A German Fan Book
Interview with Ed O'Neill

Last update May 18, 1998

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Thanks a lot to "Ade Bundy".

Original Text in German
Warning: This text contains obscene language

? As "Al Bundy" you are a "quickies" expert. What does sex mean to you?

Ed: A lot, but I think I 'turn off' women. I've a kind of a weird personality. Women may think that I'm a mess. I'm not up to my neck with girls falling for me, but even if they did, they would probably think twice about it.

? Did your wife Cathy also pause for reflection before she married you?

Ed: It was a big deal for her, but I proposed for her. We lived in New York City before I got the part in the series. I thought it will be better for everyone if we got married. It doesn't sound good: "This is my girlfriend from New York."

? That was the only reason?

Ed: Security was another reason. You never know what can happen to you when you earn a lot of money. I could have freaked-out, or put on grand airs, hanging around with 16 year old starlets.

? Were you in love with Cathy?

Ed: Cathy is the only woman I was really in love with. Currently we are separated, but we are still close to each other.

? So you prefer firm relationships to short adventures?

Ed: (laughs). I'm very masculine! And I also have the common qualities that men have. But I've been living with Cathy for 15 years. That's a long time. You just can't flip-out anymore like the others. You have to know your way.

? What was your best sex adventure so far?

Ed: That was back in the 70s. As usual, I was in a park to pick up girls. The one I was interested in was doing yoga and playing the guitar. I sat down beside her and she showed me her kitten called "Peace". When we got closer, "Peace" rushed at a squirrel and teared it to pieces.

? How did you try to turn these girls around?

Ed: When the Vietnam war began I was nuts. I was wearing bell-bottomed pants and let my hair grow. I looked like an idiot. I'd loved to wear jeans and t-shirts, but everybody was in the peace movement back then. And that was my ploy. I had to be careful not to say things like "I like meat." Actually I just wanted to drink beer and to get fucked.

? Drinking beer and getting fucked. That was all?

Ed. That was all I wanted. And that's what I did. But then I was in a "Pittsburgh Steelers" camp. That's an American football team.

? Did you make it into the pro league?

Ed. No. Back then I said to myself "fuck football." Actually I just took part in this camp as there was nothing better for me to do. They also didn't draft me because they thought I was too wild and undisciplined.

? Al was a football star in high school. What about you?

Ed. No. I was very slender and small. All my friends were on the team, so I had to make it too. I was a very aggressive player. I wanted to be one of the best, but I just ended up as one of the good ones.

? What did you do after high school?

Ed: In the summer we graduated we flipped out completely, drinking beer, cruising in our cars and beating up each other. It was a crazy summer. That's when I started to be interested in girls. But then, I went to Ohio University studying arts and history, and playing football. But I was only intersted in girls, my pals and sports. I only did the minimum for school.

? Did you make it?

Ed: Yes. I slipped through the first two years. But I didn't get on well with the football coach. Then I went back to Youngstown, Ohio, and I enrolled at a smaller public university. When the "Steelers" didn't draft me I went with my friend to Miami.

? Just like that?

Ed: Yes. We went to Fort Lauderdale and rented an appartment. Sammy and I wanted to spend the winter in Florida. I got a job as an errand-boy in a hotel. They put Sammy as a bartender behind the counter. After six months we went back to Ohio.

? Did you live on just having 'casual jobs'?

Ed: I started to teach social science for the sixth grade. I wasn't a teacher, but I had enough college lessons. I was a temporary teacher for somebody who had a crack-up. When I went to that school I already was the fourth teacher. No school on TV is like that one. That was really funny. The teachers, after all, had nervous breakdowns because of the Sixth-graders.

? How did you handle them?

Ed: I entered, and they called me "Wolfman" because of the beard I had at that time. First they tried to get rid of me, but then they were really scared of me. On the very first day I got all their phone numbers. I made appointments with their mothers and visited them. That's a big deal for kids, when they come into the kitchen and the teacher is drinking coffee with mom. They react differently on the next day when you say: "Sit down and shut-up!" I could have called their mothers as I knew them personally, but actually I liked those kids. It was a great experience.

? How did you become an actor?

Ed: I knew I was a good stage actor but I had no idea about movies. And I wasn't a Paul Newman type of guy. That's why I thought the stage is just right for me. I went to New York City when I was about 30 or 31, just like that, without having a plan. It was crazy. I didn't even know where these fucking actors were hanging around. Bud somehow I made it to Broadway. I met Cathy and I got the part in the series!

? Did you immediately fall in love with the character Al Bundy?

Ed: I took a plane from New York City to Los Angeles for an audition. I met all the people. After that, I was told to have another audition, but I didn't want to go there again. All this flying around got on my nerves. But then I gave the script to Cathy to get her opinion. When she started to laugh, it was like "That's it!". I went to LA and I got the part.

? Did you alway let your wife make the major decisions?

Ed: I did that quite often. After we separated, I made some important decisions for myself. Today I wish I hadn't have done that. I droped a brick.

? Thank you for the interview.

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© Andreas Carl 1998