Truman Capote in Interview

Bob Colacello:

"It had all started one day in November 1978. Between swimming with Truman, smoking pot with Truman, dining with Truman, and dancing with Truman, it suddenly occurred to me that we should put Truman on the cover.

Andy loved the idea: He already had entire days of Truman on tape. When I called Truman to say we wanted him on our January cover, he said he would only do it if Andy did the cover portrait himself. I explained that if Andy did Truman, he'd have to do every cover after that and we had to keep Andy's portrait business separate from the magazine's covers. 'Well, if I'm not good enough for Andy, ' said Truman, 'Then his magazine isn't good enough for me.'

I went to Andy with Truman's reply, and we came up with a counter offer: Andy would paint Truman's portrait, not for the cover, but as a personal gift, in exchange for Turman's contributing a piece to Interveiew every month for one year.

'He really wouldn't have to do anything,' Andy said. 'Tell him that I'll just tape him with any person he wants every month and then Brigid [Berlin] will type it up and can make something out of it. Tell him it's a new way to write without writing. I'm sure he'll go for it...'

Conversations with Capote debuted that February. Andy had taped Truman at the apartment of Robert Livingston, a gay activist who was dying of cancer, and at the office of Dr. Norman Orentreich, the highly publicized dermatologist... But it was the last time he [Capote] based a piece on tapes made by Andy.

The problem was that Andy overtaped and threw the conversations off course, and then Brigid couldn't deal with typing up that much tape, and Truman couldn't deal with cutting down that much material. They both became quite hysterical over the fifty-page Orentreich manuscript, and finally Brigid exploded at Andy when he arrived at the Factory one afternoon.

'You just thing the more the better,' she told him. 'And you say the stupidest things.'

Andy was used to Brigid's bluntness and hit back with a blunt line of his own, 'You look fat today, Brigid.' " (BC405)