Catching Up With... Andy Dick
Andy Dick is tired of the negative publicity, the TMZ cameras, celebrity feuds and -- for now -- drinking. Oh, and he's got something to say to Jon Lovitz. We'll get to that in a sec.
When I talked to Dick on Wednesday afternoon he was refreshingly upbeat. Driven. Defiant. Sober. And, well, domestic. In fact, he interrupted our phone conversation to instruct a friend on the proper way to re-heat lasagna ("We don't want it to get all crispy") for his roommate, 19-year-old son Lucas. So that was unexpected and quaint. As Dick himself said, a Rachael Ray moment.
What wasn't surprising was Dick's trademark stream-of-consciousness high-speed download. He's a guy with a lot to say and, if you ask him, a lot more than lasagna on his plate. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
There's his new DVD release, "Danny Roane: First Time Director," his talk show for Howard Stern's Sirius radio channel and his upcoming foray into the world of reality TV for VH1. That's not even including his still only months-old sobriety, a move out of L.A. ("I live a few blocks away from Area now, the club that's always on 'Entourage'") to be closer to his kids (he has two more, ages 13 and 10) and, well, his beef with Jon Lovitz.
About the Jon Lovitz thing -- in July, the "SNL" alum said he assaulted Dick at a comedy club and publicly accused Dick of having a hand in the death of comedian Phil Hartman and his wife and of putting a hex on his (Lovitz's) career. Read the original Page Six item here.
Not so, says Dick. In fact, in this audio clip from our interview, Dick says he had nothing to do with Hartman's death and dismisses Lovitz as an "unhappy, sad, overweight man" who, essentially, needs to move on. Though, Dick hastens to add, he would put a hex on Lovitz at this point if he could.
Much more after the jump...
Although he'd gotten his start at with Chicago's Second City improv troupe, Dick landed squarely on the primetime dial in 1995 on the sitcom "News Radio." Along with Phil Hartman, Dick quickly made the show a must watch.
Then, after the show wrapped in 1999, came the ups and downs. Dick's career milestones (his own MTV show, forays on to the silver screen and a second primetime sitcom) were often eclipsed by Dick's scene-stealing private life. Car accidents, drug possession charges, rehab, the face-licking thing, rehab, the Ivanka Trump episode, rehab, and -- most recently -- an August citation for urinating on a Columbus, Ohio sidewalk.
Dick's name will often elicit groans from the average consumer of celebrity gossip. An August posting on Internet gossip powerhouse TMZ.com drew comments ranging from "Andy who?" to "Insofar as train wrecks go, this untalented dweeb outraces Paris/Britney/Llindsay/Chynna?Bobby Trendy... COMBINED." Ouch.
In fact, so predictably unpredictable is Dick that one sportswriter recently invoked his name to describe the unreliable performance of a sports team, calling the Bears the "Andy Dick of the NFL."
When asked how he felt about his name being used as shorthand for instability, Dick said, "When my name becomes an adjective, then you know I've actually done that thing I've set out to do, become a household name."
And now Dick wants to cut out the middleman -- TMZ.com, People, Us and the Web's ever-expanding swarm of bloggers -- to show that there's more to him than a face-licking fearlessly drunk dynamo we have come to associate with his name.
"Roane," Dick's first attempt at directing a feature length film, is a mockumentary chronicling the trials of a newly-sober actor directing his first movie who, along the way, becomes not so sober anymore. A construct that Dick didn't have to look too far to conjure up. After all, it's his life. And Dick candidly admits that he slipped -- often -- while filming.
But, says Dick, he realized while editing that the movie would likely have been just as good, if not better, if he'd remained sober. And that is Dick's takeaway from this experience: He doesn't need to be loaded to be funny.
"I'm better sober and people tell me that and I've gotta listen to them," said Dick. "I may be having a little more fun, but maybe the product suffered."
The actor turned director dismisses one review warning that only Andy Dick fans will like "Danny Roane." In fact, Dick says, hardcore fans may not like his directorial debut because they know he can do better. "And I will," he says.
And we want to believe him, this creative guy bursting with ideas and opportunity. He may well be the comedic doppelganger of Robert Downey Jr. -- one who keeps fighting his way back to the spotlight only to trip himself up again and again. Here's to hoping that, like Downey, he figures out how to steady himself.
To download a 45-minute MP3 of my entire interview with Andy Dick, right click here and save to your computer. Then listen on your desktop or load on your iPod. (Warning: It jumps right in to what sounds like a cooking show.)
| November 2, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories: Catching Up With..., Celebrities
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