Margot Kidder was a trail blazer mental illness advocate. She was one of the first actresses who helped put a face to bipolar disorder and mental illness. She was fearless and resilient.She helped educate many about bipolar disorder through the years and with her death she will educate even more. I wanted to share her story as part of my campaign. We all have a story tell and learn from.Thank you Margot Kidder for your story and being an inspiration to me and many others. Rest in peace.
The Education of Margot Kidder
By Judson Klinger
To millions, she was Lois Lane in ‘Superman.’ But in real life, she was a twice-married single mother just looking for her place in Hollywood.
Margot Kidder came to Morocco looking for adventure. She hadn’t intended to get into trouble. But not unlike Lois Lane, the comic-book heroine she plays in the Superman movies, she’s prone to dive into things and winds up paying the price. You might say she lacks caution.
Kidder was unaware that Morocco was in the frenzy of a religious upheaval more or less like the one in Iran. She was probably the only white woman on the streets of Casablanca dressed American-style, in khaki shorts and T-shirt – a blasphemy in the eyes of fanatical Moslem males. As she strolled through the marketplace, they began to accost her, grabbing at her arms and trying to jerk her down dark alleys or through shadowy doorways. They spoke with guttural, French-Arabic accents, “You want me to fuck you, American whore?”
Having been a California resident for several years, she immediately recognized the problem: bad vibes. She figured that by giving out good vibes, she’d get them in return. She smiled at her solicitors, but that made matters worse. This wasn’t exactly Redondo Beach. Finally, she ran down a side street and took refuge in a junk shop. There were guns for sale, and she selected one and took it to the salesman. He grabbed it and stuck the business end to her head. She heard him cock the hammer and she asked if the gun was loaded. He started to cackle, pulled the trigger, and she screamed. It wasn’t loaded. Laughter came from every angle, heavy and vicious. Kidder had to fight her way out of the shop and back to her hotel.
Another night, she dreamed she was in a cage, drowning in a muddy Vietnamese river. It was the scene from The Deer Hunter. A trap door opened above her, and she was hoisted into a room where Viet Cong forced her to play Russian roulette. Just as she raised the gun to her temple, the roof of the bamboo shack exploded. Superman had arrived to save her.
When Kidder told this story, she thought it was nothing more than an amusing anecdote. But it illustrates a few of the more salient qualities of her personality: her affinity for adventure; her prevailing vulnerability; her tendency to live by impulsive or romantic decisions; and her inability, at times, to divorce herself from the movie characters she plays.
Since emerging as a recognizable star in Superman in early 1979, Kidder has been a second-rung actress in search of a picture she can dominate. She’s done some nice work and garnered good critical notices, but she’s constantly looking for that One Big Part. She hadn’t found it as of last month, as we raced in her sleek BMW sedan through the cool night air on the Pacific Coast Highway. She was heading for Malibu, where she lives with her five-year-old daughter, Maggie, and she was talking about her new passion – health. A nutritionist had diagnosed her as suffering from malnutrition and severe vitamin deficiency and had placed her on a strict diet. Beyond that, she had enrolled in Nautilus, yoga and dance classes. It seemed to be working. She had lost weight, stopped drinking and looked about ten years younger than the last time I’d seen her.
“My body,” she explained with the zeal of a TV evangelist, “after 32 years of running as fast as a human being could possibly go, was a total wreck. It dawned on me that if I continued at the rate I was going, with my wonderful theory that I live life to the fullest, I would be a dead person, quite quickly. So I got myself to this nutritionist, and now I’m doing health to excess.” She thought it was funny that she’d discovered some new ground to consume. Too much had been her principal rule of conduct for too many years.
Kidder introduced me to this precept for modern living the day I met her, on the set of The Amityville Horror around Thanksgiving 1978. She was perched motionless as an art-school model under about 5000 watts of makeup lights. Though a nightgown barely concealed her physical equipment, it was her face, hard-boned and uniquely shaped, and her sandpaper voice that were the foundation of her sexiness. That, and an immediate awareness of action behind her wide, deep eyes.
“It dawned on me that if I continued at the rate I was going, I would be a dead person, quite quickly.”
“You should have been here earlier,” she said. “You missed some sizzling love scenes. Bright lights on me, Jim Brolin on me, and fourteen men standing around watching. In twelve movies, I’ve never had to do a love scene, and I started getting some funny thoughts, like, ‘How do you act like you’re a good lay?’ I don’t want to look like some fat New Jersey housewife. Last night I was pretty nervous about how I was going to look, so I ate an entire box of chocolate Ex-Lax, thinking I’d lose a lot of weight real fast. Well, I lost about six pounds, but it was all water weight and diarrhea. Boy, I feel terrible!”
