I was amazed to go Oscar and win it. It was fantastic getting up on the stage there and looking down. I thought, "That guy looks like Steve Martin, and that guy's like Arnold Schwarzenegger." But it was Steve Martin, and it was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then they have this terrible kind of conveyor belt backstage - literally - where they take you to this big hangar where the world's press are gathered, and they make you stand on a stage, and they introduce you.
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I was just interested in directing. So I just kept having a go at trying to write little scripts and get things together, and my wife just had a slip of the tongue and said, "Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life" when she meant to say "Frank Capra's." There it is right there. That's a gag that we could make into something.
I knew Richard E. Grant, and I went to him and said "Would you like to [play Kafka in the film]?" and he said yeah, and then suddenly I had all these people who were happy to come along. We got a little bit of money from Scottish Screen to pay for it. I got so many favors because I knew people in the business. I was in a remarkably good position. I got so many favors from people. I got the Monty Python technical people.
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One of the problems with episodic television of any color is that everything has got to be okay at the end of the episode so it can start again next week. So the events that occur are rarely life-changing. But with film, you can say that this thing only happened once; this is a major thing that happened to these people.
I destroyed all my geek stuff because I didn't want to be a geek, and I regret it to this day. Consumed in the geek bonfire of the vanities was a collection of autographs and letters from Peter Cushing, Spike Milligan and Frankie Howerd, the first Doctor Whos, actual astronauts, and many more.
I'm not terribly well read. My wife forces books into my hands and insists I read them, which I'm grateful to her for. She made me read 'War and Peace.' The whole thing. It was amazing, but I had to hide it. You can't walk round reading 'War and Peace' - it's like you're in a comedy sketch and you think you're smart.