Exclusive: Terry Gilliam Talks!

With legendary dreamweaver Terry Gilliam's latest, The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus on the way, we grabbed a chat about the movie, his thoughts on Watchmen and his time spent working with Heath Ledger...

For a full version of the interview, check out the new issue of Total Film Magazine out this Thursday... Click here for a preview and to subscribe.

ON KEEPING PARNASSUS GOING: I nearly gave up. For the first week, yeah. Because I didn’t even want to finish it.

And then everybody around kept beating me up! You can’t get away with this! This  is for Heath!

ON CHANGES TO PARNASSUS: This was the film that Heath and I set out to make. It’s basically as written.

Some scenes we couldn’t do because Heath wasn’t there. And I was like, “The bastard’s directing this film! He’s telling me what I can and can’t do!”

Next: Keeping On Keeping On & Watchmen



ON GETTING HIS FILMS MADE AND THE APPETITE AFTER FLOPS: Well, I suppose it’s different because I’m not as ambitious now.

In the sense of wanting to make my name. For better or worse, a name was made. But what makes me crazy is that it’s still hard to raise the money.

Visually, it was really fantastic. He got it. And Rorschach was absolutely spot on.

But it was too reverential to the book. He was trying so hard, I just thought, “Somebody needs to kick this thing in the ass.”

Next: 3D & recent movies that wowed him



ON 3D: There’s one problem with 3D. Because you’re wearing dark glasses, you won’t get the whites.

You’re just getting the browny-grey of the glass, so it flattens it. In regular film, you’ve got a range from pure, brilliant white to almost complete black. In 3D, it changes the contrast ratio.

The next stage of 3D has to be a system where you can do it well without dark glasses.

ON THE LAST FILM TO MAKE HIM GO, WOW: Oh, The Lives Of Others did that. Oldboy. Yeah? That’s good stuff.

But WALL-E! WALL-E was just fucking great. So unique and wonderful.

Next: On The Joker & Heath


ON PRESS REPORTS THE JOKER WAS SENDING HEATH LEDGER MAD: He’s working with people like Gary Oldman, who he just adored and idolised.

And he’s like, “I’m sitting there... And he can’t do anything to me in the scenes! He can hit me – and I don’t feel anything!”

And he just was giggling like a kid the whole time! And that was why it was bullshit, the whole story, why it made me so angry. This is playing. It wasn’t a tortured artist at work.

ON HEATH: Heath was extraordinary. It’s like one of my family dying.

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For a full version of this interview, check out the latest issue of Total Film Magazine out Thursday 25th August.

Click here for a preview and to subscribe.


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