Terry Gilliam, 73:

What was your earliest ambition?
I thought of becoming a missionary. I went to church and to college on a Presbyterian scholarship.
Public school or state school? University or straight into work?
Birmingham High School in California, then Occidental College. I scraped through as I was spending my time on extracurricular things.
How physically fit are you?
I’m not. The only exercise I really get these days: our house is four floors, I work at the top and have to go downstairs to eat.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
Both. And luck — maybe the most important thing. And patience. And pigheadedness. Monomania may also be useful.
How politically committed are you?
Everything I do has a political point. Voting seems to be the less efficient way of changing things.
Do you consider your carbon footprint?
I’m more interested in carbon dating. I want different molecules of carbon to meet each other and get married. I’m fairly careful is all I can say — I don’t measure it.
Do you have more than one home?
Yes. One in London and a place in Italy, in Umbria.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
A private jet. I’m very simple.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
I’m not extravagant — some might say I’m mean — but I’m careful with my money. What I really cherish is time to wait for what I really want to do rather than having to work to pay for my lifestyle.
In what place are you happiest?
I’m happy a lot but the house in Italy is where I’m most content.
What ambitions do you still have?
It’s not so much an ambition as a need: the need to get The Man Who Killed Don Quixote [his longstanding film project] out of my life so I can get on with my life!
What drives you on?
It seems to be built into the DNA. I think my parents wound me up and the spring is still wound tight.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
A couple of my films will stand the test of time. But what I’m most proud of is the thing I didn’t want anything to do with. I never wanted to have kids when I was younger and they’ve turned out to be great! I love them. And it’s not even my achievement, it’s more my wife’s.
If you had a coat of arms, what would be on it?
Cupid’s foot has got to be there. A tree. The sun. A west wind. A shrew rampant. A key, though we don’t know what it opens or what it locks in. A broken heart, for the sentimental vote.
What has been your greatest disappointment?
I don’t carry regrets. But I wish I’d been able to make more films.
If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?
I made films for that kid. So I hope he likes them. Around that time I became aware of films being eye-opening, mind-opening, not just entertainment.
If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?
I have no idea! I don’t know if I understand the world any more, what the rules are for getting going. Maybe call one of my rich and hugely successful friends...
Do you believe in an afterlife?
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
I’m never satisfied so I’m not sure. Can that be my answer? I hate one-to-10 questions.

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I think I may have found my role model. 

1 comment:

  1. 'I’m happy a lot but the house in Italy is where I’m most content.'
    yesyesyes. (not that i have a house in italy but i totally get what he's saying here)