An Interview Format Learned from Proust

A great idea for bloggers

An interview format that's ideal for busy bloggers

Ralph Fiennes detests Facebook and Twitter, Anthony Hopkins deplores self-righteous freeloaders and Brigitte Bardot doesn’t ever recall being happy. But they have one thing in common; they’ve all been ‘Proust Questionnaired’ by Vanity Fair magazine.

The back-of-the-mag interview format of 35 questions is designed to reveal the hidden truths behind the most private persona. And it  has generated some great celebrity one-liners and a series of brilliant cartoon portraits by the illustrator, Risko.

The questionnaire originated as a 19th century kiss-and-tell parlour game. It was named after Marcel Proust when the French novelist tried it out for himself for a bit of fun. But, in fact, it’s an ideal interview format for today’s busy bloggers. Questions can be sent and answers received quickly by email to create an Instant Article!

It’s fun to take the quiz yourself and compare your answers with those of your friends at Vanity Fair’s interactive version. You can also read the original interviews in the book, Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire: 101 Luminaries Ponder Love, Death, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life.

Meantime, check out these memorable celebrity one-liners from the magazine’s past issues.

What is your current state of mind?

Keith Richards: Are you crazy?

What is it that you most dislike?

Anthony Hopkins: The words ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’

Ralph Fiennes: Being late, being unprepared, junk food, Facebook and Twitter

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Helen Mirren: Holiness

Harrison Ford: Charm

Annette Bening: Virginity

 What is your greatest regret?

Doris Day: Most of my marriages


Bardot Cartoon


When and where were you happiest?
Brigitte Bardot: Never, but I am still waiting






What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Anthony Hopkins: Freeloaders with a sense of entitlement

 What do you dislike most about your appearance?

George Clooney: My posture

Harrison Ford: My face

Helen Mirren: Oh, Lord, where do I begin?

What is your most marked characteristic?

Daniel Craig: My third nipple

 What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

George Clooney: My reaction to criticism

Daniel Craig: Jealousy

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: Being a crybaby

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