Monday, August 1, 2011

Why the French wear Berets according to Mo' Mamet

An interview in the NY Times in which David Mamet shines a light on the origins of French beret wearing:
"On the cover of your book you’re wearing a baseball cap. I’m more used to seeing you in a beret. I’m wondering if you’ve ditched the beret to protest what you call Obama’s “appeasement” of Europe? No, you’re thinking too hard. The baseball cap is kind of working wear because when you’re on a movie set you want to keep the light out of your eyes if you’re outside except when you’re looking through the camera and you turn your hat backwards. The beret on the other hand is when I’m wearing my human-being wear. The beret is great when you travel for two reasons. A) You can stuff it in your pocket, and B) when you get to the hotel you can turn it upside down and put your keys and your glasses and your watch inside it on the bedside table and you don’t have to hunt for them.
That’s genius. Did somebody tell you to do that? No, I made it up. You know where the French passion for the beret came from?
No idea. Somebody told me it was because of Jack Johnson. Johnson who was, of course, the heavyweight champion of the world, was a huge hit in France. They revered him. He was bald so he always wore a beret. They wore the beret in homage to Jack Johnson.
You’re telling me that it took Jack Johnson for the French to start wearing the beret? I think so. But whether or not it’s true, it’s a great story."

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