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Whatever Tom Waits is up to—be it music or acting (Down by Law, Short Cuts)—is bound to be interesting, so we can’t wait to see him in the role of a lifetime, as the devil in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the upcoming fantasy by another favorite of ours, Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas). In London to promote the film (which opens in the United States at Christmas-
time), Waits spoke with the Guardian’s Xan Brooks. The result is an entertaining, surprisingly wide-ranging profile in which the chanteur with the cheese-grater voice discusses his acting career “sidebar”—but also his beginnings in Los Angeles, his days at the Tropicana motel, his marriage, his outlook on life (“We’re all eating our way through the potato”), and his fervent affection for Babe: Pig in the City (don’t bring it up: he might get emotional).