Fame can be tough, but I love my fans

Martin van Beynen
Martin van Beynen

The question-and-answer format featuring a celebrity has become a magazine staple.

You know the sort of thing.

Question: What part of your body would you submit to cosmetic surgery?

Celebrity answer: My thighs. They are huge. Everyone says they are just fine and I am a super model, but to me they will always be two big hams stuck onto a bone. I would take a knife to them but I don't like blood.

You get the idea. Some magazines go deeply personal by asking about the deodorant or underpants favoured by their celeb. Obviously, the more labels the better.

It's a win-win all round. The celebrity gets a great plug for revealing a few meaningless titbits while the magazine cheaply fills a page with seemingly intimate dross which everyone nevertheless reads.

So I was only too happy to submit to this newspaper's question- and-answer session. I know readers are just going to be riveted by the most personal details of my fascinating life.

Q. OK, Martin, let's start with your personal hygiene. What deodorants do you use?

A. I don't need to. I always smell like roses no matter what I have been doing. Mrs VB says my sense of smell must have died long ago, but I think she is just extraordinarily sensitive to odours.

Q. Describe for us your perfect woman.

A. I'm not really one of those shallow guys, but she would need to be drop-dead gorgeous. I'm thinking someone like Padma Lakshmi who used to be married to Salman Rushdie. My perfect woman would have to be a great cook, sporty, highly intelligent, independently wealthy and quietly cheerful at all times. Someone just like er . . . Mrs VB of course.

Q. Which philosopher would you choose to be stuck with on a desert island?

A. Well it certainly wouldn't be Plato (too intellectual), Jean-Paul Sartre (too self-absorbed) or Nietzsche (too morbid). It would have to be a slightly more modern and sophisticated philosopher like Kate Moss or Padma Lakshmi.

Q. If you won Lotto what would you do with the money?

A. I would spend it all on helping alleviate poverty both at home and in the Third World. I just realised they could be the same thing. But first I would treat myself to a few toys like a super yacht, a mansion in the Caribbean and I've always wanted to own a Pissarro or a Gauguin. But I'm sure there's going to be lots left over to help people.

Q. If you could grab one treasure from your burning house what would it be?

A. It would have to be my erotic art collection and my framed and signed Richie McCaw Crusader's jersey. Oh, yes, and er . . . my family photo albums.

Q. What fear is stopping you being the best person you can be?

A. I'm really scared of being thought a pillock, but thank goodness there's not much chance of that.

Q. In your personal journey what's helped you the most?

A. Well, I'd like to say a whole lot of great people have had a profound influence on me but in fact only one person has really made any difference. Me. Moi. Perhaps a little bit of help here and there from er . . . Mrs VB.

Q. Which politician would you most like to invite for dinner?

A. Winston Peters because he is such an inspiration to old people. He's the walking example of the notion that just because you're old and retired, you don't have to do anything useful. I would cook Winston something delicious, and don't blame me if he gets food poisoning.

Q. When you want to make a fashion statement? What do you wear?

A. Now you're talking. I like to put on my Kate Sylvester dress and my Trelise Cooper bodice. Oh, you mean male fashion statement. Well, jeans (Calvin Klein) and a white T-shirt (Hallensteins). Don't put the women's stuff in will you?

Q. How do you cope with being recognised in the street?

A. This happens so often I am getting quite used to it. Sometimes people confuse me with George Clooney which is flattering . . . for George I mean. Look it's just part of being pretty famous and I try to go with the flow. I love my fans. They are always happy to pay for an autograph.

Q. What do you think you need to work on in terms of personal development?

A. I think I've peaked, but I suppose I need to work on being more assertive and self-promotional and not hide my light under a bushel all the time.

Q. Boxers or jockeys?

A. Boxers. I find them more accommodating.

Q. What do you put on your toast in the morning?

A. I like a variety of spreads. Some days I just go wild and have vegemite instead of marmite.

Fairfax Media