Maomi Neven du Mont is a painter who loves kids, has six children and sees life as one huge experience, which she hopes will make her wiser than when she started thinking ‘my life should be as good as a movie’. Growing up as a kid in Hollywood she had seen a lot of films made in Europe. When she first visited Western Europe in 1951, Europe seemed to her ‘so ancient’. Coming from modernized Munich to Budapest with her sons’ band ‘A Subtle Plague’ on tour in 1993 gave her constant backflashes of Paris in the 50s. She fell in love with the city with beautiful faded buildings and some 50s block houses. Through their children, she and her husband have now many friends in Budapest, the city that she says, really feels like home.
What is your most marked characteristic?
That I talk too much, but what is probably the most marked is that I have more energy than ninety percent of normal human beings and I have a big capacity for communication, for grooving, travelling, and connecting to other people.
Where would you most like to live?
There's no one place where I'd like to live. I would like to move around all the time. I'm not somebody who wants to stay in one place, but I'd like to have my place in Tangier, Pondicherry, Positano, Chiang Mai… I'm a traveler.
When and where were you the happiest?
I am happiest whenever and wherever I am or was with people who were just simple and groovy. I could be in Peshawar, which is one of the most dangerous places in the world and be happy because I have the capacity to walk into a market where no normal woman would walk in and find that they're happy that I sit with them, that I drink tea with them. That's why I like travelling - I always find people that make me happy. But when it comes to just daily happiness, I find it most inside myself and nature.
Which living person you most admire?
I would say who I most admire are the people who have their intellect and their heart together.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Success. I just don't believe in what people call success. In our society today, you can be considered a looser when sitting on the park bench and lost everything, you know, and I don’t believe in these terms. I tell my grandchildren you should always try to do what makes you happiest.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think my greatest achievement was that I gave birth to five and adopted a sixth kid and none of them are mean gangsters or anything like that.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I would be a gay Sicilian filmmaker, living in the castle like in the (Italian) film The Leopard.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Nurses, for instance, who are underpaid and give so much love to humanity.
Who are your favorite writers?
Milan Kundera, Cormac McCarthy, Michael Ondaatje, Tom Reiss, D.H. Lawrence, Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Tom Wolfe, Orhan Pamuk, Joseph Conrad, Hemingway, Philip Roth… Just in the last years, I was reading The Orientalist and I didn’t want it to stop. I love the autobiographies of unbelievable people, women for instance. I like a lot of things, I am very vast in what I like.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your motto?
I think my motto in life is to keep on tripping, living, looking, searching, dancing, being happy, loving, listening to music, you know, all the positive things that make me happy and to rise above what makes me unhappy and find a solution to it.