From love to Louboutins, Johnny answers questions from fans.
For even more Q&A, please see Johnny’s Reddit AMA.
Q. What’s your favorite snack, healthy and not very healthy?
A. Healthy is definitely salad. I live for salad and also fruits. Unhealthy is chicken fingers with ranch dipping sauce, and nearly anything sweet. Candy, pie, cake, cookies, pastries — if it’s sweet, chances are I love it.
Q. What is your favorite way to spend an evening: Alone? With friends? At a red-carpet event? In your jammies watching Shameless? Or something else entirely?
A. I’d say my absolute favorite is spending an evening alone. Of course I love a red carpet and I love my friends, but I find I’m most happy and relaxed and ready to face my life head-on if I have alone time. I’m a very solitary person and sometimes dealing with people is very aggressive and you lose your power and energy from it.
Q. Which celebrities’ style do you like the most, both male and female?
A. I love Sergey Lazarev’s rockstar chic, masculine style. He takes a lot of risks, especially during his music videos, and I really respect his choices. I also love the style of Karl Lagerfeld, who always looks impeccably kept and polished. Of course I admire the style of Lady Gaga, but more in a theatrical sense than in a day-to-day sense. If I was a lady, I think I’d dress like a combination of Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, and a Balmain ad.
Q. Are you planning to write more books? If so, would you do a more extended memoir, or something completely different?
A. I’d love to write another memoir down the line. There was a lot left to tell in Welcome to My World that there wasn’t space for, so a follow-up would be great. I’d also like to write a children’s book about travel and being open to other cultures and how to be, in my opinion, a good American.
Q. You were a terrific competitive rider before you skated. When’s the last time you rode a horse?
A. I rode a horse a few summers ago while at a family reunion in Pennsylvania. The Amish family who lives across the street from my aunt knew me from newspapers and took me on a ride in a buggy, and also let me ride one of their horses. I can’t wait to ride again. Maybe I can go to the summer Olympics in equestrian one day.
Q. Do you have a routine you do before getting on the ice to practice? Do you do anything off the ice first to warm up, or do you just get on the ice and start skating?
A. I always stretch and get my body warm so I don’t injure myself. A little jog, lots of hip swivel exercises, and stretches for my feet and ankles.
Q. Would you ever consider doing a YouTube vlog, like What the Buck or CharlieIsSoCoolLike? Because if there’s one thing the world needs, it’s more of you on video — especially doing commentary. On anything.
A. Thank you. I don’t know if I’m so up on current events that I’d be able to do a vlog like What the Buck. I am the guy who hears the new Rihanna song six months after it’s come out. I am also quite handicapped when it comes to technology, so I’d have a tough time. I’d love to have a radio/tv show like Howard Stern, though. I think that’s definitely something to look into.
Q. If you broke your leg at the height of your career and couldn’t skate again — like me — what would you have done?
A. I would have cried a lot, but definitely I’d have gone to college to become a great fashion designer and businessman. I am impossible with mathematics.
Q. Now that you live in the city, what is one thing you miss about being in the country?
A. I am still in the country, I suppose, just a few miles from Manhattan but a world away. I like it. I have thought many times about living in New York, but I don’t think I’m built to live in a cramped apartment with constant noise and dirt. I need the solace of being a suburbanite. This New Jersey country is very different from where I come from, though, and the thing I miss most about Lancaster County is the quality of life. After 6 pm, the land is completely quiet and dark; in summer, everything is ripe and green; in winter, the snow brings gorgeous landscapes and clean winter air. I miss that.
Q. What’s the one surprising item that you cannot leave the house without?
A. Maybe it’s not surprising, but concealer. You never know when you might get dark circles or =gasp= a pimple. You have to be prepared.
Q. Are you an organized person? Do you like making to-do lists?
A. “Organized” is a belittling word to the full-on, crazed, order-driven person that I am. I’m sure I have some amount of OCD in me. When you travel as much as I do, and your life seems so hectic to people who don’t live it, it’s impossible to continue on without order. I am nothing without my to-do lists, color-coordinated closets, and impeccable cupboards.
Q. What is the sneakiest, most mischievous thing you’ve ever done, either as a boy or a should-know-better adult?
A. I love a practical joke. The person I joke with the most is either my manager, Tara Modlin, or my aunt Diane. With Tara, I always find some way to make her more sleep-deprived than she already is. She’ll fall asleep in a car or a plane, and I’ll wake her up by screaming that something terrible has happened. I also like to wrestle with Tara and try to pin her down so I can tap her forehead three times in a row — which, in our sick and twisted relationship, signifies victory — and, of course, I snuffle her. With my aunt, I can be silly and crazy like a kid. I have very few relationships where I can act completely like a little boy if I want to, and for some reason my aunt gets it. I’d say I’m a jokester underneath it all, and I love to have a good time with the people I care about. The one thing I probably shouldn’t do is mess with people who think they’re smarter than they are. Whether it’s with members of the press, or just people who talk about things they know nothing about, or people who act like God, I always like to play mind games because I know I’m more clever.
