Aziz Ansari covers the upcoming Fall edition of GQ Style. They made him look all goofy in a velvet embellished jacket and posed him poking his head and torso out of a door. He’s staring at you with those big eyes, he looks small in perspective to the door and he looks like he’s up to no good. The editorial isn’t bad though, he looks dashing in quite a few of those photos. Aziz touches on a lot of topics in the interview, primarily his thoughts on success and how he wants to live his life. He’s unplugged from the internet and has been living in Europe for a few months, having met up with the GQ journalist in Paris. I read this interview over a bowl of ice cream and it was like watching Master of None – I couldn’t put it down. I love the way Aziz thinks and the way he explains things, it’s an entirely new perspective and he pulls you in there with him. The guy is fascinating and funny and I came away feeling like I just had dinner with him.
On why he’s taking a break from working now
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. We both have more money than we ever imagined. And I was like, Can you imagine if someone called us a few years ago and said, “All right, you’re going to have this much money when you’re this age. What are you gonna do with it?” You would say all sorts of fantastical things, right? No one would say, ‘Oh, I would figure out how to make more money and keep working all the time.’
I heard you deleted the Internet from your phone. And that you deleted Twitter and Instagram and e-mail. No way that’s true, right?
It is! Whenever you check for a new post on Instagram or whenever you go on The New York Times to see if there’s a new thing, it’s not even about the content. It’s just about seeing a new thing. You get addicted to that feeling. You’re not going to be able to control yourself. So the only way to fight that is to take yourself out of the equation and remove all these things. What happens is, eventually you forget about it. You don’t care anymore. When I first took the browser off my phone, I’m like, [gasp] How am I gonna look stuff up? But most of the shit you look up, it’s not stuff you need to know. All those websites you read while you’re in a cab, you don’t need to look at any of that stuff. It’s better to just sit and be in your own head for a minute. I wanted to stop that thing where I get home and look at websites for an hour and a half, checking to see if there’s a new thing. And read a book instead. I’ve been doing it for a couple months, and it’s worked. I’m reading, like, three books right now. I’m putting something in my mind. It feels so much better than just reading the Internet and not remembering anything.
On not keeping up with news and politics
If you take yourself out of it, you’re not infected with this toxicity all the time… I’m not choosing ignorance. I’m choosing to not watch wrestling… I don’t think me reading the news is helping anything. I think it’s hurting me. It’s putting me in a bad state of mind.
What would you change about this reality?
I would probably adjust my personal life to be in a loving relationship, and I’d probably adjust it so I got to spend more time with my parents… I’ve had that high, twice now, of making something I really care about, that I really believe in, that I’m really inspired by, and having people respond to it. I’d rather figure out other things in my life that I don’t feel as good about. I don’t feel as good about my personal life as I do my professional life.
Describe [your] dream girl.
Someone I would be thrilled to do nothing with who would be as equally thrilled to do nothing with me.
You know that meme “you get a million dollars if you live in this cabin for a year with no internet and unlimited books” or whatever? (I can’t google it properly because there are so many cleverer responses to that meme which come up first.) Well Aziz already got his millions and he’s choosing to relax in the cabin, only the cabin is various international cities. You get my poorly thought out analogy. Just reading the title to this story made me think that I would never be able to unplug like he has, but of course he explained it so well that I get it. A lot of the time you’re just reading garbage online that you promptly forget. (Thanks for visiting our site please come back!)
As for his position on why he’s not in a relationship despite being lonely – I don’t think he’s open to having one right now. That’s what he’s trying to do – find himself first so that he can be ready when the time comes. When he’s ready, it probably won’t be long until he meets someone. He’s famous and knows a lot of people. Plus, he wrote the damn book on it. (Read Modern Romance you won’t be disappointed.) It’s all about making it work with the person you pick, not scrolling and shrugging because there are so many choices and you assume another will come along. (Somewhat relevant sidenote: I started watching the new season of Master of None with a new guy and I dumped him after the first episode. Those two things aren’t related, but the point its that I wanted to wait until I got over that until I finished this season. I think I’m ready now. If only I could hang out in Europe for a few months to decompress.)
photos credit: Arnaud Pyvka exclusively for GQ Style. Getty images