The January 2011 edition of Vanity Fair has an all-access interview with the now-infamous actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi, both of whom are currently hiding out in Canada from the police, tax collectors, and the "Hollywood Star Whackers" — what they believe to be a secretive group of assassins bent on murder. Writer Nancy Jo Sales goes deep inside the "nightmare reality" that is the Quaids' lives, detailing the couple's strange (and sometimes laughable) descent into paranoia. Here are some of the wildest revelations from the article:
1. Celebrities targeted by the "Hollywood Star Whackers"
The couple believes that a "shadowy cabal" of extortionists is out to get them, reports Sales. The Quaids say the "Hollywood Star Whackers" were responsible for the deaths of Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Chris Penn, and David Carradine. The couple also alleges that this group framed Mel Gibson and poisoned "Entourage" actor Jeremy Piven to prevent him from appearing on Broadway. An aborted lawsuit filed by Randy in August names over a dozen "lawyers, estate planners and accountants" as members of the clique.
2. Randy's giant codpiece...
The Quaids' paranoid fear for their lives began shortly after Randy's ill-fated casting in the 2007 Broadway-bound play Lone Star Love, says Sales. The actor and his wife displayed unhinged behavior throughout the production. Randy dyed his hair "beet red" and insisted on a "very strange costume" that included "a codpiece the size of an official NFL football." Evi was a fan. "It was f***ing great," she tells Sales.
3. ... and Evi's naked photos
As creative disagreements surrounding the play piled up, Quaid's wife sent several production staffers "a photograph of herself lying naked on a bed holding a pistol." Randy was eventually fired after hitting an actor onstage during a preview and ad-libbing lines about a colleague's "gynecological instruments." The Quaids claim the producers of the show were trying to kill them.
4. Chainsaws in the garden
After Randy left Lone Star Love, Evi's behavior worsened. She hired a private detective to investigate who might be trying to kill them — and "went nuts" when the investigator found no secret plot. The private eye, Becky Altringer, put the Quaids up for some weeks in a mobile home, where they apparently succumbed to anxieties that a mob with "chainsaws and shovels" were pursuing them. "I said, Evi, that's the gardener," Altringer tells the magazine. (Evi denies this account to Sales, saying of Altringer, "She's unstable.")
5. The Quaids' reality TV show
The couple has been pitching a reality-TV show to producers in which they act as a "Bonnie-and-Clyde-like couple" hunting down the "Hollywood Star Whackers." The first sentence of the pitch for "Star Trackers" has the couple "shooting off the head of one of the people named in the lawsuit." The individual briefly hired security upon learning of the idea, reports Sales.
6. Driving to... Siberia?
The Quaids are now seeking asylum in Canada, having fled both arrest warrants and fines for unpaid taxes — and, of course, the cabal they believe is out to kill them. They live mostly in their car, a Toyota Prius that smells of "fast food and dog pee and Randy's cigars," according to Sales. The couple say that they tried to drive to Siberia, but "couldn't figure out how to get there."
Read the entire article in Vanity Fair.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
- 10 things you need to know today: August 22, 2014
- 7 of the scariest spiders in existence
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- What's wrong with Europe’s economy?
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
Subscribe to the Week