Variety of situations makes SA movie special, says Cleese

2010-11-20 00:00

HE doesn’t really enjoy making movies, says award-winning British actor John Cleese, but when he saw the script for Spud: The Movie he knew immediately that this was one he wanted to do.

“It is seldom that one finds such a good script,” says Cleese as he leans back in an easy chair with his right leg up on the desk in front of him in a classroom in St Stithians College.

The leg still sometimes hurts following a knee replacement operation about six months ago, he explains. The previous evening he had hurt it slightly in his sleep and the long flight to South Africa — business class or not — didn’t exactly help matters either.

What makes Spud so special, says Cleese, is the variation in it.

“There are emotional moments alternating with humour and the tension when the young Spud [played by Australian child actor Troye Sivan] tries to fit in with the other children.

“They are a bunch of interesting, eccentric characters. And to work with the kids in the cast was wonderful. They were exactly the way they had to be. Troye is so cool. I am currently involved in negotiations to adopt him, but his mother has already rejected an offer of $4 million,” Cleese teases.

The British actor says he didn’t really have any particular expectations about what it might be like to work on a film with a South African production team in South Africa.

“Every production is different, but I worked very well with Donovan [Marsh, the director] and the producers, Ross [Garland] and Brad Logan]. Everyone who worked on the production was friendly and considerate and wonderful to work with. Which is important, because you spend so much time together.”

He was looking forward to seeing the film for the first time at last night’s premiere in Johannesburg.

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