Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - If this were private, listen,

  • we'd have a whole other skew of answers to those questions.

  • But.

  • [gentle piano music]

  • - [Reporter] Dan. - Yes.

  • - [Reporter] You are about to take

  • Vanity Fair's Proust questionnaire.

  • - What an honor.

  • - [Reporter] We asked 35 questions in rapid succession

  • in order to reveal your true nature.

  • - Oh boy.

  • - [Reporter] Once a question has been read out,

  • you will have five seconds to answer before we move on.

  • Once we've completed all 35 questions

  • you will have a chance to reflect on

  • and even correct your answers.

  • - I am as ready as I can be, I think.

  • - [Reporter] What is your idea of perfect happiness?

  • - A sunny afternoon in Tokyo

  • with some of my closest friends.

  • - [Reporter] What is your greatest fear?

  • - Illness.

  • - [Reporter] What is a trait

  • that you most deplore in yourself?

  • - Thinking I have an answer to everything.

  • - [Reporter] What is the trait you most deplore in others?

  • - Bigotry.

  • - [Reporter] Which living person do you most admire?

  • - Oprah.

  • - [Reporter] What is your greatest extravagance?

  • - Glasses and sunglasses.

  • I have more than I'd like to share with you here today.

  • - [Reporter] What is your current state of mind?

  • - Hopeful.

  • - [Reporter] What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

  • - Obedience.

  • - [Reporter] On what occasion do you lie?

  • - Ooh, when the truth would hurt more

  • and the lie wouldn't hurt.

  • - [Reporter] What do you dislike most about your appearance?

  • - I have a very lazy eye.

  • - [Reporter] Which living person do you most despise?

  • - I don't want to give him press.

  • - [Reporter] What is the quality you most like in a man?

  • - Humility.

  • - [Reporter] What is the quality you most like in a woman?

  • - I like them all.

  • - [Reporter] Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

  • - The thing is.

  • - [Reporter] What or who is the greatest love of your life?

  • - I don't think I've met him yet,

  • so I'm going to say my dog, Redmond.

  • - [Reporter] When and where were you happiest?

  • - Italy, two summers ago with some friends,

  • long before any of this happened.

  • - [Reporter] Which talent would you most like to have?

  • - I would love to be a very, very good singer.

  • - [Reporter] If you could change one thing about yourself,

  • what would it be?

  • - To let things go more easily.

  • - [Reporter] What do you consider your greatest achievement?

  • - Ooh, probably telling stories that might have affected

  • a positive change in someone's life.

  • - [Reporter] If you were to die and come back as a person

  • or a thing, what would it be?

  • - I really like my life,

  • so the concept of reincarnation is kind of sad to me.

  • - [Reporter] Where would you most like to live?

  • - London, England.

  • - [Reporter] What is your most treasured possession?

  • - I want to say my dog, but he's not a possession.

  • It's, he's more just like a family member that I found.

  • - [Reporter] What do you regard

  • as the lowest depth of misery?

  • - Self-obsession.

  • - [Reporter] What is your favorite occupation?

  • - I quite like juggling acting and writing,

  • although ask me when I'm working

  • and that answer might be different.

  • - [Reporter] What is your most marked characteristic?

  • - Sarcasm.

  • - [Reporter] What do you most value in your friends?

  • - A strong sense of character.

  • - [Reporter] Who are your favorite writers?

  • - Yikes. At the moment Anne Carson and Michaela Coel.

  • - [Reporter] Who is your hero of fiction?

  • - Mary Poppins.

  • - [Reporter] Which historical figure

  • do you most identify with?

  • - Whoever hasn't been canceled yet.

  • - [Reporter] Who are your heroes in real life?

  • - Great teachers.

  • - [Reporter] What are your favorite names?

  • - Eugene, Deborah, Sarah, and Redmond.

  • - [Reporter] What is it that you most dislike?

  • - Generally speaking, arrogance.

  • - [Reporter] What is your greatest regret?

  • - Not respecting myself enough in my teens.

  • - [Reporter] How would you like to die?

  • - On a beach, mid-laugh with some friends.

  • - [Reporter] And finally, what is your motto?

  • - There is no such thing as this is how it's done.

  • - [Reporter] That concludes the questionnaire.

  • - [chuckles] Okay, relatively painless.

  • - [Reporter] So Dan, how was that experience?

  • - It was okay, it was okay.

  • I crack under pressure usually, so it was relatively smooth,

  • considering other high-pressure situations

  • I've cracked under.

  • - [Reporter] Were there questions that you lied about?

  • - No.

  • No, the problem is between my friends and my family,

  • I'd be held accountable for each and every answer

  • to those questions, likely publicly.

  • So I just don't think I'd be able to get away

  • with lying in this.

  • If this were private, listen,

  • we'd a whole other skew of answers to those questions, but.

  • - [Reporter] Can you explain why you answered "Oprah"

  • to which living person do you most admire?

  • - I mean, she has played such a formative role in my life.

  • She was someone who has like, greatly informed my desire

  • to be of service to people, to try and do good in the world.

  • She has inspired a sense of charity and generosity in me

  • from a very young age, and I just think that she is someone

  • who has made a mark on the world in such a positive way.

  • - [Reporter] You answered "thinking I have an answer

  • to everything" when I asked what trait you most deplore

  • in yourself?

