The Surprising Thing Morgan Neville Learned About Bourdain While Filming Roadrunner - Exclusive

Anthony Bourdain was likely best known by his fans for his sharp humor and confident commentary in his television shows and writing. But those qualities actually hid one very unexpected fact about the writer. In fact, it was the most surprising thing that director Morgan Neville learned about Bourdain while working on his new documentary, "Roadrunner."

During an exclusive interview with Mashed, Neville revealed that he had no idea how shy Bourdain actually was. "He could be so kind of intimidating in a way, but I think a lot of it had to do with just his own shyness and being uncomfortable around people," Neville said. But Bourdain's shyness went well beyond simply being reserved around other people. "He would be in public situations, he would always tell his friends, 'You can't leave my side and I need somebody to be there with me,' because at the same time, he was one of the great raconteurs and one of the funniest people ever, so I just didn't see that coming, that he was really that kind of shy inside," Neville added.

Fans mignt have never picked up on it

While being shy might be one of the more endearing qualities fans are learning about Anthony Bourdain thanks to Morgan Neville's new film, it actually might have taken quite a toll on him later in life. "I kind of feel like that shyness later became related to the kind of agoraphobia he had later, that he was not somebody who actually loved to be in the street talking to strangers, but he would always do it," Neville said. 

In Neville's opinion, the new depth of Bourdain's shyness was likely related to his public-facing career and the magnitude of his success. "I think he always felt like he was getting away with something by having the success he had. He never felt he really deserved it. Many people told me that. He had imposter syndrome and I feel like those kinds of insecurities were kind of always there," Neville explained. "And that's just something I couldn't see [...] just watching the shows as a fan," he added. It's certainly not something many fans would suspect from a writer and television host, who graced TV screens for about 16 years, with seemingly so much confidence and clarity in his voice and opinions.

Morgan Neville's "Roadrunner," released by Focus Features, is now playing in theaters.