She read the look of disbelief on my face and delivered her canon. “Listen, I’ve never done anything in moderation in my life.” Her upper lip curled into a smile under the hand of the makeup artist. “I’ve always been addicted to excess. I mean, this whole concept of moderation is something I yearn for.”
Canadians are crazy. On the deepest level, they’re the most loyal people in the world. No matter how well Canadian actors do in the United States, you can call them and say, “They want you to shovel squirrel shit in a movie in Canada.” And they’ll say, “It’s for Canada, I’ll be there.” They love being Canadians. —Paul Mazursky
The second of five children, Margaret Kidder was born in Yellowknife, the capital of the Canadian Northwest Territories, and raised in a dozen different small towns. She idolized her father, Kendall, a mining engineer who was on the road for months at a stretch. Her mother, Jill, was a strong-willed schoolteacher who taught her daughters never to depend on a man and to always have work of their own. Margot attended twelve different schools in eleven years, and she was never in one place long enough to make a close friend. But she was a quick student and an insatiable reader who spent hours writing in diaries and planning her escape from loneliness. “Nobody ever encouraged me to be an actress,” she recalled. “It was taken as a joke. I just knew I didn’t want to stay in a small town, get married and have babies. As a teenager, I envisioned myself in every book I read. I wanted to be Henry Miller and Thomas Wolfe. I wanted to eat everything on the world’s platter, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach.”
After a year at the University of British Columbia, Margot moved to Toronto. She worked as a model and television actress before director Norman Jewison cast her as a teenage hooker in her first feature, Gaily, Gaily, a $ 10 million flop.
A Canadian celebrity at the age of twenty-one, Margot met Rosie Shuster, then a research editor for a talk show produced by Lorne Michaels, her husband at the time. Shuster became Kidder’s first close female friend. “I came into her kitchen to interview her for the show,” remembered Shuster, who went on to become a writer for Saturday Night Live. “She started telling me extremely personal things, immediately opening up in a way that was imprudent by Canadian standards. We had a lot in common – disappointing our mothers, couldn’t get enough of daddy, getting a lot of attention from men to compensate. We liked being bad. … She was this vivid, melodramatic, Scarlett O’Hara kind of woman: extremely excessive but with a heart of gold. We were both romantic suckers.”
A year later, Margot went to L.A. to star with James Garner in the 1971 TV series Nichols, an offbeat, turn-of-the-century western. Although canceled after one season, the show firmly established her in Hollywood. She became friends with actress Jennifer Salt, and for two years they rented a beach house, where reckless living was a matter of nightly routine.
“It’s a very small town,” Kidder said with a guilty laugh. “I have this weird reputation as wild or out of control, because when I party, I party. I get loaded. I used to get piss-faced and drive down Sunset Boulevard at ninety miles per hour, screeching my tires at every curve. People used to think it was fun watching me make an ass of myself. Maybe they’re being deprived of a bit of that these days, although I still do it enough so that they can get their laughs.”
Between parties, Kidder found time to star in Brian De Palma’s Sisters. Her portrayal of murderous Siamese twins was so disturbing that, prior toSuperman, it was her most memorable role. It was followed, however, by a string of forgettable pictures.
“In that period,” said Shuster, “her taste in films, and men, wasn’t her forte. The thing that impressed me most was that she would hang glide. You know, jump off cliffs with a kite strapped to her back.” After a close friend was killed, Kidder quit. It was around the time Maggie was born. “When you have a baby,” added Shuster, “you have the responsibility not to die on your kid. You have to kiss your suicide fantasies goodbye.”
“I’ve never done anything in moderation in my life. I’ve always been addicted to excess.”
Miranda used to do reds, crossed her sevens, and had a Leo rising. She was Skelton’s girl, a pretty thing whose long black hair carried behind her as she walked. …”I’m twenty-four and I’ve been with a bunch of men – for whom there was always at least affection.” —Thomas McGuane, Ninety-two in the Shade
Ninety-two in the Shade was nominated for the National Book Award in 1974. When Elliot Kastner, who bought the film rights, had difficulty finding a director, the novelist himself was given the directorial nod. Thomas McGuane’s entire experience as a filmmaker had consisted of watching his first script, Rancho Deluxe, being shot in his hometown of Livingston, Montana. Six months later, he was casting Ninety-two.
