ARTS / Overheard

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The Independent Culture
I have never played a violent character. I have played people in conflict who have a need sometimes to commit violence.

Harvey Keitel, star of Mean Streets and Reservoir Dogs, Sunday Telegraph

Walden is probably the worst - it's all about Walden.

Tony Banks, MP, on television talk shows, Guardian

How could you compare Stephen Sondheim to God? At least God knows how to compose a melody.

Reader's letter to New York magazine

Well, I'm on the wagon at the moment. But, I must say, it's much easier to write when you're on drugs.

Nick Cave, singer, Mojo

It was rubbish. I remember rehearsing with Mark Hamill and he said: 'How can you say that line?' I replied, 'You think that's bad, look at your line.'

Anthony Daniels, who played C3PO, on the script of Star Wars, Empire

Navely we assumed the Marquess (of Blandford) would drive cars, write about them and attend the odd editorial conference. In fact he rode a bicycle, took taxis and used the office as his personal fiefdom.

Dai Llewellyn, ex-editor of the new society magazine Voila], on motoring correspondent, Evening Standard

It gets funnier in the second half.

Robert Stephens, RSC actor, King Lear, Radio Times

I figure if I work with Ted long enough, I'll meet his uncle and get into one of his films.

Denis Leary, American comedian, on being directed by Ted Demme, nephew of Jonathan, Premiere (UK)

After the culmination of maybe 10 minutes of breathing I might finally decide to play a note . . . And that note will be really special to me.

Stanley Jordan, American virtuoso guitarist, on his musical preparations, London Evening Standard

I'm completely Pressed out. I think I'm beginning to look like a bit of a tit.

Hugh Grant, star of Four Weddings and . . . well, you know the rest, Guardian