DISHing with Donalds: Kidstuff
SCENE MAGAZINE - June 13, 2002
By Patricia Black
Anticipating publication of his autobiographical book, Father’s Touch,
I dished with Donald. Never able to go to McDonald’s as a kid, Donald chose
it as a fun place to be “dished.”
I asked if we could film there, but it's too much red tape! Harris Park
You were largely responsible for your mother’s and siblings’ lives,
as well as trying to deal with all your own “stuff,” some of which was
very heavy. Do you feel that you can make up for your lost childhood
As I write in my book, “One of my childhoods was happy.” I wouldn’t
say the same about my adolescence when the shit hit the fan and I was left
to pick up the pieces. I was an adult child. But now I am a child-like
adult. I’ve come full circle.
Your very supportive partner, Maurice, took the journey back with you
to the places where your childhood nightmares took place. The way you have
used this journey in the book reminds me of one of those progressive dinners
where you start out at one house for the first course and go from house
to house for each course, leading up to dessert. How does that analogy
Like My Dinner With Andre, except one of us knew for the most part where
the story was going and the other silently listened. Oh yeah, Maurice did
want to stop for some chicken . . . .
D’Haene--that’s a Belgian name. In Father’s Touch, you refer to yourself
as “Thinking Donald, Feeling Donald and Other Donald.” In another way,
you are Donalds plural: actor Donald, writer Donald, and cleaner Donald.
How have you arrived at 41 seemingly with it “altogether,” and so positive
and upbeat, given the abuse, the numerous moves and the strict Jehovah’s
There certainly is more than one Donald in terms of what fills a 24-hour
day. By keeping busy with a variety of positive ventures, I have escaped
my past to a great extent. This is intentional.
Some might be squeamish about reading Father’s Touch. I was gripped
by it. The advance copies have received incredibly positive responses from
all over the world, including Belgium. How could you write with such humour
My gift is story telling. I never focus on gruesome details. I’d rather
the reader use his own imagination. Rather Hitchcockian I know - a favourite
movie director of my youth.
Are the black and white movie reels you describe in the book still running
in your head any or much of the time?
I’d rather talk about the commercials.
You have written that you could never cry? Can you cry now?
Are you kidding? When our beloved Siamese cat, Max, passed away a month
ago, we’re talking Niagara Falls. I cry when I hear of a parent losing
a child, untimely deaths, cruelty to animals, rape of women and children.
I consider myself normal in this regard. On second thought, I do cry when
I watch Touched By An Angel.
Since it’s very likely you are going to make money with Father’s, how
will your life change?
I don’t think about that much, but cleaning a few less toilets would
Your web site (www.fatherstouch.com) has had about 5000 hits from every
continent in the world. Donald - when can I get my hands on a copy of Father’s
Although the worldwide release won’t be until later this summer, orders
may be placed at Oxford Book Store (London) or through the internet:
You have a role in London Community Players’ upcoming production. And
you’re going to audition for The Wizard of Oz for the Grand Theatre 2002
Moon Over Buffalo (Palace Theatre, June 20-29; 672-8800), a great farce
that debuted on Broadway with Carol Burnett in the lead. No, I didn’t get
her role . . . . As for The Wizard of Oz, talk about life coming full circle.
I loved that movie!!! I even refer in a twisted sort of way to it in my
book. Remember? Unfortunately I didn’t have to click my heels. I kept waiting
for a tornado, so a house would fall on me! There was no place like home
Thanks so much for sharing your last dish with me. Best of luck - you
deserve it! And speaking of deserving, what is your favourite dessert -