John Walker's Electronic House

My Interview With Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones

by on Dec.09, 2010, under The Rest

Like any sentient human, I’m an enormous fan of Monty Python. But more than that, I adore Terry Gilliam’s films. Brazil is, in my correct opinion, the greatest film ever made. And Labyrinth, written by Terry Jones, is probably the best children’s film ever. So the opportunity to interview Jones and Gilliam was a bit of a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me.

I was there for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, as they’re promoting a forthcoming Facebook game called The Ministry Of Silly Games. On the train on the way there I was trying to work out what questions to ask. I was determined that I not ask the most obvious questions, but the situation made that pretty awkward. It’s fairly obvious that everyone would ask them if they played games, what they thought of games, etc. And that seemed the right thing to ask on a site about games, at an event to promote games.

Then of course there’s Python. I recently watched a six hour documentary in which all five of them were interviewed at great length, and I cannot imagine another question about the series or films that ever needs to be asked. Either you ask the most repeated and obvious questions, or you ask about something incredibly obscure that they’ve likely forgotten in the 40 years (erk) since.

But then it occurred to me. If I had the chance to meet Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, what questions would I want to ask them? So I wrote some of those questions down. Clearly I was tempered not only by only having ten minutes, but also by there being both of them there. It would have been inappropriate to ask Gilliam specifics about his films, or ask Jones about which area of history he intended to explore in his next book/series. They needed to be questions both could answer. And who on the planet knows more about imagination and silliness? So it was on those subjects I chose to focus. I’m really pleased that I did.

You can watch the interview on RPS, or below.

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6 Comments for this entry

  • Sam

    Really enjoyed this- I’m so tired of interviews being all about specific products people are plugging. Thanks for choosing to move away from that.

  • Flameberge

    I agree with Sam, it was a really original interview. Not just the usual ‘Oh, so it just happens I’m giving an interview just as you release product x, wow, would you like to tell me about that?’

    John Walker – Famous Internet Man, interviews Actual Famous Men. Top work.

  • Sean

    I didn’t realise John came without a Hat Attachment.

    Jumping on the band wagon though. It is lovely to see an interview that doesn’t focus on the plugging of a product.

  • TheRealGilliamFan

    It’s a great interview. And John you are right about not asking them the same questions they’ve been asked a thousand times over. Your questions provoked some interesting tangential responses. And as fans, I think that’s the kind of stuff we love. I was delighted when Jones referenced “Lies My Teacher Told Me.”

  • iainl

    I’m essentially agreeing with everyone else, but the wonderful thing about asking questions they’ve not been asked a million times isn’t that they’re bored of them, so much as that they don’t already know the answers.

  • Claire

    Brazil – definitely one of my favourite films. Oh yes, and yesyes, as everyone else says, ace interview :)