Q. Any chance of you ever going blonde?
A. I went, bought a t-shirt, tested it for a year, and am never going back. Dark hair makes me feel more powerful; blonde made me feel very pale and insecure.
Q. When you’re having a particularly bitchy day, what’s one thing that helps you feel better?
A. Starbucks or a ten-second crying fit.
Q. Are there moments in your life where you wish a film crew HAD been there to document what was going on? Or hadn’t been … ?
A. I am an open book. I allow my life to be filmed because it’s fun and interesting for me. I like to understand how things work for television and film. I have nothing to hide, no skeletons in my closet. I don’t allow cameras first thing in the morning, or while I’m in the bathroom; otherwise, you see everything, the good and the bad. There are lots of funny moments that the cameras don’t capture, but I suppose they wouldn’t have happened had there been cameras there. The people in my life have gotten better at being in front of a camera, but they oftentimes will act differently so they don’t make a fool of themselves. I always play the fool!
Q. Did you ever get into any trouble at school?
A. In 4th grade I helped a friend cheat on a test as I was grading his and changed answers for him, in red ink. I never got detention or anything. I was good and always sucked up to my teachers to make them love me so I could get away with murder.
Q. How many pairs of skates do you have? If you have multiple pairs, how many do you travel with when you have out-of-town shows or competitions?
A. I have one pair of skates that I use per year. This year may be different as Monsieur Louboutin is handcrafting a new pair for me, but in general I have one pair of skates that last through training and competition per year.
Q. Since not many men carry a purse, I was just curious: What do you carry in your bag?
A. Cell phones (yes, plural), iPod, keys, makeup bag for touch-ups, chewing gum, camera (because you never know what you might see), cologne, sunglasses with case, lip balm, a good luck charm I received from a priest in Moscow after I promised to always have it with me, and a dinosaur.
Q. A friend and I are planning on going to Moscow, and we were wondering if you had any “must-see” spots we should look into?
A. I like to stay at either the Metropol hotel, which is one of the great antique hotels in Moscow, or at Pokrovka Suites, which is very modern and very chic. Both are great places to relax and spend time. Of course, you should see Red Square; Lenin’s tomb; the Kremlin; any museum, which is a good three-hour journey through the ages; GUM department store, which is the oldest in Moscow; and my personal cathedral, Yelokhovskiy Sobor, where I go nearly every day while in Moscow. As far as shopping goes, Moscow is heavy with the best designers in the world, but I say check out Podium Concept store on Kuznetskiy Most, Denis Simachev shop and café on Stoleshnikov, and Ekaterina Fur salon on Bolshaya Dmitrovka. For dining, Vogue Café, Pushkin, Shinok, Mari Vanna, and Klub Pisateliy are my favorites.
Q. What made your parents choose “Garvin” as your middle name? Is it a family name, the name of someone they admire, just something that they made up, or what?
A. I was told and possibly riddled that Garvin is a family name. Who can tell?
Q. One of your strengths has been the balletic elegance and finesse of your performances. Which ballet dancers in history do you most admire, or have influenced your art? (Nureyev for fire, Makarova for gesticulation?)
A. I honestly never paid ballet much attention until I skated “The Swan” in 2005 and 2006. Of course that performance was inspired by the last breaths of a swan created by great ballerinas Anna Pavlova and Maya Plisetskaya. I gave an emotional nod to their performances, and they helped inspire me to create my own flavor of dying swan. In researching, especially Anna Pavlova, I came to love the super-diva power and avant-garde nature that Nureyev brought to his performances, and of course the performances of Baryshnikov, which show classical strength and technique.
Q. If you decide to compete next season, or ever again, will you be given Grand Prix series assignments based on your results in the 2009 – 2010 season? If not, how does it work?
A. I’ve actually begun calling to see how all of this works in hopes of formulating a plan for my competitive return. I don’t know how it all works. If I choose to compete, which varies daily, I am certain that I will be thought of for Grand Prix selection.
Q. With which fashion atelier would you love to intern, and why?
A. The house of Chanel. Mama Coco and Uncle Karl have dictated what women should wear for so long and have constantly kept it fresh. They have created artwork that will always be a staple and something remembered.
Q. You’ve expressed interest in Slytherine House, though many see you more as Gryffindor. Is it just the color scheme, or do the dark arts appeal to you?
A. I like Slytherine from the Harry Potter series because they are diva. I love a Gryffindor story about pluck and doing things in a gentle and inoffensive way, but we all like a little dirt in our sandwich and Slytherine is that.
Q. What is the kindest thing anyone has ever said to you? The cruelest?
A. People have said many kind things to me in my life, which I usually don’t expect. I am a pessimist in many ways when dealing with people and I will immediately think they will say something negative, but more often than not, it’s something nice. I think “I love you” is the best phrase you can hear from someone. The nastiest thing anyone has ever said to me, without a doubt, is: “I hope you die.”