It's been nearly a month since the passing of Ric Ocasek, and his widow, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, from whom he was separated, talks about the late Cars frontman in a poignant interview with Rolling Stone. Despite their separation, the two remained close, and Porizkova reveals what drew her to the man she says looked like "an upside-down exclamation point," and who could seem "aloof" and "withdrawn." To Porizkova, what stood out about her husband was his "incredible gentleness." "When he looked at you and smiled, it was like, 'Oh, my God, he smiled at me! The sun came out—it's amazing!" she tells writer David Browne.
Porizkova also talks about Cars music often being misunderstood—"these are not happy, cheerful lyrics"; how Ocasek would get "meticulously dressed" every day to work in his basement studio; and how he agreed to a 2011 Cars reunion mainly to show his two young sons with Porizkova that he didn't just work in a basement. "That's the only moment when they got to see Ric was an artist and not just a man. They were kind of starstruck. It was a gift," she says. Porizkova is also grateful for the time the four of them had together as a family in the days before Ocasek's death, and after Ocasek had had a recent surgery. "In the weirdest of ways, the surgery was a blessing," she notes. "We had two weeks of just the four of us watching our favorite TV shows and me cooking or ordering in and hanging out. In this cloud of awfulness, that was a silver lining." Read the entire interview here. (Read more Paulina Porizkova stories.)