Anthony Bourdain Opened Up About Asia Argento Relationship in One of His Final Interviews

Parts Unknown host and acclaimed chef passed away on June 8

By Jess Cohen Jul 16, 2018 7:43 PMTags

It's been just over a month since the shocking death of Anthony Bourdain.

The acclaimed chef and Parts Unknown host passed away on June 8 at the age of 61. CNN confirmed Bourdain's passing last month, stating that his cause of death was suicide. "It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," a spokesperson for the network said in a statement at the time.

Over the weekend, one of Bourdain's final interviews, conducted by Popula in February, was published online. In the interview, Bourdain discussed everything from his work to his personal life, including his relationship with longtime girlfriend Asia Argento.

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When asked about his work life and if he ever stops, Bourdain replied, "No."

Talking about going from one thing to the next, Bourdain shared, "I wondered about this; I've stopped wondering. I'd entertained the notion that I'm working toward a goal, or a day, where I could sit on a Tuscan hilltop in a hammock with a big stack of books, but I understand now that I couldn't…that I can't do that. I can do that for short periods of time. But I can't. I can't."

"It's helped me a lot that Asia is the same way," he continued. "That there's no shame in this, you know...She'll point out the ridiculousness of kicking back on the beach, because she'll say right up front...'This doesn't appeal to me at all! This is a living death.' I can't do it. I can do it for a few days at a time."

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Bourdain also discussed the "happiest moments" of his life on the road, sharing that they were always moments when cameras weren't rolling.

"My happiest moments on the road are always off-camera, generally with my crew, coming back from shooting a scene and finding ourselves in this sort of absurdly beautiful moment, you know, laying on a flatbed on those things that go on the railroad track, with a putt-putt motor, goin' across like, the rice paddies in Cambodia with headphones on...this is luxury, because I could never have imagined having the freedom or the ability to find myself in such a place, looking at such things," Bourdain said.

He continued, "To sit alone or with a few friends, half-drunk under a full moon, you just understand how lucky you are; it's a story you can't tell. It's a story you almost by definition, can't share. I've learned in real time to look at those things and realize: I just had a really good moment."

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Bourdain also spoke about his daughter, Ariane Bourdain, now 11, growing up in the society today.

"Asia said this to me. Children create themselves independently of us. All you can do is show, like in my case, my daughter feels loved," Bourdain said. "She knows she's loved. She has good self-esteem. Very important. And good martial arts skills. So no man, no boy...she knows she can take any boy in her age group. That's all I can do as a father. I can't pick all of the things that, you know. I can't. She so far… ahead of me, I can't pick her music, her boyfriends, whatever, however she's going to turn out. I can give her these basic things."

He then added, "I think how resolute she is, how much she wants to change the world, is willing to sacrifice in order to change the world, that's gonna have to come from within."

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Bourdain, who confirmed he was completely in love with Argento during the interview, also discussed a tense moment in their relationship.

He shared, "The worst thing Asia ever said to me, she'd had a bad day, she was doing a play in uh, Turin? Somewhere in Italy. And she was rehearsing and she'd had a really bad day with the director. Dude, of course. And she comes home and she's f--king furious. And we're texting back and forth, cause we only argue by text. She's like, f--king angry. F--k you too! You always wanna win! You always wanna win!"

"I was really offended by this," he said. "I was so hurt by this. I do not need to win. I am not a competitive person. I need to survive."

"Never," Bourdain replied when asked if he was ever competitive. "Sports, f--king hated them. Always hated sports. Again, it goes back to that Sixties thing...I just wanna f--king survive. I don't need to be number one. I don't need to beat the f--k out of somebody. I don't need to be ahead. I just want to still be here at the end of the f--kin' day, doing what I'm doing, without anybody hassling me."

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Back in October, Bourdain showed his support for women in Hollywood, including Argento, who shared allegations of past encounters with Harvey Weinstein in a New Yorker article. (Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.)

Talking about his support of the #MeToo movement and how he was a hero to so many, Bourdain said, "No really and truly not at all, I'm just a guy who saw what his girlfriend and her friends know. I saw a lot."


If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.