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The decline of the celebrity interview has been fairly well-documented, but just when you think the whole enterprise is too hopelessly compromised to convey an honest human moment, Esquire comes along and drops something like this.

The piece is the Christopher Walken edition of their ongoing “What I’ve Learned” series, and it might be the best thing ever to grace their pages. (That’s right, we’re looking at you, Talese.) Walken’s screwball banality cuts right through all the false modesty, PR calculation and good-natured cant that usually makes this kind of writing such a minefield. Ponder this gem, for instance:

Sometimes I look at this watch and I think, There’s some guy that puts these little screws in there? There is something about it.

Or better yet:

I used to love Danish. My father used to make a Boston cream pie. You never see that anymore. Very good.

Truer words were never spoken.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom