My Secret Life: Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker, 41


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The Independent Online

My parents were... incredibly supportive in spite of my shortcomings.

The household I grew up in... I was the youngest of three ballet-dancing brothers. This was in West Virginia, coal mining country – it was very Billy Elliot.

When I was a child I wanted to be... All I ever wanted to do was make movies.

If I could change one thing about myself... Ever since I was a kid I loved people who go to the beach and get tanned. I'm white, I'm pink and I'm red.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... A lot of people are surprised I have rhythm, being a tall, lanky, white guy.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... playing musical instruments. I got a banjo a couple of years ago and I'm still really terrible. I don't practice.

I wish I had never worn... pastels. There are pictures of me in the Eighties that are more pastel than Miami Vice.

What I see when I look in the mirror... What my mother used to tell me, "You are a handsome man". Now, at 41, I finally see a man that's handsome.

My favourite item of clothing... I just started wearing vests. You reach a point where you wake up, like, "I'm a man, I'll wear vests".

My favourite work of art... I collect a lot of lowbrow and street art. My favourite is behind my desk, by Ron English. He was the guy who turned me on to the whole scene; I blame him for my addiction. He painted the obese Ronald McDonald we used in Super Size Me.

A book that changed me... Finite and Infinite Games. All of life is a game, and within games and life there is a theory and strategy for winning.

Movie heaven... Every Friday night me and my little boy have movie night – pizza, popcorn. He's five, so we watch Rio a lot...

My greatest regret... My son's mum and I split up three years ago – it was hard on him and hard on all of us. I made my career come before my relationship and it suffered as a result.

My secret crush... I have two British crushes: Keira Knightley, and the girl in Downton Abbey [Michelle Dockery].

My real-life villain... Selfish corporations that don't give back.

My five-year plan... Every year I sit down and I make a list: there's usually 40 or 50 things on it – and then I put it away. But when you look back at it it's amazing how many things you've accomplished.

What's the point? I ask that question a lot. Before my son, it was to try and make a difference, to right the ills of the world. Post- having my son, the point is to make the world a better place for him.

My life in six words... Pale, lanky boy makes mum proud.


Morgan Spurlock was born in 1970. He grew up in West Virginia and studied film at the Tisch School of Arts in New York. After working as a playwright, he had a hit with the documentary Super Size Me in 2004, which also won him an Oscar nomination. He followed this with the TV documentary series 30 Days and the film Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? His latest, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, is out on DVD on 27 February. Spurlock lives in New York with his son