New York magazine has quite an interesting profile of Edward Albee in advance of the opening of the latest Broadway revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (opening October 13). Jesse Green interviews the 84-year-old playwright, known for being quite a curmudgeon. According to Green, he seems to have softened a bit, or as he terms it: He "has been rubbed down and polished so much that it almost passes for warmth." Last year he defended himself from people who felt he wasn't "gay enough" because he didn't want to be called a "gay writer."
But things get really interesting after they touch upon his personal life. Albee's partner of 20 years died in 2005, and it turns out he's had something of a May-December—yet unrequited romance—in recent years.
“For five years after Jonathan died,” Albee tells Green, “I didn’t want to do much of anything. I certainly didn’t think I’d be capable of ever caring much for anybody else or feeling amazing responses to things. But two and a half years ago now, I suddenly, one day, realized that I had fallen hopelessly in love. And really seriously, not just infatuation. Somebody not only beautiful and sexy but enormously talented, genuine, generous. I didn’t think I was going to do that anymore. It was joyous. ‘My God,’ I thought, ‘you’re capable of this still?’ "
But wait! He doesn't stop there. Then we learn that this new guy is both straight and about to turn 24.
“And at the same time, I realized a couple of problems. I mean, I am 84 now. He’s 24.” He corrects himself. “In a couple of weeks, he will be 24. I knew it was absolutely foolish. He’s too young. He’s too this, he’s too that, he’s all sorts of stuff” — including, apparently, “not that way.” “It wasn’t going to work in that sense. It wasn’t going to be a great, wonderful sexual relationship. But, wow, wasn’t that interesting when I thought it was! Isn’t kidding yourself fun?”
So there you go: He may have been "rubbed down and polished," but he's still got it going on.