- 24 Jun 19
Who would be the last person you would invite to your birthday party?
I don’t know how to answer this. Would they still come to my party? Would they know I didn’t want them there? How awkward would that be? I wouldn’t want that level of awkwardness at any party.
Who would be the first person you would invite to your birthday party?
Jane Bowles, American writer and author of the novel Two Serious Ladies, has long been my dream party guest. She’s not alive, however, so that’s unlikely to happen.
‘Sure, this is it now’ - covers all manner of tragedies and disappointments
I’ve been listening to a lot of Big Thief. ‘Shark Smile’ is a beautiful song. The Greatest by Cat Power is an album I listen to a lot.
This changes a lot. I’ve recently fallen back in love with Veronica, by Mary Gaitskill. A perfect book. I read a review of it recently that basically said, ‘Most writers will write their whole lives to write one sentence that reaches the level of this book’ and it’s absolutely true.
It depends on my mood. I recently watched Madeline’s Madeline and adored that. Diving into Claire Denis’s back catalogue after watching High Life. I’ve watched David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive an indecent number of times. Likewise, Some Like It Hot.
I don’t have a favourite! That’s not fair. Lorrie Moore, Mary Gaitskill, Maggie Nelson, Rachel Cusk, Colin Barrett, Thomas Morris, Claire-Louise Bennett. There’s a huge number that I love.
Favourite actor / actress?
Niamh Algar. She recently appeared in The Virtues by Shane Meadows, and is a friend. My favourite actor is Jake Gyllenhaal. He accidentally brushed against my knee once at a play in New York and it was incredible, transcendent. I imagine it was the same for him.
I saw Sharon Van Etten play Vicar Street recently. Such a thoughtful performer. Adrian Crowley is a wonderful Dublin-based musician.
Most embarrassing moment of your life?
Too many to name. Life is just a series of embarrassments, in my opinion.
Caffeine is the obvious choice here.
I loved Catastrophe, and Sharon Horgan generally. I really enjoyed Fleabag but less so the constant conversation around it. So much of my enjoyment of culture these days is ruined by the endless think-pieces. I’ve long had a special place in my heart for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’m not alone. Zadie Smith called it the ‘only tv show she has ever really loved.’
Favourite TV personality?
I feel very comforted by Graham Norton. There’s something reliable about his presence. I miss Dylan Moran on television! Bring him back.
Favourite item of clothing?
I’ve a leather jacket I wear all the time. I’ve also a green jacket that I bought in Paris that I’m fond of. I’m awful with clothes – they are everywhere, all over my room.
Most desirable date?
Jake Gyllenhaal. We’ve already been on a date. (I joke – my boyfriend).
Favourite method of relaxation?
Yoga, which I try to be pretty consistent about.
If you weren’t pursuing your present career, what other career might you have chosen?
I wanted to be a dentist for a while. Anyone with teeth should be grateful that never transpired.
Honestly, selling my book. I don’t chase many thrills.
A job I had. I’ve written about it – an essay for The Stinging Fly called ‘Dance, Sing, Earn Your Keep’. But I’m young! Lots of disappointments ahead.
Your concept of heaven?
Peace and quiet. A beach. Friends and family nearby. Twitter completely disabled forever.
Your concept of hell?
One specific nightclub which I will not name (it’s not Coppers).
What would be your dying words?
‘Sure, this is it now’ probably.
To work on a film.
Period of history you’d most like to have lived in and why?
Sixties New York because it would make my life right now a whole lot easier.
If you weren’t a human being which animal would you have chosen to be?
A cat, naturally. I’ve many cat-like qualities — mainly laziness. I can spend a huge amount of hours doing nothing at all.
If you were told that the world was ending tomorrow morning, how would you react/what would you do?
Probably cry. Try to wring as much drama out of it as possible. Make a bad speech. Drink many wines and clumsily tell people I love them. Have a lot of regrets the next morning if the world didn’t end.
Your nominee for the world’s best-dressed person?
I used to care more about this stuff. I don’t even know who the ‘influencers’ are now. I like Jeanne Damas, a French model.
Favourite term of abuse?
You can’t beat ‘Gobshite’.
Humanity’s most useful invention?
Humanity’s most useless invention?
Probably our phones. I truly hate my phone. They’ve only tricked us into thinking they’re useful.
• Nicole Flattery appears at Borris House Festival of Writing and ideas from June 7-9