Andy Dick: 'DWTS' Already Changed My Life


Andy Dick's struggle with addiction was well-documented on reality TV so it makes perfect sense that he'd use the medium to also showcase his sobriety. Beginning tonight, you can see -- and root for -- Dick on Dancing with the Stars, as he faces off with Wynonna Judd, Lisa Vanderpump, Ingo Rademacher, Kellie Pickler, Dorothy Hamill and six other stars looking to claim that Mirror Ball Trophy!

ETonline recently sat down with Andy Dick to find out why he wanted to test his twinkle toes, see how he plans to change the public's perception of him and discover why this experience has already been worth more than a million dollars in his eyes.

ETonline: Was this the first time Dancing with the Stars had approached you about joining the cast?

Andy Dick: They approached me for the first season, but no one knew what a big hit it was going to be. I'm also not the biggest dancer and I wasn't in a good place spiritually. And when I say that, I mean, with the spirits. And once you say no, they don’t come back. So I'm thankful and grateful they did come back around.

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ETonline: How good of a dancer were you coming in?

Dick: Below beginning. At the YMCA, when they teach you how to swim, they categorize people as a minnow, a dolphin or a shark. Well, I would say I am more like a tadpole egg, still in the gel. I haven't even begun to grow a tail.

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ETonline: How have the rehearsals been for you?

Dick: The first week was hell and I thought it would never let up. But then it suddenly got to be fun and now I'm smiling and laughing in rehearsals. I have the dance down, so now it's about refining it so we can kick everybody's ass.

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ETonline: Everyone has different reasons for doing DWTS. Some want a career reinvention, some want to lose weight and others just come for the experience. What brought you aboard?

Dick: I think all of the above. I went in to rehabilitate people's opinions of me. I feel like when I walk into a casting room, everyone starts shaking their head, like, "Oh, that guy?" Whether it's true or not, that's how I feel. Plus, if you win, you win a million dollars. So then it became about the money. But what I did not anticipate was that I would be rehabilitating my mind, body and soul. I have grown more as a person in the last two weeks than I have in the last 10 years. The old me would have quit within the first few hours. But I got through those tough days and now I feel like I can almost do anything. I feel like even if I'm the first one voted off, I'm already a changed man and have gotten everything out of this experience that I needed.

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ETonline: In terms of showing people a different side of you, is there a conscious plan of attack or do you think exposure to your sobriety will be enough?

Dick: It has to be done gently, and for me, with tongue in cheek. I can't ignore the past but I don't want to close the door on it like it never happened. It's also not like I can say, "I'm all better now, America," because I don't know if I'll ever be "all better." I can't really be anyone but myself. I have no filter. I have no internal editor. When I speak, it's either eloquent or vomit [laughs]. And whenever it's eloquent, that's because I have a team of people coaching me in what to say. I really have to edit myself -- I need someone with a censor button around me all the time. I'm just a little unaware of what's deemed appropriate.

Dancing with the Stars
premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.