British director Terence Davies’s highly personal early films, including Distant Voices, Still Lives, and The Long Day Closes, contrasted the gloomy, repressed atmosphere of his provincial small-town childhood with a longing for the freedom represented by movies and popular songs. Davies turned to literary adaptation with The Neon Bible and The House of Mirth, an emotional, exquisite adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel, starring Gillian Anderson. This discussion took place just before the movie’s U.S. release. Because of the quiet intensity of his films, the biggest surprise here may be the mischievous humor that Davies displays throughout the talk.
A Pinewood Dialogue following a screening of The House of Mirth, moderated by Chief Curator David Schwartz (December 15, 2000):
SCHWARTZ: Please welcome back Terence Davies. (Applause) Thank you. And this is the grand finale of the—Terence has just finished an eighteen-city, publicity tour of the United States. So this is the grand finale before going back home.

DAVIES: So I’ll try and keep awake.

SCHWARTZ: Congratulations on a wonderful film. The first thing I wanted to ask you about is one of the slight changes between the book and the film. The ending in the book is—there’s a little bit more ambiguity about whether she’s committed suicide or not, and it’s very straightforward in the film. But I just wonder if you could start by talking a bit about the ending, about what your decisions were in terms of modifying the ending a little bit.

DAVIES: Well, when I read it six years ago, I was worried about the ending. I just didn’t believe it. And, like in most films, when there’s a problem, it’s never actually in the area that you think it is. It’s always in the reel before or the reel after. And so I thought, “What’s wrong with it?” And then I realized what was wrong with it. There’s a certain sentimentality about it. She meets this young woman that she’s given charity to earlier on in the book, and the woman is poor but honest and she has this poor but honest child and they live in poor but honest Brooklyn, and it’s all terribly kind of a bit embarrassing, really. And then when she has this vision of cradling this child in her arms, I couldn’t make it work. I thought, “That really does have to go.” But along with it goes the ambiguity. Did she actually drift into this death? Did she actually kill herself? Here, inevitably, it looks as though she’s killed herself. The ambiguity had to go because I thought I’d rather have people thinking, “Well, she did it herself,” rather than the sentimentality which preceded it in the book.


DAVIES: Which I just couldn’t make work.

SCHWARTZ: Right. And could you talk about what else you felt you needed to change in the book? I mean, it’s obviously such a great book that you’ve wanted to make for so long, but just when you were grappling with how to adapt it to screen, what did you have to do with it?

DAVIES: Well, the only template is, what do you believe? And if you believe it, then I know where to put the camera and I hear it aurally. I mean, I just do. Where I don’t feel either of those things I know it’s probably not right. The biggest change was, in fact, conflating two characters into one. There are two separate characters in the book. One is called Gerty Farish and the other is Grace Stepney. Grace is the kind of mean-spirited spinster who inherits the money. But Gerty Farish is the cousin of Lawrence and she has a crush on him, knowing that Lily is very beautiful and she will never, ever be able to compete. She is very beatific about it and thinks, “Well, you know, I’ll just be a good person,” and that’s really not terribly interesting. Put them together, that becomes much more interesting dramatically because when Grace refuses to help, it’s not because of Christian or moral rectitude. It’s sheer, plain, old-fashioned sexual jealousy. And I’m all for sexual jealousy. God knows I thrive on it. (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: In terms of the sexual tension in the film, the kisses between Lily and Lawrence Selden go a little bit further here than in the book. If you could just talk about those scenes. There’s a real sensuality in the way you filmed those sequences.

DAVIES: But when people love one another it’s not interesting to see them in bed. Well, it isn’t for me, which shows you the poverty of my private life. But that’s another story. But I’m always conscious of the fact that if you see them in bed, they’ve got body makeup on, and I don’t believe it, you know. And they don’t sweat and nobody ever falls out of bed. It’s all sort of perfect and you think, “Well, real sex isn’t like that.” But it’s also not interesting. What’s much more interesting is something that has eroticism implied in it…like it’s never interesting to be frightened. It’s much more interesting to be disquieted, and if you look at, say, something like Psycho, it’s actually not about murder. It’s not about murder at all. That’s ostensibly what it’s about. What it’s about is disquiet. And all the other sequels to it get it wrong because they think it’s about murder. They’re wrong. But it’s the same with people who love one another. You look at certain things. You look at the way their hands move. You look at their mouths, you look at their eyes. Or if there’s exchanges between them, there are times when you can look at each other and there are times when you can’t.

