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The Religious Affiliation of Actor, Writer
Spalding Gray was raised in a devout Christian Scientist home, but was not active later in life. In an interview in 1995 he said that his upbringing was a major influence on his novels, and he referred to his "Christian Science karma."
Q: Sounds like you had a puritanical upbringing.
A: Oh, sure. Mother was a Christian Scientist. It was New England, the '50s. That's shaped my whole life. My novel is a reaction to that: there's a lot of sex in it. One review said, "the best writing on sex since Henry Miller, and the best writing on nervous breakdowns since Sylvia Plath.''
Q: Your wife and collaborator Renee [Shafransky] is a recurring character in your monologues. How did you meet?
A: Oh, god, we met at Studio 54. It couldn't have been a more ludicrous place. It was an arts celebration; I got an award. I saw her across a crowded room, and her face lit up -- this open, soulful face -- and I loved it. I asked her to dance, but she says I tried to come on too much. I was too physical with her, and she fled. But I pursued her, and on the first date we were back in bed and she was nervous and drank the wrong drinks, and said, ``Excuse me, I'm going to throw up.'' So in the middle of making love, I held her head and put a pot under her, and we bonded around vomiting.
Q: What is Hollywood's perception of you?
A: I wish I knew. I think that they think I'm a doctor. It's my Christian Science karma coming back. Bob Dylan says, "I may look like Robert Frost, but I feel like Jesse James." I say, "I may look like a gynecologist/ psychologist/ pediatrician, but I feel like Woody Allen."
Webpage created 14 July 2005. Last modified 14 July 2005.
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