The 5-minute Interview: Julian Schnabel, Artist and film-maker

'I have lost 30lb in a fast since last night'


Julian Schnabel, 56, is from Brooklyn, New York. He won the director's award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and a Bafta for best adapted screenplay for his film 'The Diving Bell And the Butterfly', which is released on DVD next month.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

Talking to Don Sanders about a painting in Texas.

A phrase I use far too often is ...

Whatever it was I erased it from my vocabulary, because every time I heard it, it bothered me so much. I think I took the word "like" out.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

Barack Obama. I think he should be president. We need him so the rest of the world doesn't see the US as isolationist.

The most surprising thing to happen to me was ...

I've lost 30lb since last night. I've been on a fast because I wanted to like myself better. I can't tell if I like myself any more.

A common misperception of me is ...

People can really find out about me if they look at my work. But they will probably find out things about themselves instead.

I'm good at ...

Surfing. The last time I surfed was in Mexico, but I'm not telling you where.

I'm very bad at ...

Giving interviews.

I am not a politician but ...

Vote for Obama. There is a lot of injustice and it is our responsibility to do something about it.

The ideal night out is ...

Not going out. I like to stay home. I am an artist and I make art so I'm normally busy getting on with my life as an artist at home.

In weak moments I ...

Make art. I make art when I feel good too.

You know me as an artist but in a truer life I'd have been ...

I've no idea. I'm happy now.

The best age to be is ...

I don't really care. I have been the same age my whole life.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this ...

Get to know something before you approach it. That way you also have something to give.

Rhia Chohan

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