Because one thing is not changed, even with all our liberality now. It’s still difficult to say to someone, “I love you,” because they may turn around and say, “Well, I don’t love you.” It’s very, very hard. And so in this much more constricted society she’s constantly trying to find out what he really feels and he’s the same with her. She says, “Why do we play always this elaborate game?” But smoking is also terribly erotic. Because I grew up in a family of smokers and I don’t smoke, and you can tell when someone doesn’t smoke. They really use cigarettes badly. They can’t do it. And I’ve always been fascinated when women go like that and they look fabulous. And men go like that and they look fabulous, and I go, “Grrrr, I can’t do that with a cigarette.” I may be able to do it with other things but, again, that’s a different story. (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: So much of what your...

DAVIES: They’re a good audience, aren’t they? God bless you. (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: It’s Friday night in New York, so....

DAVIES: They think I’m Santa. I am. I have gifts for you all. (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: Are people surprised to find that you’re so cheerful? I mean, sometimes you get this misapprehension that directors are going to be—it’s always struck me as odd that people think directors are going to be just like the films that they make and...

DAVIES: Well, I hope—I like a good laugh myself. I like a good laugh on the set, too. All this, “If it’s art it’s got to be miserable.” I can’t do with all the poker-up-the-ass stuff. I find that very tedious. No, you’ve got to have a laugh, and I did have a good crew about me. I did have a wonderful cast who had good senses of humor, and there was one scene—I’ve got to tell you this because it’s so charming. It’s a story about Eric [Stoltz], when he runs up the stairs at the end. He ran up the stairs, knocked on the door and then leant on it like this. And I said, “Don’t do that. It’s too modern.” So he went downstairs. Second take: knocks on the door. I said, “No, don’t do that. It’s too modern.” Third take, he runs up the stairs, knocks on the door. I said, “Cut, that’s fine.” He said, “I know. Don’t breathe! They didn’t breathe in those days!”And that helps enormously—especially when people have got to cry and it’s dramatic and it’s hard for them. It’s hard. So if you can make it as though it’s not the be-all and end-all—because at the end of the day it is only a film, you know. It’s not a cure for cancer. It’s not mining coal. It’s just pretend.

SCHWARTZ: One of the things you’ve done, I mean, actually, starting with using Wilfrid Brambell in one of your early films, and then the comedian Denis Leary in The Neon Bible, and Dan Aykroyd in this—you have taken some comedians and gotten very interesting performances out of them.

DAVIES: Because sometimes comedians have a huge sense of melancholy. I think that’s the wellspring of comedy. It’s actually not an optimistic view of the world. It’s actually quite dark. And for those of you who don’t know an actor called Wilfrid Brambell, he was famous in England for a comedy series called Steptoe & Son which became Stanford & Son here, I think…

SCHWARTZ: Sanford.

DAVIES: And it wasn’t as good.

SCHWARTZ: A Hard Day’s Night also.

DAVIES: Yeah. And in the last part of the trilogy, which is my apprentice work, the very first shot we did was him dying, and he was dying of Cheyne-Stokes breathing, which is very, very difficult to breathe because you go like this and the breaths get more rapid and shorter. And he was 78 by this time, and I said to the crew, “Look, when we do these takes, I don’t want anyone speaking at all. When we do the take, take the camera back, to the end of the track, and we don’t say anything. We just go for take two and end-board it.” We did the first take, which is in fact in the film when he dies, and as we were pulling the camera back, I heard this little voice from the bed saying, “The Duchess of Bewd in Lahore/said, ‘Darling, this is such a bore/I’m covered in sweat, you haven’t come yet/And, look, it’s a quarter to four.’” (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: Uhm... (Laughs)

DAVIES: That was a bit late. (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: One of the—you were talking before about how truth comes out in the physical gestures and how people exchange looks, and the gestures that they do. One of the things that—one of the decisions you made, I guess, early on in adapting this novel that makes it very different from Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of The Age of Innocence is that there’s no voice-over narration. And that must have been so tempting with Edith Wharton who, in her writing…there’s such a running sort of commentary throughout her novel and it must’ve been…I guess the decision to not have a voiceover—if you could talk about that.

DAVIES: Well, I knew I didn’t want a voice-over. There are only three great voice-overs in cinema as far as I’m concerned. Kind Hearts and Coronets, which is delivered by Dennis Price, which is flawless. Flawless. William Holden in Sunset Boulevard and Joanne Woodward in The Age of Innocence, because I think The Age of Innocence is a masterpiece. If it’s not in that class, forget it.

