Interview with Steve Martin in The Believer

This may be a character flaw in me, but I’d rather read a book of anecdotes about Faulkner’s life than Go Down Moses or whatever.  Maybe I’ve got “reality hunger,” to quote a useful title from an infuriating book.  What I enjoyed most about this interview was less the stuff about Shopgirl and more this stuff

BLVR: You’re a movie star. How are you able to write about regular people with regular problems?

SM: Well, half my life I’ve been a celebrity and half I wasn’t. I do have knowledge of what it means to live on a dime.

BLVR: You have an aura about you that makes you seem more normal than many celebrities. Somehow you’ve managed to live a fairly normal life.

SM: I don’t know. I made two decisions that I suddenly recall for no reason. One was, when I was like eighteen and had a car, I said, “I’m never not going to go anywhere because of the price of gas.” And the other thing I remember thinking, when I was starting to become famous, was, “I am never not going to go anywhere because I’m famous.” Although I do choose not to go some places because I’m famous. But I travel alone. I don’t have an entourage. I don’t want that.

BLVR: I guess that makes your life easier.

SM: It’s really easier. You know, there’s a moment when you’re famous when it’s unbearable to go out because you’re too famous. And then there’s a moment when you’re famousjust right. [Laughs] And then there’s kind of a respect or distance or something, but you have a little bit more grease.

BLVR: When did the “just right” occur for you?

SM: I would say mid-eighties. There’s a kind of heat fever that just dissipates. You’re not someone who’s constantly being followed.

BLVR: Where can’t you go?

SM: It’s not where I can’t, it’s where I don’t want to.

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