- The underground press was convinced that I was a junkie, an acid head. ... But I don't do drugs. I don't like being fucked up. I've got enough bizarre chemicals floating around in my head. I'm just naturally like this.
- As quoted in Dreams: Gilliam interview by LegitCrit (May 1998)
- Well, I really want to encourage a kind of fantasy, a kind of magic. I love the term magic realism, whoever invented it — I do actually like it because it says certain things. It's about expanding how you see the world. I think we live in an age where we're just hammered, hammered to think this is what the world is. Television's saying, everything's saying "That's the world." And it's not the world. The world is a million possible things.
- We read Dover Books, because you can steal from them. The medieval imagery and iconography is so good for the imagination. Trying to describe the world, trying to describe the cosmos, trying to put it down in neat orderly fashion, unlike reality. And it always seems to stick in one's mind more than reality does.
- It's an abominable place. If there was an Old Testamental God, he would do his job and wipe the place out. The only bad thing is that some really good restaurants would go up as well.
- About Hollywood. As quoted in the New York Times article Terry Gilliam's Feel-Good Endings (14 August 2005)
- There comes a part where the money and the creative elements all come crashing together. Everybody's under a lot of pressure, and everybody is panicking about what works and what doesn't. And the studios and the money always have one perspective and the creative people have another one, and usually what happens is a lot of compromises get made. I decided not to. I walked off and did Tideland and came back six months later.
- As quoted in the New York Times article Terry Gilliam's Feel-Good Endings (14 August 2005)
- The Brothers Grimm came along and I was so desperate for work … Actually I've got to say that I like the movie, I won't apologize for it.
- Interview at the NY Museum of the Moving Image in October 2006.
- We were devastated. We spent the whole day — Amy Gilliam, Nicola Pecorini, the director of photography, and myself — lying flat on the floor. Heath Ledger's dead, and you don't quite get over that. I suppose I'm in an interesting position because while I'm cutting the film I'm basically working with him every day and he's fine; he's in good shape. Ideas are floating around. Then finally we decided, 'OK, let's get three other people to take over the part'. And we were lucky because we have a magic mirror in this movie. Not every movie has a magic mirror. So you can very genuinely say that these other actors are different aspects of the character that Heath plays. And it works. The point was, we've got to keep going. It was a bit like half being there, but apparently on autopilot I can still do a few things.
- On Heath Ledger's death in January 2008, as quoted in Terry Gilliam on Heath Ledger’s death and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (14 May 2008)
- [Steven Spielberg's films] are comforting, they always give you answers and I don't think they're very clever answers. ... The success of most Hollywood films these days is down to fact that they're comforting. They tie things up in nice little bows and give you answers, even if the answers are stupid, you go home and you don't have to think about it. … The great filmmakers make you go home and think about it.
- I’ve always liked gossip, gossip is fun, but whether you believe it or not is something else, and yet the web seems to want to believe. The web doesn’t distinguish between what’s playful and serious. And the speed! What is happening in the web, and all the tweeters tweeting, they become neurons. They are the neurons of the global village. Village is the right word because the village is where the gossip is taking place, it doesn’t take place in the cities. A piece of information comes into that little neuron – whoop – and they’ve immediately got to pass it across the synaptic gap…
- As quoted in the article 'Terry Gilliam interview for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'’ in The Telegraph (9 October 2009)
- People in Hollywood are not showmen, they're maintenance men, pandering to what they think their audiences want.
- Nooo! Leave that to George Lucas, he' s really mastered the CGI acting. That scares me! I hate it! Everybody is so pleased and excited by it. Animation is animation. Animation is great. But it's when you're now taking what should be films full of people, living thinking, breathing, flawed creatures and you're controlling every moment of that, it's just death to me. It's death to cinema, I can't watch those Star Wars films, they're dead things.
- About CGI, in IMDB profile
- I think there's a side of me that's trying to compete with Lucas and Spielberg — I don't usually admit this publicly — because I tend to think that they only go so far, and their view of the world is rather simplistic. What I want to do is take whatever cinema is considered normal or successful at a particular time and play around with it — to use it as a way of luring audiences in.
- In the end, people have to learn to live together. That is what I didn't like about America - it is so homogeneous. I like places where there are people who are different culturally, physically, in every way. And I like to see how they succeed in living together.
- Nobody went to see Tideland! I was hoping people would get angry about it but those that saw it didn't want to talk about it. This is the world we're living in, people don't want to discuss things that are actually worth discussing.
- Terry Gilliam at the Internet Movie Database
- Dreams - exclusive interviews with Gilliam and coverage of his films
- Senses of Cinema: Terry Gilliam
- The Terry Gilliam Files - Interviews and behind-the-scenes production stories
- Extensive Terry Gilliam Filmography and Biography
- Terry Gilliam's Cinématon. A 4 minutes portrait by Gérard Courant
- Terry Gilliam: BAFTA A Life in pictures
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