Kidder was the perfect choice to play Miranda, and she brought a pervasive sensuality to the role of the logical-minded schoolteacher and sex object of prospective fishing guide Tom Skelton, played by Peter Fonda. Although McGuane already had a wife (Becky) and a paramour (Elizabeth Ashley) on the Key West set, he pursued Margot, and she offered little resistance. “McGuane went for me because I was Miranda,” she said. “His first come-on line was, ‘I bet you’re one of those girls who writes “How true” in the margins of your books.’ It was the best line I’ve ever gotten. He had me hooked right then, because he was right.” Before the film was finished, Ashley broke a lamp over McGuane’s head, and he and Becky were getting divorced. In March 1975, Margot moved to Montana, and later married McGuane.
There was never any discussion about where the couple would live; McGuane, a dedicated outdoorsman, didn’t consider selling his Raw Deal Ranch to move to L.A., the city he has dubbed a “geek metropolis.”
When the reality of life in Montana turned out to be less palatable than her romantic fantasies, Kidder became terribly self-indulgent. “I decided, for the first time in my life, I was going to commit to a man, be a wife and mother. It was the only relationship in which I said, ‘I’m going all the way, even if it means my own self-destruction.’ But I really didn’t commit – it was sort of half-assed. I mostly sat around and wept in closets. It was a great lesson.”
After Maggie was born, Kidder imagined she could go back to acting and be a wife and mother at the same time. But she found little sympathy from McGuane and his Livingston cohorts. “Trained chauvinists,” she called them. “When they get together, they talk about pussy. I heard them talk, and there was no genuine intimacy.
“When I first met them, I thought they were such macho boobs. Then I got to know some of them separately, in a way they won’t reveal to each other, and they were totally different human beings. Women with any wisdom look at men doing that macho number and are embarrassed for the guys. We know it’s bullshit, that it comes out of insecurity. They just don’t know we know.”
McGuane encouraged her to write a screenplay. She wrote her memoirs, which accompanied a nude photo layout in Playboy. Sports Illustrated sent her to L.A. to report on celebrity gyms.
“In self-esteem,” said Shuster, “Margot bottomed out in Montana. She had nature, but it was a pretty small life in terms of the demands put on her talent. I made a trip up there, and one day in a bar she was groveling on the floor, looking for the cap of a front tooth she’d lost. She looked up at me from the floor and said, ‘We are all one big asshole.'”
“One day I got a phone call from Margot Kidder in Montana,” said agent Rick Nicita, recalling how he came to represent the actress. “She said. ‘I’m coming back to the business, and I want you to be my agent, okay?’ I said. ‘I think we ought to meet and talk about it; we hardly know each other.’ And she said, ‘Hey, let’s just do it.’ So I had her fly in and sign agency contracts.
“The first thing I said to her was, ‘You can’t live in Montana and maintain a career here. You’re gonna have to fly in for meetings.’ She said fine. So right away, I pushed real hard and got her a meeting for Superman. Then I called her, and she said, ‘I can’t come in, I have a cutting horse class.’ ‘Cutting horse?!’ I said. ‘No way. You’re flying in. You’ve gotta be here.'”
“She’s so impulsive that she doesn’t have a lot of finesse,” said Christopher Reeve. “But that’s her style, and it’s absolutely charming.”
In April 1977, less than a month away from the start of principal photography, director Richard Donner still didn’t have his Lois Lane. Christopher Reeve, who plays the title role, remembered Margot as Robert Redford’s girlfriend in The Great Waldo Pepper and suggested her to Donner. The day she tested for the part, Kidder wore a Stetson and cowboy boots. She walked into Donner’s office as if her legs had been strapped around a barrel for three weeks.
“I hired her because she was Margot,” explained Donner. “Her personality flows through when she acts – nutty and vivacious – and that’s what I wanted. For instance, without her contacts, she walks into walls. She’s certifiably blind. One day, she put her lenses in backward, and it fucked up her eyes, so she had to work without them. A lot of people squint when they can’t see, but Margot goes wide-eyed. That look became part of Lois Lane, and I made it a law that Margot couldn’t wear her contacts on the set.”
“I have great respect for her as an actress,” added Reeve. “She’s so impulsive that she doesn’t have a lot of finesse, but that’s her style, and it’s absolutely charming.”
