On his birth:
"I was an afterthought..."
On his childhood:
  "Rather sour..."
On his childhood:
"It was a shy and retarded upbringing and I didn't really know [my parents]."
On his schooling:
  "I wasn't [a bright student]. I had a terrible time, didn't learn anything and failed my exams."
On himself:
  "I'm a small stumpy guy who came into movies a bit late!"
On fatherhood:
  I'm not sure what that means. Obviously I haven't been there all the time. I left a lot of [my children] to flounder, I suppose, but I've always been there when they need me."
On the 1968 film production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream':
"A total disaster. For some reasons [director Peter Hall] didn't want to worry about continuity which tended to make it rather difficult."
On 1976's 'Shout At The Devil':
"That was an appalling experience!"
On interviews: 
"I haven't said very much, ever. I think too much is known about people. There used to be an air of mystery about thespians. Nowadays, everybody knows everything there is to know about everybody."
On director Terry Gilliam:
  "I adore working with Terry. He always presents a marvelous platform for actors to work on and to invent."
On his talking head scene in 1979's 'Alien':
  "We spent four hours with my head poking through a table. I was covered in ... milk, spring onions, spaghetti and marbles!"
On 1997's 'The Sweet Hereafter':
  "Very touching. I think the film's a masterpiece. I don't think I've ever worked in a film that has been so completely satisfying to me..."
On Hollywood:
  "It's such a false place. I can't imagine anything worse than living in permanent sunshine on the edge of an earthquake."
On acting as King Lear:
  "I didn't find Lear a difficult journey mentally, although physically it was a tremendous strain. I woke up every morning thinking, 'Tonight I have to climb Mt Everest. Again!' "
On his size (5ft 6in):
"People tell me I must be worried about being so short, but it never bothered me!"
On his private life:
  "[It's] been disastrous, with a lot of broken hearts and bad feeling left behind. I suppose I could excuse it by saying I had a long growing-up process because I had elderly parents, but we can all use some excuse."
On attending stretching classes:
"I'd like to work as long as possible, so I have to look good and young. The parts run out and I don't want to sink into cameo-ville."
On his son, Barnaby, who did a stint in acting:
"I'm prepared to say he was a minimalist."
On losing his virginity:
 "...I married at 24...which was quite late to have your first...experience."

Copyright 1998 - 2004 by C.A. Mes. All rights reserved.