Marc Ecko and Ariana Grande Discuss Prized Possessions, Technology, and Growing Up

Marc Ecko and Ariana Grande Discuss Prized Possessions, Technology, and Growing UpPhotography by Liz Barclay and Gavin Bond.

Complex's founder and our new cover girl face off in a game of "M.E. Against the World."

                  This feature appears in Complex's December 2013/January 2014 issue.            

WHAT ABOUT YOUR ADULT SELF WOULD MOST IMPRESS AND MOST DISAPPOINT YOUR CHILDHOOD SELF?

Marc Ecko: He’d be into me living in a castle, but he’d be disappointed to find out that I actually have to manage a castle and hate it. Seeing me running around shirtless, 25 pounds overweight, chasing the bats that flew into my home...It’d be like: Grand opening! Grand closing.

Ariana Grande: She'd be disappointed that I don't see my dad enough because he still lives in Florida, but the fact that I have my own television show on Nickelodeon and a No. 1 Billboard album would impress her. Those were two of my dreams when I  was a child.

HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY CHANGED YOUR LIFE FOR THE WORSE?

Marc Ecko: It ruined social etiquette. You don’t realize your ability to be sucked out of a deep and constructive conversation by your email—or worse, the irrelevant vomitorium of social media. People tolerate that heads-down, Asperger’s-style addiction to phones, but it’s terrible. When my family goes to dinner, we ask the waiter for a breadbasket and we put all our devices in it. Then we don’t touch them until the meal is done. I wish we were that good at home.

Ariana Grande: I can’t go an hour without looking at social media. It’s a sick disease. I unfollowed a bajillion people on Instagram because I was spending too much time looking at it. Now my timeline is much more chill and I don’t have to look every 14 seconds to see who is eating what. Also, social media has given all the mean, miserable people out there a voice.

WHAT IS THE RAREST ITEM YOU OWN?

Marc Ecko: The original foam-carved model for Yoda that they cast the rest of the puppets from. I keep it in a climate-regulated environment because the foam could decay. It’s wonky. Yoda without a hand inside his head looks like he’s received blunt force trauma, but the original Yoda had that sickly vibe. I bought it at an auction for 25 or 50 grand and felt it was a bargain. It’s priceless to me.

Ariana Grande: Every item that my friend Kenley Collins, who was on Project Runway, makes for me. They’re all custom-made and beautiful. I complained to her once that I felt I had to wear cool, edgy clothes that I didn’t feel comfortable in, and that I always felt more comfortable dressing feminine and retro. She said, “So dress that way.” Now we have a deal where she designs millions of outfits for me and sends them over.

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