  • In what occasions has that gone awry?

  • - A lot of the time it's like unwanted advice,

  • where I just can't help myself from offering solutions

  • or opinions on things that ultimately were never asked of me

  • but I'm a Leo, so I mean, I don't want to default

  • to a star sign cause that's like a really weak excuse.

  • But at the same time, for people who are Leos,

  • you realize that you are essentially trapped by a star sign

  • whether you want to admit it or not,

  • and I'm not really even into star signs.

  • So I don't really know what that means

  • but I do know that I tick a lot of the boxes

  • of my horoscope.

  • - [Reporter] Why do you think "obedience" is

  • the most overrated virtue?

  • - I think I've learned even in this short time

  • in entertainment that a lot of the current setup

  • and you know, the current sort of constructs

  • of how this industry is, has been built and sustained

  • over the years is built on the simple concept

  • of just people doing what they're told.

  • And that's not to say that doing what you're told is

  • a bad thing at times, but I do think that sometimes,

  • in order to make great change, you have to break the rules

  • or at least ask questions that push back on the rules.

  • And I think that's the only time that you will change them,

  • for the better, hopefully.

  • - [Reporter] Can you explain the context

  • behind that your greatest regret?

  • - Not respecting myself enough in my teens.

  • Yeah, I mean, I think I was a really introverted kid.

  • I really didn't think that highly of myself.

  • And I think you look back at your teens

  • and you see missed opportunities.

  • Would I have changed anything?

  • Probably not, because I feel like everything that happened

  • to me led to who I am today, but at the same time,

  • I do feel like, you know, looking back, you think, geez,

  • you were so much better than you thought you were.

  • If I were to ever meet my younger self

  • in a strange sci-fi scenario, that's what I would say.

  • - [Reporter] Why is "London, England,"

  • the place you'd most like to live?

  • - I lived there for a little bit in my early twenties

  • and I loved it, and I go on a lot of dates there,

  • to be perfectly honest.

  • Me and Los Angeles and the dating scenario are

  • just not the greatest fit.

  • - [Reporter] Why is "humility" the quality you most like

  • in a man?

  • - Maybe it's because I live in LA

  • and it's really hard to find that in men in LA.

  • People are very, very concerned about themselves

  • in Los Angeles.

  • You know, I just think it's such an attractive quality

  • to be sure of yourself and confident,

  • but not have it take over who you are or define who you are.

  • - [Reporter] Why is "Mary Poppins" your hero of fiction?

  • - She's my fondest and earliest childhood memory

  • of a fictional character,

  • and I've always admired her strength of will, her stoicism,

  • her humor, and there was just this kind of strong warmth

  • to that character that I've always loved.

  • And I once made the big mistake of telling my Nana

  • that I wished Julie Andrews was my grandmother

  • and it didn't go over very well.

  • And now I just miss my Nana a lot.

  • So I've kind of equated the two of them.

  • - [Reporter] How'd she respond to that?

  • - I think she raised an eyebrow and said,

  • "I'm standing right here."

  • - [Reporter] Why are "Anne Carson and Michaela Coel"

  • your favorite writers?

  • - I have so many favorite writers

  • that I think you can only go on, like, the people

  • that are taking up space in your mind right now.

  • And I just re-read "Autobiography of Red,"

  • which is my favorite work of fiction,

  • which is a long-form poem

  • that Anne Carson wrote many years ago

  • that always sort of brings me great inspiration and joy.

  • When it comes to, you know, contemporary writers,

  • I thought what Michaela Coel did

  • with "I May Destroy You" was absolutely game-changing

  • and revolutionary and inspiring

  • and heartbreaking and necessary.

  • So they seemed like two kind of important voices

  • that are floating around in my head.

  • - [Reporter] You said that the talent you would most like

  • to have is to be "a very, very good singer."

  • Can you share what your go-to audition song would be?

  • - I don't sing that often,

  • because I don't have a very remarkable voice.

  • You know, in my mind, like a really, really good singer is

  • like, I would love to, you know, to show up

  • to a holiday party and sing by a piano like Adele

  • and have everyone run into the room

  • and just have their breath taken away by the vocal stylings

  • that I was surprising people with.

  • Not the case in real life, but probably a Mariah Carey song.

  • I would probably sing a Mariah Carey song.

  • - [Reporter] Let's talk about your greatest extravagance.

  • - Glasses and sunglasses.

  • I've been collecting glasses,

  • I think since I was high school.

  • So, you know, they're a form of expression.

  • I think when you can't see quite literally without them,

  • I have always felt like if they're,

  • if I'm stuck with these glasses, I'm going to have as many

  • as I possibly can to sort of swap out with every mood

  • and look, if you will.

  • - [Reporter] So you answered:

  • - I really like my life.

  • So the concept of reincarnation is kind of sad to me.

  • - [Reporter] Why?

  • - For me, I think there's a lot of people

  • that have a lot of hope attached to reincarnation.

  • I think it's a very optimistic thing for people

  • who believe that there's something outside of this.

  • I think as someone who has worked really hard to find a life

  • for themselves and build a life for themselves

  • and take up space on the planet, coming from a place

  • where I felt like I never was going to take up space

  • on the planet and I never was going to have a voice

  • that I loved or I, or other people would love.

  • I think when you spend the time to really build a happy

  • and joyful and successful life for yourself,