The profile contains dozens of adverbs and an extensive psychoanalysis of Musk based on his posture, breathing patterns, and a “ring of red” that spontaneously appears around his eyes in the middle of a sentence. It gives Musk a handful of nicknames including “a titan, a visionary, a human-size lever pushing forward massive historical inevitabilities,” and “the kind of person who comes around only a few times in a century.” Most importantly, it dedicates at least 1,000 words to Musk’s romantic life and his recent break-up with actress Amber Heard — a subject that he broaches himself.
Here are some highlights, but I recommend reading the whole thing:
Then he heaves a sigh and ends his effort at composure. "I just broke up with my girlfriend," he says hesitantly. "I was really in love, and it hurt bad."
He pauses and corrects himself: "Well, she broke up with me more than I broke up with her, I think."
Strauss, for his part, seems to completely forget that he is interviewing “a titan, a visionary, a human-size lever,” and starts offering him relationship advice.
Musk discusses the breakup for a few more minutes, then asks, earnestly, deadpan, "Is there anybody you think I should date? It's so hard for me to even meet people." He swallows and clarifies, stammering softly, "I'm looking for a long-term relationship. I'm not looking for a one-night stand. I'm looking for a serious companion or soulmate, that kind of thing."
I eventually tell him that it may not be a good idea to jump right into another relationship. He may want to take some time to himself and figure out why his previous relationships haven't worked in the long run: his marriage to writer Justine Musk, his marriage to actress Talulah Riley, and this new breakup with actress Amber Heard.
Strauss seems worried about Musk’s loneliness, but does not seem worried that he is getting a little offtrack in his profile of a billionaire who wants to send human beings to Mars.
Musk shakes his head and grimaces: "If I'm not in love, if I'm not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy."
I explain that needing someone so badly that you feel like nothing without them is textbook codependence.
During this portion of the profile, when a different journalist (maybe? who can say!) might have considered pointing out how strange the interaction was, Strauss described Musk’s demeanor like this: “stiff, yet in the sheen of his eyes and the trembling of his lips, a high tide of emotion is visible, pushing against the retaining walls.”
The profile ends with Strauss imagining the statue of Musk that will be on Mars someday, which he hopes will not be actually of Musk in a literal sense, but of a “fuzzy bear” — Musk in a metaphorical sense.