As part of the Beastie Boys, Adam Horovitz, a.k.a. Ad-Rock, along with Mike D and the late MCA, helped to bring about the kind of high-low sampling and cross-cultural literacy that runs through so much of our popular culture today. Applying that same eclectic enthusiasm to his side projects and post-Beasties career—while scoring films and popping up in the occasional movie himself—the through-and-through New Yorker has remained an emblem for the geeky-cool hipsterdom he helped to pioneer. Before the release of Noah Baumbach‘s new film, While We’re Young, in which he plays one of the grown-ups alongside Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, Horovitz talked to Andy about love, stealing, and pizza.
ANDY WARHOL: What did you eat for breakfast?
ADAM HOROVITZ: A fucking delicious pastrami sandwich at Num Pang sandwich shop.
WARHOL: How were you discovered?
HOROVITZ: Well, it really all started for me at the Joffrey Ballet School. I was teaching there, on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village. Just entry level, very basic technique. One of my student’s friend’s uncle ran a record label, and since I was already working within the arts, I agreed to a meeting. That’s how I first met Tommy Mottola and Bert Padell.
WARHOL: What was your first job?
HOROVITZ: Counselor-in-training at a summer camp in Massachusetts.
WARHOL: Who was the nicest person you worked for?
HOROVITZ: My best friend Nadia was my boss at an ice cream store, and she taught me how to properly steal money and ice cream. (I did get fired by the owners for stealing, but I’m sure it was because I was doing it wrong.)
WARHOL: What’s the craziest thing a fan has sent you?
HOROVITZ: I don’t really get a lot of stuff sent to me, but I do get things given to me in person. One of my favorites was from a kid in the mid-’90s. He gave us all a bunch of pants he made. Big, huge, baggy raver/skater pants with a secret stash spot for your weed. They were practical and very comfortable.
WARHOL: Is there anything you regret not doing?
HOROVITZ: I can’t think of anything right now, but I do know a ton of things I regret that I have done.
WARHOL: What’s your favorite movie?
HOROVITZ: Sweet Smell of Success (1957), The Mack (1973), Valley Girl (1983), Taxi Driver (1976), The Hot Rock (1972), Baby Doll (1956), Harold and Maude (1971), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Caddyshack (1980), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), and a bunch more. My favorite two are comedies: The Boost (1988) and XXX (2002) starring Vin Diesel.
WARHOL: Do you keep a diary?
HOROVITZ: Not anymore.
WARHOL: When do you get nervous?
HOROVITZ: When The Walking Dead is about to be over and I know that I won’t be able to see it again for an entire week. Oh, Jeb Bush makes me nervous too.
WARHOL: Do you have any intimate secrets?
WARHOL: Do you dream?
HOROVITZ: I do dream. I mean, I must every night, right? But I only remember a couple a year. When I do, it’s either really fucked up or extremely heavy. Neither of which I want to share with you people.
WARHOL: Are you a good cook?
HOROVITZ: I’d say it’s more of a gift than being “good.” My specialties include macaroni and cheese and ordering Chinese-food delivery.
WARHOL: Do you get depressed if you don’t work?
HOROVITZ: Yes, and I don’t want to talk about it.
WARHOL: What do you think about love?
HOROVITZ: I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA! I LOVE PIZZA!