I got my dream job: Paul Newman’s assistant. He’s hands-down the most beautiful man in history. Besides his illustrious acting career, he’s invented some amazing products, like the Newman Poncho. That’s a plastic bag for water-park goers with his face on the front. But some naysayers believe he’s all beauty and no talent. I’m going to discover the man behind the perfectly proportioned mask.
On my first day, he has a pitch meeting to finance a new product. The female board head sees his face and just starts writing checks. He kicks off the pitch, it’s a take on his hallmark salad dressings. “DIY dressing. Empty bottles. Sleek, cheap, light: Empty bottles.” The women nods. “Empty bottles with your face on them,” she adds. The board erupts in cheers.
We stop by the Newman Playhouse. They are in the middle of a production of King Lear. Newman improvs a line: “Boy howdy, it sure is hot!” Wild applause. A Shakespeare scholar in the audience remarks, “That man’s face just said the greatest line of Shakespeare since Shakespeare.”
We head over to the Newman’s Own factory, where the dressings are made. “Have we ever tried a line of soup dressings?” Newman asks. His top chef speaks up, “For salads?” “Yeah.” “Like a soup poured onto a salad?” “Yeah.” The chef sighs. Newman is unfazed, looking to other workers for support. “Heck ya!” they say. “Oh baby!” “Soupsalad!” His eyes light up like every star in the universe twinkling at once.
Newman takes me to the racetrack to see another creation, the Newman Mobile. It’s a Porsche Turbo 411 covered in 411 printouts of his face. “You coming?” I get in cautiously. “I’ve won like 5 championships,” he says. Newman swerves around the track. He smiles dazzlingly in a way that is more rewarding than the feeling of safety. Then he nearly crashes into a chain link fence. I puke. “You’re puking because you love it!” He is so beautiful. I puke some more.
On the way out he shoots finger-guns at a Brazilian security guard. “Adee-ohs,” he says, presumably in Spanish. We head to a session at his non-profit foundation. His charity is to sit outside and let people touch his face. The clock hits 5 p.m. I drive home, excited for whatever new looks at his face tomorrow might bring.