Vincent Kartheiser lives in an LA home without a toilet, car or mirrors


The Guardian/Observer had a fascinating interview with Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser over the weekend. It makes sense that a British newspaper would interview someone who is basically the fourth lead on a basic cable cult hit in America, because from what I’ve heard and read, Great Britain has become a nation of Mad Men worshippers, and more Britons probably love the show than Americans. That, and Vincent is starring in some British production that he’s promoting (that I don’t care about right now because PBS won’t get it for another year probably).

Now, I’ve mentioned my love for Vincent Kartheiser before – he plays Pete Campbell on Mad Men. The character of Pete is so obnoxiously multifaceted – at times, Pete makes me cry, leaves me heartbroken and devastated, and at other times, I think he’s a f-cking psychopath. Vincent plays him so well, and plays the highs and lows so convincingly that it’s not hard to believe Vincent the actor would make people feel queasy, just because they associate him with Pete. The Guardian gets this dichotomy out of the way fast: “Vincent Kartheiser seems at pains to be everything Pete Campbell is not: scruffy, charming, relaxed, witty, unshaven, likable.”

Anyway, the full piece is a great read (Vincent really is a strange duck), but there were a few pieces that people are talking about already:

On playing a good “psychopath”: “I definitely do psychopathic. I don’t try to but it just sneaks out of my character.”

On not having a car in LA: “I go on the bus, I walk. A friend left his car recently at my house and I took it out one day just for 15 minutes and it was terrible. You know why? I felt like I was back in LA again. Four or five years ago, when I had a car and I had been out of the city I wouldn’t feel I was back until I got in the car, you know. But now I feel off the grid. I feel that I am not part of the culture. And because I don’t have a car I don’t really go anywhere to buy things. In fact, I have been in a slow process of selling and giving away everything I own.”

On not having a toilet in his house: “Like, I don’t have a toilet at the moment. My house is just a wooden box. I mean I am planning to get a toilet at some point. But for now I have to go to the neighbours. I threw it all out. It started a couple of years ago. It was in response to going to these Golden Globe type events and they just give you stuff. You don’t want it. You don’t use it. And then Mad Men started to become a success on a popular level and people started sending me stuff, just boxes of sh-t. Gifts for every holiday, clothes. One day, I looked around and thought ‘I don’t want this stuff, I didn’t ask for it’. So I started giving it to friends or charity stores, or if it is still in its box I might sell it for a hundred bucks. I liked it so I didn’t stop.”

On not having a mirror, either: “I was wondering, should I have a screen in my home? It seems like the next step. I haven’t had a mirror for six or seven years, though I admit that causes a lot of problems when I have to tie a bow tie. Or if I have to, you know, comb my hair for something. I’m forever looking in the mirrors of parked cars. I probably should be worried. Sometimes, I look around my house and think: is this normal, Vinny? I mean it’s a bit more than just a remodel…”

On being a “grown-up”: “I don’t think anyone feels like a grown-up. I have four sisters and they all dated guys and they are all married, and all of the guys they dated always seemed to me like grown-ups, you know, but eventually you come to see that underneath they are all little boys really. Grown-up is just a word that kids use to describe someone who is not having any fun.”

Men are a-holes: “Well, men are a–holes at some level, aren’t they?” he suggests, with feeling. “The powerful white male in history is like the most evil entity, isn’t he? Mad Men is a portrait of white men doing their stuff, just as their power is coming under a bit of threat. Don Draper is from a time when he can persuade everyone that what he is doing is right. Pete can’t quite do that. He fears his shallowness. But don’t we all?

On monogamy: “I’ve never been monogamous. It might happen, but it never has yet. I don’t understand women, I’m off that kick.” He wears a wedding ring, “just so I can flash it to warn people off if I need to,” he laughs, in a stagey demonic way, “or at least put it on in the morning.”

[From The Guardian/Observer]

I told you he’s a strange duck. I can get on board with the having-no-mirrors thing, I really can. Mirrors are overrated, in general. I can get on board with the no car thing too, although having no car in LA must be a pain in the ass. But I can’t get on board with the no-toilet situation. That’s just… nasty. Even for a dude, who can easily piss on a tree in the middle of the night or whatever. But, ladies, if you went on a date with a guy without a toilet, wouldn’t you run for the hills? Which brings me to another point: Vincent needs to get laid. Big time. I think having a girlfriend would help his neurosis quite a bit. And she would also make him get a toilet.