SCHWARTZ: Uh-huh. Okay.

DAVIES: And you then decide, well, there’s no visual equivalent of the interior monologue or the authorial voice. Equally, there’s no novel-ettish version of the dissolve. You can change tenses, but that’s not the same thing. As soon as you dissolve, you know time has passed. Either forward or backward, but you know. So I thought, what is important is what they say and what they don’t say, but that’s Chekhov. And I’ve always been fascinated by the poetry of the ordinary. What people do. Even in the formality of the language and the subtext, which is going on beneath it. Basically, what gesture does is tell you a great deal. She says, “You forget. It’s part of the business,” and she drops her eyes. We have to cut there. Because you just know there’s nothing else to say. But when you’re adapting it, you’re trying to capture the tone of the novel, and she creates a world that is quintessentially Edith Wharton. As soon as you pick up a book, you know it’s Edith Wharton, or you pick up Brontë and you know it’s Brontë. Dickens even more so. So you’re trying to recreate the world that she created whilst making it cinematic because, you know, watching a film is not the same as reading a book. So I had to invent some of the dialogue as well. But the great thing was to keep the tone. I heard her tone in my head like a metronome, and if I wrote something, I thought, “No, Edie would think this is second-rate.”

SCHWARTZ: And when did you get Gillian Anderson? I mean, obviously, the main casting is—I think it’s amazing, but it’s an unusual role for her and an inspired choice, so if you could talk about how you cast her in the film.

DAVIES: Well, I was looking at a lot of Singer Sargent portraits, because he’s the great portrait-painter of the Bellaire Park. And her photograph came into the office in London, and I said, “That’s a Singer Sargent face,” and my producer said, “But she’s in The X-Files.” And I said, “Well, I don’t know what that is because I’ve never watched it.” In fact, I still haven’t, and I did say to her, “Well look, you know, I haven’t seen it,” and she was very gracious about it. I think she was grateful because I didn’t come with any preconceived ideas. Anyway, we had tea in Covent Garden. She came back to America and I sent her the script. I then followed her out about a week later. I auditioned her for one-and-a-half hours. I said, “I think you can do it. Will you do it?” She said, “Yes.” That’s how it happened. It was much more difficult with the men. I mean I saw four hundred people.

There were nine different financiers, one of which eventually was Showtime, which made things very Kafkaesque, I can tell you. You’d get these lists of people to see and you’d say, “But he’s dead.” Apparently, death is no handicap these days. I’d say, “Fine. I’ll audition him.” So people are completely—they weren’t right. I mean, one man came in, very beautiful, which made me feel instantly intimidated, and he said, “I was very lucky in the gene pool.” (Laughter) And I remember thinking, “Why aren’t you still in it?” (Laughter) That was terrifying. But you have to see all these people so I saw all those people and then, I thought, you’ve got to treat them like rather stupid children. And they’d send me another list, and I’d say, “No, I’ve seen all these people. I want him. I’ve seen all these people. I want him. I’ve seen all these people. I want—.” I just kept on saying it, and then they got bored, and then they went onto someone else. But, God, it was tiresome. It was like trying to play football in treacle.

SCHWARTZ: And how about Dan Aykroyd? I mean, how was he cast?

DAVIES: Oh, I mean, the same reason. I just thought—I saw Gus Trenor as sort of big and avuncular, but when people are big and avuncular and jolly, you never expect them to be nasty. Just as with people who are generally calm; when they lose their temper you’re always shocked. And I thought, he’ll be big and avuncular and really rather pompous, but he’s got something in him that, if he turns, it will be frightening. And when he does actually turn on her, I said at some point in the scene, “Can you smile?,” and that chilling little smile he does—he goes, “It’s always the same old story.” And I can feel myself going cold now. And then when he pushes the chair against the door you would expect the next line to be said like a threat. In fact he’s socially polite. He says, “Sit down. I’d like a word with you.” That’s infinitely more chilling than if he’d shouted it. Because he plays it—I said, “You’ve got to play it like a big, spoiled child,” and he does. “You owe me $9,000.” And it’s so petulant, but you know he can destroy her. He’s part of her nemesis but I just knew he could do it. And he’s a lovely man. God, he’s a lovely man.

