Interview: Chris Noth on "The Good Wife," His New NYC Bar, and the Difficulties of Keeping Women Happy

Interview: Chris Noth on "The Good Wife," His New NYC Bar, and the Difficulties of Keeping Women Happy
In my research, I came across your beautiful wife, who also happens to be 27-years-younger than you. Do you have a secret to keeping women happy?
How to keep a woman happy? That’s huge!

That’s why it’s important to ask. I was going to pass the advice along...
No, no, that’s a question for me to ask you.

What? How do you keep a woman happy?
That’s why I was asking you the answer, I needed to know. A man never knows that he’s keeping a woman happy, unless the woman stays.

Must mean that you’re doing something right, on some level.
But you don’t want to examine it too much and make it a rule. For you, what do you need from a man, besides sex, obviously?

I’m different from most women. I think all women are different.
Meaning?

I like to be kept on my toes. That’s my number one requirement.
So you like to have sex on a tabletop? [Laughs.]

I thought it wasn’t about sex—you brought it back around.
It always comes back to sex; I’m a Scorpio. So, you need someone who challenges you?

I need someone who challenges me. I get bored very easily.
Intellectually? Everybody gets bored easy, that’s just a misnomer. You just have to focus. You have too much instant shit going on. Instead of a letter, you’re writing an email, you’re on this, you’re on that. Ultimately, I think that creates unhappiness, because you have an unreal sense of time—not you, I’m talking about people in general—you have time at your fingertips. It’s like, music has to be loud and meaningless, and lights have to be bright, so it’s about stimulus, when actually, it should never be about stimulus.

What should it be about?
It should be going deeper of that, getting to the essence of things.

What’s at the essence of things?
It could be the difference between sitting down and writing a letter and writing an email.

Obviously letters hold more emotional weight. 
It takes more time. It takes more moments, it takes silence, it takes reflection. We’re not so good at reflecting anymore. We’re good at judging, though.

It’s hard in a city like this sometimes.
What are you going to do? Go to Central Park... I can tell you a few places.

Slowing down.
It’s not just about slowing down. It’s about seeing and experiencing, and not being five moments ahead of the moment.

Now we’re talking about life, not sex.
Well, it could be about sex, too. Believe me. Sorry, baby. I hear a lot from girls about dating, but it’s worse in L.A., I hear.

I hear women are very superficial in L.A.
There’s plenty of that here, too. It’s like what happened to music. We want it to be like the music we grew up with, which informed our lives, like, you remember your first love, and what songs were playing. You remember your first breakup, and what songs were. Your life had more meaning; there wasn’t a lot of filler. Now, people have filler in their lives, that fills up their time, but it’s like fast food, you know what I mean? It’s like nourishment, but there’s no emotional or spiritual nourishment. You can lose yourself in bullshit so much more easily now. I see it in movies, I hear it in music. There is great stuff out there, there is just so much out there. How do you find the real stuff? It takes a real search, I think. The difference between authenticity and something that is fake, and just filler.

How do you separate yourself from the lifestyle you live, as an actor?
I’m old enough to know the difference. I know that I’m not going out to clubs with loud music expecting to find anything but a headache. And I know, unless I want to make myself nauseous, I’m not going to read gossip magazines to find out what’s going on. There is a lot going on that has nothing to do with any of this, but it takes a step away to find it.

It seems like you focus on distancing yourself from those kinds of things.
I think I have. I went out with a supermodel once, so I had a little taste of being in the center of all of that.

Was it fun?
It was disastrous.

Pretty women are a lot of work.
Sometimes. Are you all a lot of work?

I willingly admit I’m a lot of work. I think I’m emotionally high maintenance, because, like I said, it's a boredom thing. 
What are you bored of? I believe this. A lot—obviously there are some major exceptions because there are some brilliant artists in your age group, and there are a lot of brilliant things being done on many different levels—but there’s been a real emphasis in the last 15-20 years on making a lot of money. So I’ll be talking to someone in college and I’ll ask them, “What are you studying?” And they’ll say, “Business.” Or, “I’m studying to be a publicist.” Studying it in college? Being an actor, I’m not judging it at all. I’m just saying, when I was in college, I wasn’t thinking, “What can I do to make the most money.” What the fuck would you be studying business in college for? Study Sappho’s poetry, or read Latin. Examine the world, because the world needs something more than another actor, or another celebrity, or Snooki. If America was going to export something, it would be publicity—we do that better than any country in the world. It’s really odd. We’re very good at making stuff look better or look worse; that’s what we consider entertainment now.

Speaking of entertainment, I read about your bar, The Cutting Room, on 32nd and 3rd.
It's right around the corner! Come around sometime; we’re opening up this month. It’s a live music venue with a great jukebox. We'll be featuring upcoming artists. Indie artists, they’re all over the place, but there’s no place for them to play. At the old Cutting Room, we had Norah Jones before she was famous, Lady Gaga; we would have Stephen Stills come play, Graham Nash. We had everybody there—big, small, and medium have jammed there. Sting even came once.

Where do you go out in NYC when you're not there?
The Knickerbocker, a restaurant on 9th Street; writers and actors, and a couple of people from The Good Wife go there. It’s got good food, but the guy creates an atmosphere where you can hang out. In Midtown, my friend owns a restaurant called Da Marino, which can be a lot of fun. Elio’s is a restaurant that’s good

What do you drink when you go out? You look like a whiskey guy to me. Or a Scotch guy.
Depends. I like Irish whiskey, but that was from doing Championship Season—the characters all drank whiskey in the play, and after the play was done, we just continued on. Jameson’s Gold is fantastic. I like a lot of brews. I don’t drink gin, or do Courvoisier or any of that crap.  There was this King George V Scotch I had that was really good. It was, like, really fucking good. 

Tags: chris-noth, the-good-wife, sex-and-the-city
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