Vincent in NY on April 22 & August 9, 2009. Credit: WENN.

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37 Responses to “Vincent Kartheiser lives in an LA home without a toilet, car or mirrors”

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  1. viper says:

    He is so full of shit.

  2. scotchy says:

    there was another interview he did for the march or april edition of UK Bazaar or Vogue( sorry can’t remember at the moment)
    he talks about how he had just broken up with his long term girlfriend and decided to get rid of all of his things. he sounded a bit nutty about the whole thing.

  3. irishserra says:

    I just love him…

  4. Dorothy says:

    Loved him on Angel!!!!

  5. ViktoryGin says:

    Hmmm…I interpret his tendency to give stuff away as physical manifestation of his need for expulsion. Sometimes you have toss things out for your spiritual benefit. It also may be connected to why he doesn’t have a toilet. Toilets are where we get rid of waste. By being estranged from his extrement he doesn’t have to deal with the suggestion of the build up of his waste material.

  6. lin234 says:

    scotchy- that bit of info makes this interview make more sense… maybe she broke his heart? But if he’s never been monogamous, doesn’t that make him sound like a serial cheater?

    But he could move to another place or something if he wanted to start over. I’d hate to be his neighbor. Can you imagine someone coming over daily to do his business? Yuck.

    It takes forever to get to places in LA even with a car. I can’t imagine purposely taking a bus or walking everywhere. It sounds like he has a lot of time.

    I’ve watched mad men and didn’t even recognize him in those pictures. I’m meh about his character.

  7. texasmom says:

    I’m with lin234 — talk about a bad neighbor!! If you want to get rid of your toilet, that’s your own d— business and you can live with the consequences. Don’t come over to my house!!!

  8. Tia C says:

    I agree with the bad neighbor comments. If I was his neighbor, I’d politely but strongly suggest he invest in a port-a-potty until he decides to have a real toilet installed. He would not be coming to my house to do his business. Yuck.

    I like what he says about the term “grown-up,” but in general he sounds like he has some issues. He needs to hop on that bus and ride it to a shrink’s office.

  9. Iggles says:

    “I’ve never been monogamous. It might happen, but it never has yet. I don’t understand women, I’m off that kick.” He wears a wedding ring, “just so I can flash it to warn people off if I need to,”

    He’s either asexual or into guys.

    Also, I think I read a blind item about him. He’s the “actor” bragging about not have a TV, etc. and how it makes his performances more “real”.

    He seems way too pleased with himself. Scary.

  10. cprincess says:

    Its because of people like him that Im glad I left England….
    He thinks hes soooo different and yet hes really just another unwashed grubby English dickhead with that vaguely superior attitude-look dear-if you dont like LA then dont be here-how about showing some gratitude for being on a hit show????
    There is a wonderful eccentricity that runs through my countrymen that I love but believe me-he doesnt have it-he just sounds tedious,immature and undeserving…..

  11. J says:

    He’s too good for LA, so he will go against the grain. But having no car, toilet or mirror, sounds very odd to me.
    This guy sounds like a Mentally Ill Man with an attitude.

  12. Lala11_7 says:

    I’m with Viper on this one…

    He seems too pretentious to even breath CO2…and THAT’S a REALLY bad look on a human being…

  13. lola lola says:

    I gotta say I agree with viper. I don’t think there is 2 seconds of truth in that interview. He’s trying to hard to be ‘different.” Pack of lies I say, pack of lies…

  14. lucy2 says:

    He’s very good on the show, but I’m in agreement that he’s either totally full of it here, or maybe needs some mental help. I can understand living minimally, but this, if true, sounds like extreme behavior.

    Bad neighbor! was my first thought too!

  15. Cinderella says:

    Sounds a bit put on to me.

  16. hhhmmmmm says:

    His house is being renovated.

  17. archiepelago says:

    Are you guys getting paid by Mad Men producers/publicists? The ‘gossip’ about the cast featured on here read like publicity blurbs to me.

  18. MsTriste says:

    One of the facts of life of living on the Big Island of Hawaii is that it’s not completely on the grid.