SCHWARTZ: At first blush, this seems like a very different kind of film than from the personal films you’ve made before. But then, when you look a little closer, the portrait of a very oppressive society is so strong here. I mean, most period films are sort of celebratory, they sort of look at this earlier time as something that’s very seductive, and usually there’s sort of lush or romantic orchestral music that sweeps you along. And this has a very different take. So I’m just wondering about your reaction in reading the book to its portrait of American society. I mean, we normally think of English society as being very stratified and oppressive.

DAVIES: Which it is, but so is yours. You just don’t realize it. But you must get help. All of you. (Laughter) I know a very good therapist. He and I have really bonded. Even he hates my father now. (Laughter) But what was a surprise was when I started to do sociological research and found that in 1900 there were 140 families in the Blue Book in New York. They could trace their families back to the Dutch and British settlers of the seventeenth century. In the year 2000, there were the same 140 families. Quite extraordinary. And those—what you had then was a ruling oligarchy that had money, that had the prestige of being here for 200 years. But it was actually infinitely more oppressive than British society. I mean reading her [Edith Wharton’s] autobiography, she came to England and she was introduced into British society as “Mrs. Wharton who writes.” She was never introduced that way in New York society, because to write for a living and to earn money was considered vulgar. You just didn’t admit it. And she said, “I felt as though I’d committed some kind of sin which they’d all vaguely forgiven me for.” So seeing how rigid that was comes from an imbibed idea of what the British upper class ruled with. But what happens is that when you imbibe it from another country, it becomes sort of ossified, and there are numerous rules, but no one tells you what they are. But if you break them, the revenge is swift and deadly, and it was more deadly because they have a patina of wealth, of manners, of culture, and when people do it like that it’s infinitely more chilling. But it was there then, it’s here now. The only thing which has changed is its manifestation. Now it’s, if you’ve got a lot of money and you’re very beautiful, you can become rich and famous simply by having a good body, you know. The men all have big pecs, six-packs, and huge genitals, and the women do not have huge genitals as far as I can tell...But you can become famous for that. And then some kind of moral weight is given to you because you have all this money. Exactly the same thing happened in the Bellaire Park, and the ruling class always imposed what the rest of it should live by, but they never actually do that. And one of the tragedies of Lily is the fact that she knows with her head what the game is. She can’t play it with her heart. And the game is you marry for wealth and position. You have your peccadilloes on the side. You just don’t get found out. She doesn’t realize that at all. She’s seduced by surface.

SCHWARTZ: It seems like a lot of your feelings about this social structure come through in the choice of music. I was talking about how most period films use this much more sort of lush orchestral style of music, and your decision to use a very sort of structured chamber music that has a strong sense of melancholy was very evocative.

DAVIES: Well, I wrote a lot of music actually into the script because the way I write it, I write every track, pan, dissolve, every bit of music—everything’s in there so I know it aurally and visually. When we got into the cutting room and we’d got sort of almost to a fine cut, someone said, “You going to have a score?,” and I said, “No.” What I didn’t want was “Lily’s Theme” and “Lawrence’s Theme.” (Laughter) And when they walk up the stairs, walking-upstairs music. I said, “I don’t want any of that.” And I found this man called Adrian Johnston who’s really, really smashing, and he said, “It doesn’t need a score,” and I thought, “Good, this is a nice lad,” I thought to myself. And then we went through and we thought, “Where does it need it?” And where we needed it was in the woods at Bellomount. And so he had the idea of taking the tune from the oboe concerto which begins and ends the piece, transposing it for string quartet, but leaving the cadence unresolved because the scene is unresolved. He then found some Morton Feldman, which I’d never heard, for the music he wrote for the Rothko Chapel, which is basically timpani strings, a viola, and a soprano voice. We used that. And then he found—I said, “In the house when she takes the chloral after she’s spoken to Sam Rosedale, she should hear someone playing something in the house, like an old cylinder.” And we found this Estonian song called “Schtiller Schtiller,” which was actually written by the Jewish Resistance during the Second World War, but it’s got the most wonderful kind of period feel to it and that sob that Jewish music has in it, and so we re-recorded it and put all the scratches on—sktch, sktch, sktch. All that’s us. And then at the end I said, “Well, could we have the whole of the nocturno from the Borodin Second String Quartet over the credits?” because as you can see they go on for ages. They’re practically as long as the film. You’ve got to put everybody on now.

