'I have Asperger's - one of my symptoms included being obsessed with ghosts': Under the microscope with Dan Aykroyd
The 61-year-old actor on the Blues Brothers workout, always being tired and why he doesn't fear death
'I feel I've got two or three cat lives left,' said Dan Aykroyd
How fit are you?
I’ve never cared for sports. I played some baseball at school in Canada and used to walk two miles there and back through the snow. My Blues Brothers shows require a lot of energy, but that’s the only exercise I do. I can still do the moves, except for knee drops because I’m not as flexible as I was.
What’s your diet like?
I like hearty and authentic, yet simple, food — lamb chops with roast potatoes and a glass of shiraz is a favourite. I’m a wine aficionado. I usually choose food to complement wine. Good food doesn’t have to be fancy. My day-to-day favourite is a sandwich made with black pumpernickel bread, Swiss cheese, lettuce, mustard mayo, Black Forest ham, a few sliced pickles and a dollop of grape jelly.
Macaroni and cheese, made properly with spice and truffle oil. When I’m with my wife, Donna, we open a bottle of pink champagne and complement it with pecorino cheese and red pepper jelly.
Any family ailments?
No, my parents are 95 and 91 and going strong at the Aykroyd ancestral farm in Kingston, Ontario. But I was born with heterochromia iridum — different coloured eyes, one green, one blue. I also have syndactyly, where two or more digits are fused, I have two toes on each foot webbed almost to the top.
'I have Asperger's... One of my symptoms included my obsession with ghosts and law enforcement - I carry around a police badge with me, for example,' said Dan
I was diagnosed with Tourette’s at 12. I had physical tics, nervousness and made grunting noises and it affected how outgoing I was. I had therapy which really worked and by 14 my symptoms eased. I also have Asperger’s but I can manage it. It wasn’t diagnosed until the early Eighties when my wife persuaded me to see a doctor. One of my symptoms included my obsession with ghosts and law enforcement — I carry around a police badge with me, for example. I became obsessed by Hans Holzer, the greatest ghost hunter ever. That’s when the idea of my film Ghostbusters was born.
I see a masseuse who mixes craniosacral (gentle manipulation of the skull, spine and pelvis) and shiatsu therapy (deep pressure massage) with cupping treatments (where heated glass cups are placed on the body, to help stimulate energy flow). I sound like a freshly frozen woolly mammoth coming back to life. It hurts, but it works.
I’m always tired. I’m a night owl, but you have to be when running a chain of clubs, the House of Blues, like I do. I have vivid dreams of deceased friends like John Belushi and another who died in 9/11. I feel their energy around me.
None, but my wife and I had a stalker around ten years ago — luckily she was caught and sent to prison.
Like to live for ever?
I feel I’ve got two or three cat lives left, but want to grow old at the family farmhouse with my great-grandchildren (I have three daughters). I’m a spiritualist so don’t fear death. I know the spirit survives and once you cross over, everyone’s equal.
Dan Aykroyd is founder of Crystal Head Vodka: crystalheadvodka.com
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