Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. As the mighty architect in the film, one of your great
quotes is that 'you'd rather be happy than right'. Is this the
ideal philosophy for an actor to have in his career?
A. You could do worse than that. I had in fact come to
that conclusion before I did the movie, actually. It's true. There
are many times when I've settled for happy. I've thought, 'forget
right, it's boring'. And I'm so often wrong! And thank you, good
afternoon and how are you?
Q. In a fantasy world, which bits of Earth would you
have liked to have created and which bits would you have liked
to put a pencil through?
A. I think if I were to re-design the Earth, I think
I might lose the English Channel.
And I've toyed with the idea of lowering the temperature a touch,
making it a little cooler in the Middle East [laughs]. It might
not work but hey, nothing else has.
Oh, and maybe some more rain in California. They've had some recently
and they're beginning to like it.
Q. Why the English Channel?
A. I think it's not good for our manners to be stuck
out there. Maybe we should be dragged back to the mainland and
maybe muck in with the rest of them. And learn some new languages,
which we disgracefully never do!
Q. Have you found any coincidences
or parallels between your life and the actual comedy of Hitchhiker's?
A. Well it's difficult to know if there are any parallels
between me and the man who created Earth [laughs]. But if that's
how you see me.
One of the central themes of the book, and one of the central
jokes, is that you have these extraordinary people in extraordinary
places doing extraordinary things, but when they're communicating
with one another it's very familiar, and very regular and very
normal. And it also has an essential Englishness which I really
kind of recognise and dig. It doesn't really parellel with my
life, it just makes me laugh, and that kind of delivery and irony
and wryness of it is perhaps something that I would aspire to
He manages to make it kind of allegorical without wanting to kill
yourself, if you know what I mean?
Q. If you discovered the world was going to end in ten
or 12 minutes time, how would you spend those minutes?
A. I'd put the kettle on for a cup of Yorkshire tea (they
owe me money!), I'd put on a Stones' record (don't ask me which
one, or if you forced me, Sticky Fingers), then I would phone
my dogs and see how they were doing and say goodbye, formally;
and then I'd reach for some poems, The Complete Works of Harold
Pinter, and I would read myself a couple of Harold's poems which
always cheer me up, and then I'd check my hair! You know what
I'm saying, you don't want to go with your hair a mess! And then
I'd kick back and relax.
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