SCHWARTZ: One of the things that this film has to me is such a sense of intimacy and real atmosphere that a lot of period films don’t have because there’s so much production design and costume. And you have this use of natural light, for one thing, and also natural sound. And you were talking during dinner about how you—I was surprised to hear that you used a lot of synchronized sound. In other words, in most other movies the majority of the sound is recorded after production and that seems to make, I think, it makes a big difference in the atmosphere of your films. Could you talk about that?

DAVIES: Yes. Yes. The American actors found this very peculiar when I said, “We stop because of a bus going by, or there’s an airplane going. “Well, we can post-dub.” I said, “No, we can’t. I don’t do that. Because I just don’t like it.” And we post-recorded very, very little, but we had a wonderful sound man called Louie Kramer and the man who mixed it, Paul Hamblin, could do anything. I mean, he could take planes out of the background. How they do it God alone knows, but they’re wonderful. But I don’t think you can recreate what it was like on the set in a studio, so there was very, very little that we had to do. One of them was one of the lines in the woods. She says—instead of saying, “jeune fille � marier,” she says “jaune fille � marier,” which means that she’s a yellow person who’s unmarried. (Laughter) Which I said, “It’s wrong. You’re not from the Orient, lovey,” I said.

SCHWARTZ: And another thing—I just wanted to ask about the use of natural light. I mean in so many scenes that are interior scenes where there’s sunlight streaming in, how much are you actually using sunlight and natural light through it?

DAVIES: Well, it’s a mixture of natural light and fill. My great love is Vermeer, and in Vermeer you’ll always have light falling onto subjects through a window. And there’s something wonderful about natural light which is diffused falling in on the subject through a window. But if you put a very, very, very big light outside and diffuse it, it’s even better than Vermeer, believe me. So that’s…the look is something that you feel, and then you do lots and lots and lots of tests, and then say, “That’s the look. That’s the look.”

SCHWARTZ: Okay. I’d like to give the audience a chance to jump in and ask questions if anybody…right here. (Audience member makes comment) Okay. The question is the transition to the Mediterranean, the transition… (Audience member interrupts) Yeah. Oh, a comment: “Thank you for that scene.”

DAVIES: Well, I tell you I had to fight to keep that in.

SCHWARTZ: Fight who?

DAVIES: I’m not telling you. This person said to me, “It’s superfluous.” I said, “Not unlike yourself.” (Laughter) I later had him killed. (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: This is a cutthroat business, isn’t it?

DAVIES: Yes. But I was really proud of that sequence. I really was. I worked really hard on it, and then someone comes and says, “Well, you know, you can cut that. We need to get three minutes out,” and you think, “Over my dead body.” And you know that they can arrange that. No, I really had to fight for that. I also had to fight for the scene between Grace and Lily when she goes and asks for money. “Oh, cut it out,” and I said, “No. You don’t cut it by so much as a frame. I won’t have it cut.” I came in one day, [and] one line had been taken out. I went berserk. I said, “Who told you you could do this?” I mean, and these are people that are putting the money in. They’re big people. “Oh, well, we thought...” I said, “Put it back in! It’s not negotiable! Put it back in!” I was so angry. I was terribly butch as well. And they did as they were told. Grr! (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: (Repeats audience question) The question’s about the theme of repressed emotion, which he’s saying runs through all of your films, and how were you able to deal with translating that to this portrait of American society, or placing that in a different setting than in your previous films?

DAVIES: But in that book, that’s what it’s about. It’s about what you feel as opposed to what you say. I mean, when they’re being nasty they can say what they feel. When it’s the truth, their emotions, they’re like inept teenagers. They don’t know what to say and they play a game. And they’re so attuned to nuance, they’re exquisitely attuned to nuance, but, of course, if you get it wrong, it’s like a domino effect, and then that is a cumulative domino effect and they’re no different from the way the British are. I mean, we’re frightened of emotion. It starts to become easier but we’re still terribly frightened of it. People say they love you, you’re pleased, but you think, “Oh, well, that’s very nice.” But it’s all that. My family, when they say to me, “I love you,” they get terribly embarrassed and they go “ahem,” like that. But it doesn’t change.