Kidder spent a year and a half in London making Superman. Early on, she and McGuane broke up. When the picture was finished, she moved back to L.A. to resume a full-time career. By Valentine’s Day 1979, Kidder’s face was on the cover of almost every supermarket tabloid and fan magazine in the world. It was exactly the kind of visibility she’d hoped for; she had become a bankable Hollywood star. The mere anticipation of her success in Superman brought a big-money offer to portray Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror.
“I had to get her away from Superman fast,” her agent told me, “so I thought, ‘Amityville… it won’t be a great picture, but it will make lots of money.’ And if there’s one thing this town likes, it’s people who are in hit pictures.” Nicita was right: Amityville finished among the top five moneymakers in 1979, with a box-office gross estimated at more than $90 million. The year’s number-one box-office hit was Superman.
When you’re a single parent, you can easily be manipulated by guilt. Maggie is smart. She knows exactly what she’s up against and finds ways to get as much attention as she can. She knows exactly how to press those guilt buttons. —Rosie Shuster
Between pictures in April 1979, I met Margot in Hollywood, where she was shopping with Maggie. We stopped off at Machismo, a boutique on Santa Monica Boulevard that caters to the discriminating male. Recognizing Margot as the cover girl of Wet, the magazine of gourmet bathing, the clerks felt fabulous about having her in the shop. Maggie stormed through the place, pulling colorful stuff off counters, saying, “I want this. I want this.” Margot bought anything Maggie grabbed.
In the late afternoon, we set out for their home in Malibu. Kidder bought the secluded, ranch-style house with her earnings from Amityville. Margot went straight to the kitchen, where she fried hamburgers for dinner. The walls were crowded with pictures – snapshots of her hang gliding, posing with friends, gazing at a Pacific sunset. There was a birthday poem for Maggie, written by Richard Brautigan, and pages 208 and 209 of McGaune’s first novel, The Sporting Club, were nailed up. There were lots of oil paintings, many by Russell Chatham.
Over the meal, deals were struck: Maggie ate a forkful of meat for the promise of a disco outfit. Margot patiently tried to feed her peas, most of which she batted away. When she shattered her milk glass on the floor, Margot put her to bed.
Returning to the kitchen table, Kidder poured a stiff Tab and vodka, lit a Salem and began to explain the problems she faced trying to raise Maggie by herself. “One night, Maggie wanted something from me, and I wouldn’t give it to her, so she started going, ‘I want my daddy.'” Kidder feared that because Maggie spends most of the year with her, she would grow up worshiping McGuane from afar, as Margot had her own father. “A lot of women sit around going, ‘We’re so oppressed by men, look what they’ve done to us!’ And you end up with a fucking Sylvia Plath, with her martyred little stupid head in the oven. This one night I was really depressed, and I thought, ‘Sylvia Plath in Malibu!’ So I said to myself, ‘Stop sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, Kidder. Smarten up and take the next step….’ Self-pity is a bore.”
Margot sat up in her chair and punched out her cigarette in an ashtray. She wore a cynical expression that offset her denunciations. Her eyes searched for sympathy. “I want Maggie to have a family. She says to me, ‘Why don’t we have a daddy who lives at home with us?’ I go to work and she cries, so I feel guilty and buy her too many toys. She watches The Brady Bunch and wants a brother and sister, and for me to stay at home. I can’t give up the idea that there must be some way for it to work.
“But a man is just another thing that needs time, and giving, and I don’t have it in me at this point in my life. Strangely, I think I have to be alone to be myself. That’s a paradox, and something else I can’t face, because I love men, and I love sex. Sex is the one place where I feel safe, where I feel I can get together with men.”
That paradox of repressed desires versus social expectations is the theme of Lady Oracle, by Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood. Kidder loved the book and bought the screen rights. She thinks the project will give her the chance to make a personal statement through acting. “I have this theory that I’m now in a position to pick and choose a little bit. I’ll do one for money, one for heart. I bought this house with Amityville; the next, Willie and Phil, is definitely for heart; Lady Oracle will be for heart; and as for Superman II…you can take a guess.”
I got ready to leave. On the wall next to the sink was a reproduction of a page from her diary, written when she was eleven. It read: When i grow up i want to be a popular Actress, Sort of like Annette. I’m boy crazy because i love boys. I like them if they’re cute, and sort of bad.
Dear Paul Landers:
I just got a job as an actress in a movie with my favorite director, What he doesn’t know is that I don’t know anything about acting. Do you think I should tell him?
