Richard Lewis kvetching
After two seasons of televised verbal foreplay, Richard Lewis and Jamie Lee Curtis, as coworkers on the same magazine, finally get to consummate their Anything But Love affair on Mar. 6. Most viewers are probably thrilled by the prospect. And yet, one wonders, how does TV’s most neurotic leading man cope with shedding his baggy black duds and going under covers with a famously sexy, smirky leading lady?
Q: What did you do to prepare physically for the bed scene?
A: I hired a trainer about three days before and I did some light trampoline work. Three or four days before the show, I started to eat less and less deli in the morning and I doubled up on therapy. Also, I woke up about eight hours before the love scene and spent three hours doing a big job on my nostril hairs and ear fuzz. The one thing I’m vain about after turning 40 is ear fuzz and nostril hair. When I’m on the set with people and there’s a close-up and there’s, like, a hair that looks like an octopus coming out of a nose or they have, like, FDR’s lap-robe fuzz on their ear I’ve told famous people, ”Look, I’m not really a friend, but do yourself a favor clip that thing, you know, otherwise you might catch a fish.” My ears and nose, they were flawless, quite frankly.
Q: What happened on the set?
A: The biggest problem I had were the tall, mocking cameramen. I didn’t mind the shorter cameramen, but it was the guys over 6 foot 2 who never ate a bagel that were laughing at me. That’s when cameramen become ventriloquists, when they wanna mock a guy in bed with a legend.
Q: How did it go once you were in bed?
A: I got into bed with the legend and I panicked. I started sweating from another lifetime — Shirley MacLaine would have been proud of me.
Q: What were you guys wearing under the sheets?
A: I’m not sure what she was wearing but she’s used to this kind of stuff, plus not being intimidated by cameras it wouldn’t surprise me that she had not much —
Q: You mean you didn’t look?
A: My lawyer won’t let me answer that.
Q: And what about you?
A: I, on the other hand, being insecure, I was totally naked from the waist up but from the waist down I dressed like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. I had about four Russian Jewish slacks on and long johns and old comedy underwear I had about 30 layers of clothes on. I finally took most of them off and that’s when the takes really started to heat up.
Q: Were you more nervous doing the scene than you would be if you were in bed with a woman in real life?
A: Absolutely. I’m not a kinky sort of guy. I’m basically, well, if I get into that I’m like, ”You be Lolita and I’ll be Willy Loman,” you know what I mean? So it might be kinky to make love in front of a studio audience, but it wasn’t kinky for me, for me it was frightening. I’m great when I’m alone in my house with a woman… I think. My foreplay usually is, I put on a compilation of, you know, some very up movies like Raging Bull and Straw Dogs and then I end it with Last Tango and then I dive into the sack and I pray that things work.
Q: What do you want in the future for Hannah and Marty?
A: I want a baby. I want a television baby. I wanna be a hot Ozzie and Harriet. Although I thought they were pretty hot anyway. They were my favorite couple, but they slept in separate houses I think. I want a family, I want three or four kids, and I want the show to go on as long as possible. Anyway, now I have to go take a shower for this photo session. I don’t even know what I’m on the cover of — Guilt magazine, I think.
Anything But Love