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Breakfast With

Andy Dick

Monday, October 14, 2002

By Patricia Sheridan, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Controversy and comedy have been his calling cards, but Andy Dick is a lot more complicated than that. Growing up as a "Navy brat," he learned to make friends fast, spending a few grade school years in Monroeville. As his career took off, he struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. He is best known for playing reporter Matthew Brock on "NewsRadio" and has returned to network television in ABC's sitcom "Less Than Perfect," co-starring with Sara Rue and Eric Roberts. It airs Tuesday nights at 9:30.

Q. What do you remember about living in Monroeville?

A. Oh, everything. I remember all my friends -- their names and everything. I remember my first girlfriend, Gina. Well, you know what, in my head she was my girlfriend, but I don't think she thought so. Any old Monroeville friends of mine can reach me on and post a message.

Q. In your new show, you play a nice nerd. Do you empathize with this kind of character?

A. It's [the show] gonna be a good one. I have a good feeling about this one. Yeah, that's just me. It really is. Everything else is just an act. Me trying to be cool or me trying to be super funny is just me covering up that I'm just a dork.

Q. How did you pull yourself out of the self-destructive spiral?

A. Well, I think I just had to hit a bottom. I had to dance pretty close to death, I think. You know a lot of my friends died around that time. It was freaking me out. I want to be alive. I've got three kids and, you know, I feel like that's why I am still alive and that's why I work. I just want to provide for my kids. In a lot of ways, I've screwed up. You know, I'm trying to mend that still for my kids. And I want to leave them with a nice little chunk of money.

Q. Do you regret talking openly about being bisexual?

A. Yeah, sometimes I do. I just, you know, what's the big deal? First of all, what's the point? I'm trying to have this new thing where I let my work speak for itself and I just try to keep my private life private. My therapist said I have issues with boundaries. I just let everyone in and open up too much. People need things to be so compartmentalized. You know you are either this or that. Black or white. There's no gray area. I talk about it as a gray area. Socially we've been cultivated to be this straight society and that's fine. But I didn't have that kind of cultivation. I've done so much work on myself and I'm not kidding about that. I did rehab twice. I constantly have to be kind of working on myself or I just kind of slowly slip. It's like the slippery slope of the dark side.

Q. Is that why you did it?

A. I just did it. There is no reason why. But if you mean because I have issues with boundaries, yeah, that's why. Also, I don't want to live in fear. And I don't want anybody to ever have something on me, you know what I mean? That is the main advantage I have, like for being me there's a lot of crap that comes with it. But the main advantage is, hey, it's me, what did you expect?

Q. What was it like when you found out you were adopted?

A. The whole time growing up I knew I was adopted because there was this children's book lying around that they would read to us. It was called "The Chosen Child." It made me feel I was special. But it also made you think, wait a minute, if there's this couple out there that chose me, then there's obviously a couple out there that rejected me.

Q. How is your band, The Bitches of the Century, doing?

A. Well, my album is out there. I wrote it. I produced it. It's not a hit. I knew it was gonna be too eclectic for people to get. It's in stores now on Milan records and I'm proud of it. It's an autobiographical, live, musical production that I've been doing for years.

Q. Did you ever consider changing your last name (especially when you were younger)?

A. Oh, yeah. I tried it one time. I pretended that my name was Andy Fields. I'm a very bad liar. To keep that lie up was so stressful. I'd rather have the stress of having the last name Dick. And I really did feel like the torch bearer for everyone with the last name Dick.

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