– a telegram from Margot Kidder to Paul Mazursky
Willie and Phil didn’t pan out as the critical or commercial success Kidder had anticipated, but the experience of working with director Paul Mazursky had a profound effect on her attitude toward acting. He instilled in her a sense of pride, a sense that acting was more than a bullshit way to waltz through life
The afternoon Kidder auditioned for Willie and Phil, she met actor John Heard, who was cast as Willie but bowed out. When she left for rehearsals in New York some five months later, she and Heard were a hot item. They planned a big summer wedding, even though the film was making enormous demands on her. It was the first time she’d taken on such a complicated role, and the work took its toll. By the time Willie and Phil moved to L.A. in August, the wedding was off. Yet when the picture wrapped, she flew to New York and impulsively married Heard. She immediately went to London to begin Superman II and, ironically, within a month was weathering the collapse of her second marriage on the same set.
Six months later, we met in her office, a single room above her garage. Wearing a white T-shirt, a white ankle-length cotton skirt and no shoes, Kidder was stretched out on a couch, reading a fresh draft of Oracle.
“I love sex. Sex is the one place where I feel safe, where I feel I can get together with men.”
“Well, you’re looking at script number four,” she said, “which Margaret Atwood herself wrote for me.” Her voice sounded foolish. “I’ve spent a lot of time and put enormous amounts of my money, energy and heart into this.” She lifted the script emphatically. “And I still don’t have a deal. Yet I refuse, in some stubborn, idiotic, horrible way, to give it up. I don’t know at what point you quit…
“Let’s face it: as a producer, I’m a joke. I’m a joke!” Her smile grew until her upper gum was exposed. “I’ve done fifteen movies now, most of them major turkeys, really embarrassing stuff, and I just figure it’s about time I did what I want to do, and what I’m capable of doing.”
Maggie walked in and announced that she wanted to type a letter to dad. She knelt on the desk chair in front of a black IBM typewriter, and Margot stood over her shoulder. Maggie dictated sentences, and Margot repeated each word phonetically while Maggie hunted and pecked each letter herself. Addressing the envelope, Kidder told me that any bitterness she’d felt toward McGuane two years ago had evaporated – they were friends again. And unemployment had given Kidder time to play mom, which relieved a lot of her past guilt.
She hadn’t worked for months, because Mazursky had convinced her that she should accept only those roles she believed in.
“Mazursky gave me artistic integrity,” she said with a sudden burst of passion. “He gave me a book by John Gardner called On Moral Fiction, about the responsibility of an artist. Something I never had before. He endowed me with a moral code.”
In the face of this new-born moral vision and burning artistic responsibility, Kidder had found it difficult to go back to work on that commercial colossus, Superman II, in the fall of 1979. It wasn’t that she’d felt playing Lois Lane was beneath her talent; on the contrary, she’d wondered if she had any business being an actress at all. Her insecurity had been heightened when she found out that Donner wasn’t completing the sequel. Not to mention the fact that her second marriage was falling apart.
“Basically,” she explained, “for several weeks I sat around my dressing room, listened to music, read The Great Shark Hunt and Orwell and a lot of French literature, wrote letters, worked on a screenplay, went through the divorce, and every so often I went on the set and said a line like, ‘Oh, Superman, Superman.’ At one point, I went, ‘This is sick,‘ I had the sense of being the most immoral human being who ever walked the face of the earth. I mean, here I was, making a ridiculous amount of money for doing absolutely piss-fucking-all.
“Since then, something in me has made it impossible for me to do anything for money. I believe an artist should be paid, but I wasn’t being an artist. Superman is one of my favorite movies, but the fact is that I don’t get any pleasure out of the money. A big bank account ultimately means nothing. I could make a fortune being a whore this year my price is really high. Unfortunately, Mazursky got me at the wrong time.”
It’s taken Hollywood five years to get Some Kind of Hero, James Kirkwood’s novel about a former Vietnam POW, into production. In April, director Michael Pressman began shooting the film, which stars Richard Pryor. And the word around the Paramount back lot has it that Pryor, in his most dramatic role since Lady Sings the Blues, is topping anything he’s done before. Kidder plays a sympathetic prostitute who falls for Pryor on her night off. She accepted the part before she even saw the script, jumping at the chance to work with Pryor.
“The thing that makes Pryor wonderful,” Kidder said over a cup of herbal tea during a final interview last month, “is that he’s the most real human being in the world. You could feel comfortable picking your toenails and eating them in front of him.
