David Mann has turned his attention from Nicole Curtis to the gentleman in the Dos Equis beer commercials touted as “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”
Mann, who describes what he does for a living as “I buy homes and I fix them up,” says he is now that man. In 2012, Mann’s passion for renovation conflicted sharply with that of Zen Curtis’ on her DIY Network “Rehab Addict.” He said he won’t be back on that show because he didn’t get along with Curtis.
Keep reading and you will see how he could get on anybody’s nerves. Mann worked mine by never following through on recreating the urinating boy of Brussels statue with David’s face. “Sorry that I did not fulfill my end,” he said in an e-mail this week.
No matter. After he heralded himself as the most interesting person in the Twin Cities, maybe the world, while taunting me for never interviewing anyone interesting, I took the bait. I interviewed him at his Minneapolis home in March — there was snow on the ground, as you will see in my startribune.com/video — and waited for him to finish the statue, which he never did.
Be forewarned that Mann likes to shock.
“Do you think I look like Madonna? Everybody says I do. When I sing ‘Like a Virgin’ and ‘Material Girl,’ the boys just love it,” said the Mann who calls himself beautiful. He has a fiancée, a woman. I’ve never seen her; he claims she’s media-shy.
He certainly isn’t. “I’m a little screwy for Minneapolis. People don’t know how to deal with me,” said Mann. “People say they have never seen a home that embodies [the owner’s personality so completely].”
Q Have you invited Nicole Curtis over to see this house?
A Nicole Curtis has been banished from this home.
Q Have you always been creative?
A I believe I’ve been creative all my life, but right now I think for some reason my synapses are going off and I just think the last couple of years I really started to peak.
Q From where does your interior design inspiration come?
A For many years I dated an interior designer, but he went away to the nut house and I haven’t quite seen him yet. I picked up a little there.
Q Where else? You have a real distinctive style, and style is something a lot of people might be surprised you possess.
A I was in the encyclopedia of bad taste in the ’80s. I’ve gone out and seen lots of different peoples’ homes. I walk down streets and I get ideas. Like the basement. Here, [on the top floor] I just wanted to do something airy. I hope to go to California one day and do a home on a beach. The trouble with that: It would be tougher to make my house totally something different. I want it to be memorable. When people come in, I do want them to smile, shake their heads and go, ‘What’s wrong with him?’
Q Can you get anything you want made if you have the money for it?
A Absolutely. DON’T TELL ME THAT IT CAN’T BE DONE, because everything is negotiable. You can get anything done, especially with the Internet today. You can get an artist to do anything, just like my statues. [Note: He didn’t get one done.]
Q Do you notice people looking at you as though you are out of your mind?
A Absolutely everybody. At the Home Depot, Costco. People remember me. My bank, Wells Fargo, kind of told me I had to tone it down a little.
Q Are you eccentric or are you nuts?
A The difference between eccentric and nuts is a very fine line.
Q You’re an interesting father, from what I’ve heard. There’s a story about a bully messing with your kid I found amusing.
A My son was in sixth grade. There was a bully tormenting him, he was in seventh grade. Just would not leave [my son] alone. My son would come home very disturbed. None of us like having our children feel bad and scared to go to school. I basically hired an eighth-grader for $100 to bully the seventh-grader. Believe me, this kid didn’t want to come to school. DON’T MESS WITH ME!
Q You tell me more local interesting people need to step forward and offer me interviews.
A I read your column and I don’t even know who these people are. People want to know about gossip. People want to know about the local color. Frankly, there really isn’t more local color than what you’re looking at right now. You never know what’s going to come out of my mouth. I say what people think. I love [restaurant creator] Steve Schussler. He’s a very talented, really nice guy. But let’s be honest: HIS LIFE ISN’T VERY EXCITING! You need more humorous locals.
Q You’ve got to move out of this nice house because of your new lady love?
A The house doesn’t have enough closets for her. I don’t know what to say. It’s ridiculous. I’ll have to keep my clothes in the garage at the next house. The driveway is also too skinny. I have to sit there and watch her back out.
This interview was edited and should be enjoyed with salt. Reach C.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org and see her on Fox 9’s “Buzz.”