Justin Theroux is ensconced in his Greenwich Village duplex. It’s the middle of February, “the shortest and the cruelest” of months, he says. We’re talking over Zoom. He’s wearing a black T-shirt over his non–dad bod, a black beanie, and, despite the waning daylight, tinted aviators. A russet beard covers his unfrivolous jaw. Behind him, there’s a glass case displaying wax molds of syphilitic mouths. He takes frequent drags from a Juul to supplement a steady supply of Nicorette; he quit vaping when the pandemic began and only recently resumed. “I reserve it for the evening hours,” he says, as if voicing an infomercial. It’s 3:30 p.m., close enough. He holds up a piece of gum. “Whereas the minute I open my eyes, I put this in.”
Listen, it’s been a stressful year.
In the lead-up to Covid-19, he was in Mexico, filming his latest project, Apple TV+’s The Mosquito Coast. When production halted in March 2020, Theroux returned to New York City and began stockpiling for his pod of one. (Two, if you count Kuma, his pit bull terrier.) He bought bone broth by the bucket; he hoarded garlic, ginger, and, for some reason, Parmesan cheese. “Perhaps I was being paranoid,” he says. Like everyone else, he couldn’t find toilet paper, but unlike the rest of us, he didn’t need it. “I have a Toto, thank God,” he says, referring to his heated, bidet-rigged Japanese toilet.