Alfred Molina Answers the Proust Questionnaire

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A beautiful meal and a glass of wine with my favorite people and lots of laughter ringing around the table.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Self-doubt and a reoccurring fear that people would prefer the other Alfred Molina.

What is your greatest extravagance? Having my shirts dry-cleaned.

What do you dislike most about your appearance? How much time do we have?

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “Oh darling, here’s something interesting…”

What is your greatest regret? Waiting so long to move to New York.

When and where were you happiest? My first payday as a professional actor, knowing this was the beginning of the rest of my life, and the day my daughter told me I wasn’t the worst dad in the world.

What is your most treasured possession? My collection of original jazz on vinyl.

Where would you like to live? Apart from New York, my mum’s village in Italy.

What is your most marked characteristic? A tendency to talk too much.

What do you most value in your friends? Their love and patience with the above!

What is your greatest fear? Dying alone and in pain.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Don’t know, I’ve never met one.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty and not treating others as equals.

What is your favorite journey? The one that takes me home.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Chastity. It’s just another way to shame and control.

On what occasion do you lie? To spare other people’s feelings.

Which talent would you most like to have? To play the alto saxophone.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction? I don’t read much fiction, but Winston Smith has stayed with me since my teens.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d be more confident.

Who are your favorite writers? Michael Eric Dyson, Christopher Hitchens, Joan Didion.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Surviving thus far.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A musician.

What is your motto? All the world is theater.

Who are your heroes in real life? Immigrants who work hard to give their children every possible opportunity, like my mother did for me.

How would you like to die? On a late summer’s evening, surrounded by my family, listening to Sarah Vaughan…too much to ask?

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