21 questions

Don’t Get Martha Plimpton Started on Duane Reade

Martha Plimpton

Photo: RD/Leon/Retna

Name: Martha Plimpton

Age: 36

Job: Actress; Tony nominee for The Coast of Utopia; host of the 826 NYC fund-raising concert, Tiny Smooshy Sunday On Fire, on June 3.

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Quentin Crisp and Holden Caulfield.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
It’s a tie, I think, between anything at Peter Luger and the insanely delish bacon death at Gramercy Tavern.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I put dead people’s hair on my head and speak loudly in front of hundreds of strangers while pretending they are not there.

Where do you get your coffee?
It’s some place in my neighborhood … Star Busks or something? I forget the name.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Company. I’m trying to catch up now that The Coast of Utopia is closed. I’m surprised at how many people take this survey and admit they haven’t seen anything at all. Go to the theater, cultural tastemakers! For shame! (Update: Martha also recently saw Frost Nixon.)

Do you give money to panhandlers?
That’s between me and them.

What’s your drink?
Stoli gimlet on the rocks, or a nice Barbaresco.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Not often enough. I do like to cook, though, very much. But my kitchen is a converted walk-in closet. Meaning it’s teensy. My favorite home meal is lamb chops with buttered egg noodles and grated nutmeg. It takes ten seconds and makes my apartment smell all lamb-y.

What’s your favorite medication?

What’s hanging above your sofa?
A huge, hand-tinted engraving of The Monarch of the Glen, by Edwin Landseer. I brought it back from a trip to Scotland. It’s a big-ass buck majestically surveying the wilderness.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
It should never be more than half your monthly salary. Ask Emily Post.

When’s bedtime?
When the Ambien Express arrives at Sleepytime Station.

Brunch: pro or con?

What’s your thread count?
Nothing under 450. It is my dream to one day own some fine linen sheets. I am sheet- and towel-obsessed.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
The dead-eyed pharmacy people at Duane Reade. I’d rather have a drunk Mr. Gower filling my prescriptions. It’s always a journey into the Heart of Darkness, going in there, with a long line of hysterical Upper West Siders tearing at their clothes and smearing themselves with their own feces. Here is the script:

Me: “Plimpton.”

Duane Reade: “Clinton?”

Me: “Plimp-ton.”

Duane Reade: “Crimpson?”


Duane Reade: “Pimpman?”

What’s your brand of jeans?

When’s the last time you drove a car?
Last March in Miami with some of the cast of Utopia. We had a long weekend and made our escape.

Who should be the next president?
Bob Mackie.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
Times. Best font.

Yankees or Mets?

What makes someone a New Yorker?
At this point? Having a Duane Reade Club Card. That, and knowing what this means: “Pix! Pix! Pix! Pix! Pix! Pix! Pix! Pix! Pix! Pix!” Winner receives two lamb chops and some buttered egg noodles under a big buck at my house.

Don’t Get Martha Plimpton Started on Duane Reade