Secret agent, explorer, novelist.
Q: What is your idea of happiness?
A: Unconditional love, winning, achieving challenging goals, partying with fun friends, doing work I love with a talented, driven team.
Q: What is your idea of misery?
A: Being unloved, losing, doing tedious work, dealing with bureaucrats and small-minded idiots who are incapable of rational, objective thought.
Q: If not yourself, who would you be?
A: I’ve never wanted to be anyone else but if you insist I’m gonna have to go with Chris Pratt or Ryan Reynolds for obvious reasons (did I forget to mention that I’m a pig?).
Q: Where would you like to live?
A: Kauai, Barcelona or in space.
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Blue-Green #088F8F.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: Mark Helprin, Ayn Rand, Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson, Stephen King, Douglas Adams, Christopher Buckley, Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut, lots more.
Q: Who are your favorite heroes in fiction?
A: Sean Connery’s James Bond, Han Solo, Indiana Jones (guess I have a man crush on Harrison Ford), Captain Kirk (well duh).
Q: Who are your favorite heroines in fiction?
A: Now that’s a tough one. Why am I drawing a blank except for Mrs. Emma Peel of The Avengers? Guess I’m gonna have to get back to you on that.
Q: Who are your favorite musicians?
A: So many groups/genres but here’s a sample: Jane’s Addiction, Weezer, Oasis, B-52s, Elastica, Dandy Warhols, Steely Dan, Allman Brothers, Beatles/Stones/Who, Guess Who, The Monkees, Chick Corea and Return to Forever, Stephen Stills, Steve Winwood and Traffic, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, …
Think I’m gonna come up with my own questionnaire. What do you think I should ask?
Image credit Dice.com / Flickr