Bake Off SU2C - Richard Dreyfuss

Interview with Richard Dreyfuss

Category: Interview, Press Pack Article

Can you bake? Rate yourself out of 10.

Oooh. I’m a zero. I’m not even on the charts.

Who taught you how to bake, if anyone?

I’ve never baked in my life, I’ve never learned how to bake, and if anyone tried to teach me how to bake, I’d shoot them.

I take it you don’t watch baking shows then?

There are some, there are foodie-woodie shows, but I haven’t paid too much attention to them. There are shows either with professional bakers competing against one another, or amateur bakers like me, who are trying to bribe their way into showbusiness.

What did you do in the way of preparation?

Flew over.

That’s a start.

That’s the sum of what I did.

How are you finding the Bake Off experience?

It’s a hell of a lot of fun. When they asked me to do something for such a good cause – an inarguable cause – it’s all the more exciting and fun. Why not? If everyone could be convinced to help in the fight against cancer, and have as much fun as I did today, we’d be curing these illnesses like this [clicks fingers].

It’s quite a commitment for you to fly over from the US to do this show. Why is it such an important cause for you?

Well, it’s a wonderful thing to be asked to help. And the thing that locked it for me was that it was an invitation to come to England. So that, added to a desire to help, meant it was a big ‘yes’. There’s always someone asking you to help with something, but this was an easy one to say yes to.

When I saw  a good friend - John Lithgow - grinning madly as he baked his way through his segment of the Celebrity Bake Off show I was awash with envy, I wanted to have that same goofy grin on my face.  And when I was told I had to come to England to participate, my wife Svetlana and I swore that we would never tell the producers that with the slightest hesitation on their part, I would row our way over and we'd sleep in Regents Park to do it. No performance anxiety, no flop sweat, just fun and a great chance to come back to where we honeymooned, lived for 4 years, found grown up Romance and now, a chance to learn to Bake? Are you kidding me? What's wrong with that picture? Nothing, my Anglo cousins, not a blessed thing.  

Did we have fun? Does a duck have webbed feet? Is the Pope Catholic? Did I bake my heart out and create something I'd never thought to accomplish? Ever?? I still have to make it look better but it tasted-------truly fantastic. Fabulous. Yes. Da. Oui. Oui mucho. Looks terrible tastes great----good name for a restaurant. 

And my wife fell in love with me all over again, which is not a bad thing.  

Would you describe yourself as an Anglophile?

I lived here for four years. I went to Oxford from 2004 to 2008. That was as thrilling as it sounds. And now I’ve got as chance to come back and say hello.

Are you competitive? Do you want to be star baker?

I’m not competitive. If you hear someone burst into sobs, it’s not going to be me.