Zap2it: When “Hart of Dixie” co-star Josh Cooke asked about your mother, novelist Joyce Maynard, having lived briefly with reclusive author J.D. Salinger (to whom she lost her virginity as a Yale freshman) in the early ’70s, you quipped, “I just call him Dad.” When Cooke said, “But he’s not, so … ,” you said, “I’ll let you decide.” Does that mean you’ll be watching when PBS’ “American Masters” airs the documentary “Salinger,” in which Maynard appears, on Tuesday, Jan. 21?
Wilson Bethel: I’ve seen the preview for it. I didn’t realize it was going to be on PBS. But yeah, it looks great. I know my mom felt invested in it, because (filmmaker Shane Salerno) had been trying for so long. So, yeah, I’ll probably end up watching it. If nothing else, I’m a fan of Salinger’s work.
(A couple of weeks after this conversation, Maynard attended the “Salinger” premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado and expressed concerns in an interview that the film downplayed the middle-aged writer’s interest in very young women.)
Zap2it: What’s your favorite Salinger novel?
Wilson Bethel: I mean, there’s only a handful, right? The three that I read, those are his only three, “Franny and Zooey,” “Nine Stories” and “The Catcher in the Rye”? That’s it. I’ve read them all, and I loved them all.
Zap2it: You’re a rapper and poet, so will you write a novel?
Wilson Bethel: I consider myself a writer first and foremost. That was my first artistic love. I have started several novels and intend to finish one someday.