He broke his back, but seems fine now, despite a cracked vertebra and dislodged disc. "Yeah, I'm a lizard," he says, cackling.From an article on Terry Gilliam's seemingly cursed movie "The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus." Other problems: The producer died suddenly. And so did the star — Heath Ledger.
"It just isn't possible that he's dead," [said Gilliam.] "There's nothing he can't do, it just flows out of him with ease and grace. He lifted everybody. He wasn't like Marlon Brando or James Dean or any of the more neurotic actors, his was all positive energy. I knew he was tired but that Saturday he had been doing all his own stunts, he was leaping off wagons, indestructible. On no level did his death make sense.... "We're not all flying men/lizards.
"I ... looked at how to do the remaining scenes without Heath, and realised that, since his character goes through a magic mirror three times, we could get three actors to play the role."He got Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell, who are all donating their compensation to Ledger's 3-year-old child Matilda.
Other interesting things in the linked article:
1. George Harrison believed that the soul of The Beatles transmigrated into Monty Python when The Beatles died.
2. Monty Python broke up because the guys "got bored of each other."
3. "[Gilliam] renounced his American citizenship in 'disillusionment' with the Bush years, but he retains a pigtail which makes him look like an ageing hippy." You know what I don't understand? The role of "but" in that sentence.
4. Gilliam has never taken drugs, out of sheer fear of losing the distinction "between fantasy and reality." "It was only 15 years ago that I discovered I couldn't fly. I have such a 'sense memory' of flying around the world at the height of a table that when someone asked me to show them, I really thought I could do it."
5. In lieu of drugs: Dali, Ernst, Breughel, Bosch, and Mad magazine.