It was a little more than 10 years ago that we introduced our backpage Q&A column with an idea—ask a variety of people the same set of questions—"borrowed" (read: stolen) from Vanity Fair's Proust Questionnaire. Our first Grillee was, fittingly, the late, great Walter Sondheim, and we've interviewed all manner of local celebs (writers, anchors, politicos, et al.) since. The column has evolved—about three years ago, we started adding more personalized questions—but for the purposes of this look back, we're sticking with our favorite answers to the original set of Qs. Oh, and starting next month, look for our new column, "Afterwords," by news vet Michael Olesker!
Where did you go to school?
Our Lady of Pompeii, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I went to every "Our Lady of" in East Baltimore. —AIDS Action Baltimore president Lynda Dee, June 2003
What book or film changed your life?
To Kill a Mockingbird. . . . It taught me that there is nothing wimpy about kindness. —Barbara Mikulski, August 2007
Who is your favorite Baltimorean, living or dead?
Bob Irsay. Because he's dead. —TBC's Allan Charles, October 2001
What's the best advice you ever got?
It was Mel Brooks. He was the first person to say about all those diner stories I was telling him: "You should do a film about that." —Barry Levinson, October 2009
What's the biggest mistake you ever made?
Not marrying Oprah! —Richard Sher, May 2004
What is the bravest thing you've ever done?
I once sat next to Richard Simmons at O'Hare airport. It was the most terrifying 20 minutes of my life. —Choral Arts Society director Tom Hall, January 2002
What's the greatest problem facing Baltimore today?
Not sure. Been kinda wrapped up with the fun stuff. —Creative Alliance's Megan Hamilton, December 2009
When were you most tempted to leave Baltimore?
What time is it? —lawyer Barry Glazer, March 2011
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Brad Pitt, but first I'd like to see how he looks holding a violin. —former BSO concertmaster Herbert Greenberg, December 2000
Harrison Ford. —William Donald Schaefer, August 2003
I'm a woman over 40. Hollywood wouldn't be interested. —WPOC's Laurie DeYoung, July 2004
What is your guilty pleasure?
Doritos. Like the whole bag. —Martin O'Malley, December 2003
At my age, there's no time for guilt. —actress Vivienne Shub, August 2004
If you could write Baltimore's motto, what would it be?
Bawlmer: If you can't live here, you ain't right. —David Simon, March 2003
Believe, Behave, or Begone. —lawyer Warren A. Brown, April 2007