Dana Delany: Dana-matrix
Q: What are your neuroses?
A: I have this fear of abandonment, that most people have, so I don't let anybody in. I think that's very common in modern society.
Q: Your boyfriend, so I've read, is a lobbyist named Darius Anderson. Does it bother you that the press feels a need to report on your love life?
A: I don't take it seriously, but I do think it's an added pressure that other relationships don't have. [But] he was upset [about being called that] because he's not a lobbyist. Lobbyists are like the scum of the earth. He works for a man who owns grocery stores, as his government relations person. Because he's eight years younger than me, I played this whole joke on him about how I was at Woodstock. I said, "You don't know what it was like, man. It was like freedom and it rained and we all got naked and went swimming in the pond and rolled around in the mud."
Q: How did you break the news to him?
A: I just said, "You know, Woodstock? I was kidding." He was so pissed off, but he likes a good gag.
Q: How do the people close to you feel about you playing a dominatrix?
A: Darius totally supports me in anything I do, but it makes him nervous. My family has learned to accept what I do. They know if they say anything negative [laughing], I'll kill them.
Q: You were raised Catholic. How has that affected you as an adult?
A: I feel guilty very easily. I think, if anything, my exhibitionist side is a reaction to Catholicism.
Q: Did you go to confession?
A: Yeah, but I stopped once I had things to confess.
Q: Which was when?
A: When my parents got divorced. I was 19.
Q: Did your parents splitting sour you on the idea of getting married?
A: Sometimes I don't quite understand the point of marriage. We all live so much longer now that the idea of being with someone for that long is sort of antiquated. We go through phases in our lives and it's hard for one person to match all those phases. That's not to say I wouldn't want to be married.
Q: You've been quoted as saying, "If you put Willem [Dafoe], Liam Neeson and Jimmy Woods in a room together, there wouldn't be room for anyone else." You were, I believe, referring to the size of their "jade stalks." Did that quote come back to haunt you?
A: Yes. I thought it was funny, but I got a lot of shit for that. People think that I had sex with all those men, which I haven't. It was purely conjecture, meant as a compliment. But, you know, Jimmy Woods told me he got more dates from that.
Q: Do people ever confuse you with Janine Turner? It seems like you left TV and she grew back in your place.
A: It's true. Someone told me, "I loved you in Cliffhanger." The funny thing is that I was supposed to do Cliffhanger before Janine. The deal just didn't work out. I'd love to work with Stallone someday.
Q: I heard that, after your relationship with "China Beach" producer John Sacret Young ended, you sampled skydiving. What is it like to jump out of an airplane?
A: It was such an adrenaline rush, but it seemed unnatural. I'd rather get high internally, doing yoga or meditating, than have to do it in an external way like jumping out of a plane. People who do it are addicted to that rush. It's like a drug.
Q: I read that you're a member of the Mile High Club.
A: I am. It was with a friend of mine who was piloting a six-seater plane. It was just him and me.
Q: That must be why autopilot was invented. Were you scared?
A: No, I never felt like my life was in danger. He knew what he was doing. It was pretty fast.
Q: What's your favorite bedroom music?
A: Music's not like a requirement of mine, but I like funk. I've had Lenny Kravitz on, and it was great. Same goes for Prince. I remember my first time was to the Beach Boys' "Disney Girls." I love that song. It still makes me cry. My innocence is in that song.
Q: Was your first time disappointing?
A: It was wonderful. I had orchestrated the whole thing. My parents were on vacation. I had just turned 16, because my boyfriend insisted that I be 16. He made me wait. I skipped school and I did it in my own bed.
Q: Did you ever get the facts-of-life talk?
A: In third grade I got it, because I'd heard all these stories at camp and I came home horrified. I asked my mother and she set me straight.
Q: Were the stories inaccurate?
A: No, they were true! That's what was scary.
Q: My facts-of-life talk consisted of me asking my father what prostitution was during a commercial break while watching "Charlie's Angels."
A: That's fitting. I actually give my mother full credit for my healthy attitude about sex.
Q: Here's a hypothetical sex question: You've just experienced an incredible evening of lovemaking. You wake up, roll over--what clothes do you see on the floor?
A: There's something about white Jockeys that's so male and gross that I like. There's something dirty-sexy about them. And if they have stains on them, that's better. They're just such boy things. To me the coolest thing about having a boyfriend is that you can just stare at his naked body and not have to look away out of politeness. I find the male form so fascinating.
Q: What's your favorite male body part?
A: I have a few. I like that kind of dent right here [indicating pelvic bone], that V. And I love butts. There's nothing better than a good butt.
Q: What's the one thing that you still do, even though you can afford not to?
A: I won't give up Victoria's Secret. I still order from the catalog.
Q: What game show would you want to be on?
A: "Celebrity Studs." I think it should be two normal guys picking from three celebrities.
Q: This girl I know went on "Studs," put out for the guy, and won.
A: You don't do that on the first date. They'll never call you again.
Q: Which date is the right one to have sex?
A: The older I get, the longer I wait. There's nothing that beats romance: going out to dinner, dancing, a bottle of wine. It's taken me a while to learn that, but I finally got it.
Q: What's the downside of fame?
A: To me, the only downside is when people write mean things about you and you have no recourse.
Q: You mean like when Movieline listed your turn in Tombstone as one of "The 100 Dumbest Things Hollywood's Done Lately"? I had nothing to do with that, Dana. I was out of the country, I swear.
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah, Dennis. Sure. I opened up that issue and I saw Kurt [Russell]'s picture and the entry about his wearing too much eyeliner. I thought, "That's pretty funny." Then, when I got to the entry that read "Dana Delany in Tombstone," I was in shock. I thought, "What does that mean? That I was wasted in Tombstone] I might agree with that." I was trying to put a good spin on it. I mean, you try your best. I know what I'm like in that movie, and I wouldn't say it's my favorite work. In fact, I'd probably say it's my least favorite work. It's a perfect example of me not trusting my instincts. But it was a good lesson for me.
Q: Tombstone was a hit, though.
A: Surprising hit. People I know saw it five times and people I know loved me in it. I just know how I'd have played it differently if I had it to do all over again.
Q: Your grandfather invented the Delany toilet-flush valve. Isn't it strange to always see your name on people's toilets?
A: They were always good-luck charms for me. The ABC building in New York had Delany flush valves, and I'd go in and flush one for good luck before I went into an audition. So, Dennis, what did I say today that I'll regret later?
Q: Aside from "jade stalk," I can't think of a thing. Where are you off to?
A: I have to go learn my lines for an audition.
Q: What's it for?
A: I don't want to say. I have a feeling it's not going to happen.
Q: Well, I'll flush a toilet for you.
Dennis Hensley interviewed Suzy Amis for the May Movieline.