"IT q: John Cleese" (photo by Catherine Ledner)
published in Entertainment Weekly on 28 June/5 July 2002
Thanks to Analda Anglin for finding this news item
Saturday, 6 July 2002

Entertainment Weekly's sixth annual "It" issue celebrates the most creative people in the entertainment industry. Lo and behold, John Cleese is featured, with a nice photo at his home no less. Read why EW thinks Cleese is "it" this year.

Age: 62

Why Him? Because there's nobody who does annoyed banter better - an essential quality now that he replaces the late Desmond Llewelyn in the role of Q, the always-exasperated gadget guru in the 007 franchise.

Thoughts on Making Q His Own: “I'm thinking of shaving my head, growing a droopy, Charlie Chan mustached and playing it as a short Chinese man.”

Career High: “Writing a Fish Called Wanda”

Career Low: “Anything Musical”

Influences: Peter Cook, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan

Dream Collaborator: William Goldman. “He's a good friend of mine, and nobody knows more about writing for movies, which is really the only part that interests me these days.”

Closest Brush With Career Immolation: “When a producer suggested a musical version of Fawlty Towers. But also, pretty much any time I try acting. To me, acting is basically trying desperately not to fuck up the script.”

Best Advice: “Use shock sparingly.”

Worst Advice: “When people say, 'Don't worry, John, you'll make it funny.”

Next: The comedy Scorched, which premiered at Cannes.