These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous "insiders." After a while, it's easy to forget that stars are real people. That's why HuffPost Celebrity decided to launch the all-new #nofilter, a quick-fire question-and-answer series. Because how well do you know someone until they've shared their guiltiest pleasures?
Tim Allen needs no introduction. He's one of those familiar faces who has tapped into our consciousness via his hilarious stand-up comedy act (catch him at the Venetian in Las Vegas); his movie roles (how about Buzz Lightyear in those multi-million dollar "Toy Story 1, 2 & 3" films); his two popular sitcoms ("Home Improvement" and "Last Man Standing"); and his New York Times best-selling book, "Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man."
We got a revealing look into his personal life when he spoke with The Huffington Post last spring. Now, it's time to have some fun. "The Santa Clause" actor and comedian agreed to take HuffPost's #nofilter challenge this time around.
You play a dad of three girls on "Last Man Standing." In real life you have two girls -- a five-year-old daughter and a 24-year-old daughter. What's your biggest frustration in raising girls?
It sometimes is that they're not boys. Sometimes I don't engage because they don't like to wrestle and they're not really into boy stuff. I was around a lot of boys as a kid. My older daughter likes cars a lot because I do, and the young one likes going to my shop and playing with cars. But there's no trade-off like the affection of daughters. They're great. They're just absolutely wonderful.
This is another parenting question. Recently there was something in the news where a woman -- as a punishment -- publicly humiliated her daughter. Is it okay for a parent to shame their child in public?
It's funny that you ask that. I've had a child psychologist that I knew a long time ago, and he felt it was. I'm certainly not comfortable doing it. I'm just not the type of guy that would do that to my kid in public. I don't like watching it, so I probably wouldn't do it. I don't know whether it's the correct thing to do, but no, I would not want to do that.
Tell us something you did as a kid that you wouldn't want your children to do.
Well, it's sad to say. Times were different when I was a kid. I would just leave the house at a young age after breakfast and my mom wouldn't see us 'til lunch. I don't think she knew where we were. I find it just amazing that we played all day in the neighborhood, and we were very far distance from our house, and we weren't so concerned about cowards out there -- the predators and all that stuff. I would be very uncomfortable not knowing where my children were, even my older one. I'm a very protective dad.
If you could give your wife one piece of advice about parenting, what would it be?
I'm going to avoid that because it's a beehive. (Laughs)
When's the last time you cried?
I did a show for some American Veterans. I was very proud to have them on. We gave them [tickets] to a taping of "Last Man Standing" where we surprised a mother and child. We flew a vet in from Afghanistan. The lunch prior to that I just went and said hello to probably 60 service men and women and inexplicably just seeing all these young faces that are doing so much and so selflessly, I couldn't get through it ... There were some old veterans in there, a guy from D-Day. For some reason I had a tremendous amount of emotion for all of these service people that I so admire and respect and worry about. If I hadn't gotten out of there, I think I would have cried like a kid. It's been a long time coming.
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
Häagen-Dazs. It's like sweet butter. I've tried other brands of ice cream, but I'll tell you, I really do like a little chocolate Häagen-Dazs, [it's] a real treat.
What's the one thing you do when you're alone that you wouldn't do in front of someone else?
When the girls are gone, and I'm home by myself, I talk to the cat. I have the most ridiculous conversations with this cat that my older daughter found on a movie set, and of course, she said, "I'll keep it, dad." And she never has. She's out in her own apartment now. The cat's name is Joe. I have conversations with Joe that I literally go, "God, I hope people never see that."
What happens in your recurring dream?
I'm in the largest room you've ever seen. I can't believe how big this room is. It's 90 feet from the floor to the ceiling and is filled with water. It's got a wall down the center of it that's got divisions in it. There's a boat speeding around trying to get me. There's people in the boat shrieking and looking at me, and it's constantly after me ... I think about a year ago I finally said, "I'm done with this." I stopped hiding from it. It was as if they were trying to get me out of the water. For years I thought they were after me, and what they were doing was just trying to help me.
Is it okay to recline your seat on an airplane?
No. You can't. No. I never do. Never. No. It's not.
When do you feel most anxious?
I think crowds. Definitely. Partly because I'm more introverted than I like to admit, and partly because at times I'm uncomfortable, even all the years of being a profiled person, sometimes I'm uncomfortable with the attention. I know it's part of the business. I'm not complaining at all, but sometimes I'm nervous in crowds.
Who or what is overrated right now?
Who is overrated? There's a great question. It's not for me to say. It really isn't because it's certainly me if I wanted to be humble about it. I'm no person to say who's overrated.
Okay, what is overrated instead of who?
I think award shows are overrated. It's just a personal opinion. I remember a long time ago I saw "Spider Man." It might have been the first one or the second one. I said, "This is literally an Academy Award-winning movie." The crowd stood up and cheered. It was so fun and fresh and different. "No. That's not the type of movie that they give Academy Awards to" -- that's what I heard. I said, "Who is they?" I think it's funny that no one has ever looked at how they come up with Academy Award winners.
Is a good friend hard to come by?
Yes. It takes a high degree of acceptance. You learn a lot about people with a best friend. Eventually you have to accept things that you cannot change and that you don't like. Then they'll come back, and you think, "God this is why I don't like this person," but over a period of time [it's about] acceptance, and they accept you. I think it's a wonderful thing.
What are you most afraid of?
Death or injury of somebody close to me.
When do you feel most at peace?
Two things that completely are different. I completely feel at peace when I'm in a groove at the Venetian in Las Vegas in my showroom, and sometimes if there's a surprisingly calming sermon at church.
What's the most unusual thing you have in your wallet?
I have a Mexican driver's license. Very hard to get, but I took my driver's test because I have a home in Mexico, and I have a driver's license.
What do you hope will be invented in the next 10 years?
An extremely efficient battery. It will solve so many problems that Edison's tried. It literally is one of the larger problems. That's the only reason that we're struggling with solar energy and everything else. How to store energy. Once they come up with a battery, many things will change.
The last question. If you had a real crystal ball, what would you be looking for?
Gosh. I guess I don't want to know when I will leave this planet. I really don't want to know that. I think I'd like to zoom ahead 2000 years. I'd like to see what [the world] looks like.