“The guy’s a genius. My big nervousness was thinking I was going to have to be really funny. But that’s been erased. His knowledge of the acting process is extraordinary. And with his wisdom about the human condition…well, he turned out to be even better than I’d hoped. He has that reality, that truth, that life force that is inextinguishable.” She broke into laughter. “Excuse the phrase.”
Eventually, the conversation wound around to Superman II. The sequel, which has a more linear plot and relies more heavily on the Superman myth, has been favored in the early reviews.
“I like the second one a lot,” Kidder said. “It’s definitely faster and funnier. But it’s hard for me to compare II with I, because they’re separate movies and they’ll have separate appeal. To me, watching a movie never means watching the plot; I watch the characters and their interactions. That’s what interests me in fiction, and in life.” She went into her self-deprecating grin. “I guess that’s why I’m such a bad screenwriter and such a terrible judge of scripts.”
Richard Donner shot a good portion of Superman II while making the first film, but he received no screen credit on the sequel. Richard Lester (A Hard Day’s Night, Help!) replaced Donner, who reportedly had a financial dispute with the producers. At first, it was hard for Kidder to accept the dismissal of Donner, the man she feels was essentially responsible for her career. But she enjoyed working with Lester and realized her unhappiness during the filming had nothing to do with the movie.
“I think my expectations for myself were higher coming off that period with Mazursky, and therefore I was down on myself about my work more than I might have been….I just didn’t measure up to my ideal of what an artist should be doing.
“Now I’m really hard on my work, because, while my standards have been raised, I don’t know that my level of competency has been raised an equal amount. If anything, I feel farther behind than before I set the standards.”
In the throes of her health kick, she wasn’t the woman who used to be just this side of ragged. Two years ago, her maxim had been this: “The key to my life has always been my willingness to commit experience, to use McGuane’s phrase. I’ve always been willing to try anything. There’s a line I draw in life: on one side, those who observe; and on the other, those who are willing to commit themselves. I’ve always been drawn to the latter.” Now she was saying that perhaps the maxim no longer held true. “Mazursky’s attack with me was to say, ‘I’m not really interested in your fuckups. You’ve wallowed in them long enough. That’s cute that you walk into walls, trip over camera dollies and can’t get your dinner down without getting half of it on your shirt. But thanks, I’m not impressed. What impresses me is that underneath all that bullshit, you’re very strong and have pulled through. That doesn’t seem to be something you want to face.’ That was really kind of staggering. For the first time in my life, someone said to me, ‘Acting is an art, not an asshole number, and it’s time you wised up and took responsibility for your own talent. Because if you don’t, you’re disgusting and not really to be respected.'” She paused and finished her tea. “It was like someone saying, ‘Grow up!‘”
But placing Mazursky and her current health bent aside, evidence of a lifetime points to the fact that her compulsive style will always manifest itself. Did she really think she could change so abruptly and start leading a normal life?</p>
“Well,” she said, giggling, “I wouldn’t go as far as to say normal.” Then she laughed. “There’s still the old four a.m. alone.”
“The four a.m. alone,” she repeated. “It goes like this: first, you’re a little drunk. Second, you say to yourself, ‘I’m not the only one at four a.m. alone.’ Third step, you put on a little music – Billie Holiday if you’re particularly self-pitying. In the process, you gain a sense of something beyond yourself, alone, lonely, four a.m., and I’m not fucking somebody. The sense is that you’re part of something very special. Like when I was eight and went into the forest and saw how the sunlight hit the leaves, and I thought I was the only kid in school who really got that it was magic.
“This sounds pretentious, but I really mean it. The four a.m. alone is an integral part of emotional honesty. It’s part of being an artist. You begin to think, ‘Why is insanity valid? Why is there no end to the universe? Why can’t I grasp infinity?’ And you sit there and think, ‘This is real crazy stuff to be upset by!’
“So if you’re a sensible person, you go to sleep for eight hours, and in the morning you go to the Nautilus gym and you work out and eat health foods, and you don’t do drugs, and you become a very sane person. And these questions are given proper perspective, in the California sense. Which means, you don’t give them the importance they’re due. And if you do give them the importance they’re due, you become an insane person
“So it’s a constant sense of conflict: if I think about what I believe is important, I’ll be crazy; and if I don’t think about it, I find myself denying, denying, denying in order to be normal.”
She was admitting that she hasn’t changed all that much. She’ll keep creating fantasies of potential happiness, and when they fall apart, she’ll look ahead for something new
I asked here what it might take to ultimately fulfill her.
“Constant adventure,” she answered. “I dream about sex, flying and being chased by Nazis.”