Director Terry Gilliam was a guest at this year’s Dragon Con and he filled the Sheraton Grand Ballroom with fans Sunday morning. It was a great chance to listen to the man who brought us some of the most wonderfully strange and different movies like Time Bandits, Brazil, The Fisher King, and his latest The Zero Theorem.
The panel started with Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem trailer which was met with the unexpectedly thunderous applause one wouldn’t expect from a crowd of people who just woke up after a long Saturday night of partying:
Gilliam was then brought on stage:
He talked about a lot of things including his thoughts that television is where all the good writing is happening currently. He confessed to binge watching four seasons of Braking Bad in 3 days. When asked about the 12 Monkeys TV show currently in production Gilliam did point out that he was only a director for hire for that movie and has had no contact or interaction with the production.
As the moderator peppered Gilliam with questions about the story and characters in The Zero Theorem, one recurring theme that was brought up again and again was Gilliam’s frustration and recurring desire to get his vision of Don Quixote off the ground.
One question led Gilliam to relate a story of a well-known producer, that he would not name, who approached him with a ton of money to do a sequel to Time Bandits. The only condition being that there would be no dwarfs in the sequel. You can imagine Gilliam’s profanity laced answer to that.
Gilliam then took questions from the audience. He likes to come around to the front of the stage and have each person come to the stage, greet and shake his hand, then ask their question. It was refreshing to see someone of his celebrity wanting to be closer to his fans. Many of those fans had touching stories of how Gilliam had an impact on their lives.
Gilliam was asked for a remembrance of Robin Williams and related a story that happened while shooting The Fisher King:
I gotta tell you that it felt like the audience, when the question was asked, held its breath. When Gilliam finished his anecdote, that feeling was lifted away with applause. I personally felt a weight lifted that I didn’t even know I was still carrying around.
If you get the chance to meet or attend a panel with Terry Gilliam you won’t be disappointed, He went out of his way to make everyone feel like they had a moment of his time.