    There are many people who do not live within range of county water, electricity or cable TV, and without that being a choice, you have to learn other ways of living.

    Some people move there on purpose, but others who have grown up there know no other way.

    My friend’s aunt and uncle, for example, have an outhouse. It’s not so bad actually, as there is a nice view of an old lava flow and pretty plants to enjoy while you’re doing your morning business.

    They have a special (expensive) propane refrigerator but don’t buy much that needs to be refrigerated. They’ve rigged up car batteries to somehow light the kitchen, but I think they only have the one light bulb.

    The water comes from rain that goes into a tank.

    It’s one of my favorite places to visit :)

    All that being said, he still sounds nutty.

  19. amanda says:

    Sounds like an interesting person. He kind of creeps me out on Mad Men (but at the same time, my heart aches for him sometimes), but he does the character SO well.

  20. bros says:

    agree with everyone who is calling BS on this story and esp. cprincess for giving it some sociohistorical context. nobody, I dont care how eccentric you are, lives without a toilet in their house. If he lived in alaska (where I grew up) I would take him at his word because plenty of people have outhouses. but not in LA. stop trying so hard pete. this is life imitating art. he fears his own shallowness indeed.

  21. Katija says:

    He seems like a hipster douchebag. I hate people who act like they are somehow above materialism and capitalism when they work in Hollywood.

  22. Peepants says:

    He’s the real life Charlie from Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

  23. lolo says:

    what a douche, when i saw his pic i thought hmmm cute. but when i read the interview part he just annoyed me. i wouldn’t let him shit on my toilet.

  24. Sumodo says:

    No wonder he’s not monogamous. One date with Vinny, and you’re done.

    Fix up your house and buy a Prius, douche!

  25. Laylo says:

    I’m in love! Go Vinny!!

  26. GatsbyGal says:

    No car, no mirrors, no toilets, selling everything he owns… are we sure this guy isn’t like a serial killer or something? He just sounds sooooooo freaking weird. I could not date a man like this, he’d be insufferable. Is a man who can’t poop properly in his own home even a man?

  27. Kelly says:

    I really hope people will start questioning the whole ubermaterialistic thing because it’s so f*cking liberating to give shit up and just not even go there in the first place. We’ve personally never owned a vehicle, dishwasher, microwave, cellphone; you name it, we probably don’t have it :-) And it’s great. Everyone thinks you’re a lunatic because you’re not on the endless gerbil-wheel of mindless acquisition but hey, we’re not the ones with 10 maxed out credit cards and the label addiction.
    Don’t buy something today. You’ll thank me later.

  28. Slymm27 says:

    This one is not right in the head

  29. GatsbyGal says:

    @Kelly – You don’t have a washing machine? Where do you wash your clothes, do you go out back to the river or something?

  30. Dawn says:

    What’s the whole point of telling people you don’t have a toilet? What message are you trying to send. Maybe I’m just not that deep to understand it. Anyways, my parents grew up without ruuning water(outhouse), so I’m not impressed. He is cute, but sounds way too crazy for my taste

  31. abbydoom says:

    Well, you obviously own a computer
    And let me guess… It’s a mac?

  32. Dave says:

    “Don’t buy something today. You’ll thank me later. ”



    Why do you hate America? Our culture of “overconsumption” keeps us as the sole global hegemony. Please don’t encourage a reduction in consumer spending when businesses are folding left and right over lagging sales and profits. We don’t need that attitude here. Go to Canada.

  33. Theresa says:

    Well, I think he’s pretty cool and a little eccentric maybe but also highly refreshing in such a materialistic world. Go Vinny. You can use my toilet anytime. ;)

  34. bargearse says:

    I love Pete Campbell & think Vinnie plays him perfectly. I also like the scuffy oddball he is playing in this interview – the complete opposite of Pete.

    I’ve seen many photos of this dude & I believe he doesn’t look in a mirror. His hair is a mess, his beard unkempt and his clothes ill-fitting… but the toilet thing? Must have been temporary whilst the renos were being carried out.

  35. Tarantella says:

    Erm, cprincess – he’s not English.

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  37. Jennifer says:

    Hes cute id be his girlfriend :) just 4 years younger!