You go back to that period and they are circumscribed by their lives. The women had to be decorative and fertile. That was their job. So what do you do when you’ve been brought up to marry well, you marry well, you have children, or you don’t have children, and then what do you do? You spend your life changing from one dress to another because throughout the day you had to change for every single activity. That’s what you had to do. Imagine being someone like Bertha Dorset who’s actually intelligent. It subverts that intelligence and makes her become like an anaconda. With other people, it cripples their emotions. I mean, at least she seems to have some kind of good sex life or had it with Lawrence. The others don’t, because that was a mystery that was kept. I mean, when Edith Wharton herself got married, she said to her mother, “Mother, what advice do you have for me?” And her mother said, and I quote, “You’ve been to museums, haven’t you?” “Yes, mother.” “You’ve seen statues, haven’t you?” “Yes, mother.” “You’ve seen that men and women are different, haven’t you?” “Yes, mother.” “Then what else do you need to know, Edith?” That’s what she said. So coming from that background where the most intimate thing like sex is never even discussed, what do you do about real emotion?

You’re frightened of it because it’s part of the terror of never knowing exactly where you are or what you can or cannot say. What a well brought-up woman was allowed to say. What a well brought-up gentleman could not say. It’s all of that. That’s in the book, and my template was not any other book. My template was in fact Chekhov, who does the same. At moments of high drama, what does he have people say? The most banal thing. In Three Sisters Toozenbach we know is going to get killed, and what does he say? “Oh, it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter.” ‘Tis not said. And that’s intrinsic in the novel. You just have to be truthful to that world that she created. It’s there in the book. So that was a huge help.

SCHWARTZ: And how did this translate to your working with these actors? I mean, there are so many great performances in here. Eric Stoltz has never been better and Dan Aykroyd and Gillian. Just in terms of getting the right emotional tone in terms of your working with actors on the set.

DAVIES: Oh, well, it changes. I mean, I’ve been an actor and I know what it’s like, but I can tell an insincere gesture at a thousand paces. I can tell when someone doesn’t understand a line. I just can analyze the text. But also you have to sense it on a day-to-day, shot-to-shot basis. Some days they come on and you think, they’re really on form today. All I need to say is very little. Just nudge them towards what I want. Other days, you know that they’re going to have a struggle and you’ve got to give a lot of direction. I’ll give you two examples. When she dies, that’s only the second take, and all I said to her was a line from Keats, “To cease upon the midnight with no pain.” And she said, “Fine, I’ll do it.” We did it in two takes. When she’s with Mrs. Hatch, that took 28 takes. She was tired. She’s in every shot. Of course she’s going to be tired. You know, so you have to give much, much more direction.

The difficulty, actually, was the difference between the traditions of American acting and British acting. At best, British acting is wonderful at suppressed passion. At it’s worst, it’s just wooden. No, it’s true. American acting at its best is a wonderfully controlled passion. At its worst, it’s sentimental where everybody cries and tells everybody that they love one another. You have to watch that, and I said to her at the end, “I don’t want you to cry. Don’t you dare cry until you go to Lawrence. I won’t have you cry.” And she said, “Okay, fine.” I said, “You’ve got to play it stoically because that’s much, much more moving.” And I said, “You can cry then. And when you say goodbye to Rosedale I want your eyes to fill with tears and I want you to smile.” I didn’t tell her why. But I can remember one of my sisters had very bad post-natal depression, and she had to go into a mental hospital for a while. And I said goodbye to her one Saturday night, and that’s what she did. She just smiled and her eyes filled with tears. It broke my heart. I’ll never forget that image. And I said, “If you do that, it will be really, really moving because I saw it in real life.” So the difference between the traditions—you’ve got to get a kind of homogeneity, and you do that on a daily basis. Again, Eric was always so comic about it. He’d say, “Can I do this?,” and I’d say, “No,” and he’d say, “Oh, go on. Let me.” And I’d say, “Oh, all right then.” Or he’d say, “Can I do this?,” and I’d say, “Yes.” So that’s fine. “Can I do this?” I’d say, “No.” He’d say, “I’m going to leave the film.” I’d say, “Bye.” He’d say, “You’re supposed to persuade me to stay.” He was just lovely. So what you’re trying to get is the—they have to, it has to be homogeneous. There’s nothing worse than it being different styles, like—you’ve got to get the accents right. You’ve just got to. And English actors now have got a very, very good ear for American accents. That was not always the case. It was not always the case, but now they’re pretty good. I mean I can even do a very good Walter Brennan, myself, from Rio Bravo. “Hey, Duke!” Haven’t I made it live? (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: Well, we are going to let that be your last word on this American tour, so thank you very much. (Applause)

DAVIES: Thank you.