Date: March 1999
Source: InStyle Magazine
man of style
With his lanky frame, wavy hair, and brooding eyes, Hank Azaria could pass for a 1990s Lord Byron. The 34-year-old actor's most memorable role, however, was Robin Williams' hot-pink-G-string-wearing Hispanic houseboy in The Birdcage. Indeed, Azaria has the talent to carry off just about any part. Last year alone, the New York native shared scenes with Godzilla and popped up in Woody Allen's Celebrity; he plays a big-city sportswriter opposite Russell Crowe and Burt Reynolds in Mystery, Alaska (opening next month), and will appear later this year in Tim Robbins' The Cradle Will Rock. Then there's his voicework on The Simpsons, and his recurring character on Mad About You-- which gives him the chance to work with his offscreen "sweetie," Helen Hunt. But the part he's most comfortable playing is at home with her, as his sporty yet sophisticated self.
Have you always been a stylish guy?
Actually, a girlfriend in college accused me of wearing Grranimals. At age 20, I still had a peice of Healthtex clothing. It was a tank top that had stripes across it, like something Dennis the Menace would wear.
Any early style icons?
I grew up in Queens, wanting to look like Bruce Springsteen album covers--and I did! To me, that was the height of fashion--a bomber or a denim jacket worn with jeans.
What about family influences?
My father worked in the garment district. He had his own line of women's clothing. My mother would go shopping at Loemann's twice a week and would always schlepp me there.
Let's play favorites, starting with slacks.
I have brown cotton Ermenegildo Zegna paints that are like nice painter's pants. I'll wear them with black Kenneth Cole lace-ups, a gray Prada sweater--and a T-shirt.
Besides Zegna, I like Calvin Klein, Donna Karan. It's important that stuff hangs comfortably.
Is that a favorite watch you're wearing?
This watch is called the Fish, by a company called Parallel Worlds. I've also got a lovely antique Rolex--in gray metal with a plain white face--that was a gift from my sweetie on our anniversary. I gave her a Rolex first. One of those old ones with a pale yellow face in a silver metal case. I admired it so much, I got one back [as a present].
What do you sleep in?
The Gap makes great flannel pajamas. I also have silk pajamas that I got as a gift from The Simpsons. They have Bart coming out of the breast pocket and Sideshow Bob around the back.
And your underwear of choice?
Big, floppy, cotton Gap boxer shorts.
If a car trunk is like a closet on wheels, what's in yours right
My car is really a pet shop on wheels. We have a wheaten terrier mix and a Samoyed, so I have food, bowls and leashes in case we go on an impromtu hike. I could take care of the dogs for two days with whats in the car.
Is there anything you'll wear, whether it's in style or not?
I love button down short-sleeve shirts. They're comfortable. You know who has great stuff? Surf shops. I have a heavy cotton after-beach jacket from one that's a dark blue plaid. My favorite shorts are also blue plaid. My favorite Ralph Lauren double RL jacket is plaid--I'm realizing I like plaid. It's a fashion breakthrough moment!