More to the Story: Wayne Diamond, Uncut Gems Hero
Taylor Harrington 3/22/2021 1:47pm ET
Wayne Diamond is attributed as the hero in the Safdie Brother’s film Uncut Gems, starring Adam Sandler. With his unmistakable appearance and thick New York City accent, Diamond’s larger-than-life presence adds an element to the film as if it was tailored specifically to him.
Playing almost a charicature of himself, Diamond saves the day in the final minutes of the heart-pounding film. When asked about his experience Wayne says, “Julia (Fox) was the best. I had the best time of my life in that movie. Great times and great people. One of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. It was on my bucket list.”
We sat down with Wayne Diamond, via Zoom, where he told us he had just finished his second glass of wine, and was looking forward to his vodka lunch.
How did you land your role in Uncut Gems?
I’ve been in New York my whole life and I still am. I love it. I was always designing dresses and became a pretty famous fashion designer. I’ve known the Safdie brothers since they were like 19 and we met at The Spotted Pig in New York. I was fucked up and I met them with their father Ronnie, who’s my friend. Ronnie is one of the greatest humans.
About eight years ago they came to me with a movie that had my name on it, and Uncut Gems was that movie. I knew the lead role well I was just not able to you know, physically, I was not the age to do it. Adam (Sandler) was great, he was so fucking good. The part I ended up with was perfect for me. I loved it. It was great.
I am dying to know what the Uncut Gems movie premiere party was like with such a talented and big cast.
Let me tell you something, everybody was there. Every motherfucker in New York was there it was insane. Insane. We were all wrecked.
The party for The Weeknd’s birthday was in Toronto. I hope you saw that video. That was insane, too. There was like five thousand people there. It was me and the boys and I was scared, but I just drank half a bottle and I didn’t worry about it anymore.
The Weeknd, what a sweet guy. I mean, you never met a nicer crew of people in your lifetime. I worked really hard throughout my life, seven days a week in The Garment District designing dresses, that’s all I knew. I was so enthralled by the entire thing. I was enthralled by all of them. It was insane.
What’s your favorite spot to go for a drink in New York City?
The best spot to grab a drink and hang out and sit there all afternoon is Bar Pitti downtown.
What is Wayne Diamond’s “perfect day”?
My best day would be overlooking the water with my wife sitting next to me, let’s make believe we’re both thirty years younger, and she’s coming over to me and says, “Wayne, we’re ready baby“, with Frank Sinatra playing in the background.
What has it been like to live in New York City throughout the pandemic?
I’m always friendly with the guys that work on the elevators, sweep the floors, and fix the toilets, you know? I see them now and I feel terrible. I call everybody and I’m on the phone all day with these people. I’ve sent each of my favorite restaurant’s money, you know? But it has been a very, very bad time in history.
I’m happy everybody’s healthy in the family. I’m healthy. I want to get my first burn, get dark, look good, hide some of the wrinkles, and just feel good. I want to have some nice drinks and sit down with some lobster. Fuck it, man. I just want to enjoy my life.
What can you tell us about your family?
My one daughter has her MBA from Harvard and is a teacher at University of Pennsylvania, the head of photography or art department. She’s very bright. My other ones are Duke and Vanderbilt alum. They’re all successful. What is success? It’s when you’re happy. I never prompted my kids to ever go out there to make money. Money is not going to make you happy. I went through all of that buying Ferraris and Aston Martin’s and they never made me happy. What made me happy is when a kid came home and said, “Dad, I got into Harvard.” Oh, my God. That’s happiness.
So many of these young people want to go into finance and then work at Goldman-Sachs. That is the most disgusting company in the world. I mean, not everybody, but most of them end up fucked up, unhappy, and working 18 hour days, and for what? They think that they’re gonna get a name and all of a sudden, they’ll be assistant to the vice president, but all they end up is fucked up with a business card with their name on it.
What can you tell us about your life during your days at Studio 54?
I was at Studio a lot. It was the best. I mean, I never had better times in my life. That was fun. You never knew who you were doing or what you were doing. Between the Quaaludes and coke, nobody knew, but boy, it was wild. Wild. Wild.
The truth is guys these days get into porn or they drink. They don’t even want to deal with women anymore. They don’t want to have sex, they already used their hands for that. They go out with the guys to have the fun. Nobody wants women anymore. They don’t care to do the work.
Follow Wayne’s journey on Instagram: @thewaynediamond