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" Ambition interests me because it's such a surefire indicator of damage. "
" I insist to this day that if you read the screenplay to 'The Queen,' it leaves you in no doubt that we considered her an isolated, out-of-touch, cold, emotionally inaccessible, overprivileged, deluded woman, heading an institution that should immediately be dismantled in any free and fair society. "
" I think I stumbled upon a voice people associate with me with 'The Deal.' "
" There is something fantastically post-modern about David Frost. "
" I have always cited the decision by director Stephen Frears to shoot 'Mrs. Henderson Presents' before my script of 'The Queen' as the reason for my taking the plunge as a playwright. "
" As a child, I grew up the son of German immigrant parents, so I grew up being teased and called 'Fritz' at school. When I married my wife and went to live in Vienna, I was teased for being a Brit. "
" I quite like the idea - just as an abstract idea - of 12 people's collective life experience and wisdom being this formidable thing. People say juries can be led - I think 12 people from different backgrounds, different races, different genders, different ages, it's hard to hoodwink. "
" Robert Bolt's storytelling is the kind that I grew up with and aspired to. "
" I wrote a draft of 'Playboy' for Warner Brothers, and it was impossible to really be independent of Hugh Hefner. In the end, Hugh Hefner was unable to take the back seat required to be able to write something about him that I felt I could do. "
" As any showrunner will tell you, it is crushing work. It is around the clock. It is like a monastic commitment that you make. "
" As a European from a different, younger generation, the trauma that was Nixon's presidency never really had a hold over me. For one thing, I never voted for him. "
" Authorised royal biographers are so straitjacketed, deferential, fawning, and unadventurous that they can only be after a knighthood. Or they're completely scurrilous and insolent, like Andrew Morton or Paul Burrell. "
" I don't understand and don't enjoy sci-fi, and it's just that if people aren't real, and they don't live in a real and recognizable society, I don't understand what to do. "
" As a dramatist, you have 200 choices at every fork in the road. But the audience will reject it if you make the wrong choice, if they feel you are trying to shape the character in a way that suits you. It rings false immediately. People can sense when you're being cynical or schematic. "
" The feelings we all have as 50-year-olds are different than the feelings we all have as 30-year-olds. That informs everything we do. "
" I do have an innate understanding of where a story should or shouldn't go, in a way that I don't think can be taught. "
" I'm not an artist, and I want to take risks, and when the possibility of failure occurs, it's because the idea is all exciting or interesting as a high wire act, and sometimes you've got to fall off, just by virtue of the fact that you're constantly trying to evolve and do new things. "
" I'm very happy for others to engage in conjecture, but if I was ever conscious of what I'm thinking about when I'm writing, oh my God, I'd be totally lost. "
" It's madness to hand in a script to a director, leave them alone, and for the director not to want the writer there with rehearsals and the shoot. "
" I'm not good at fantasy, no. I have been offered stuff, and I can't get my head around it. "
" Nixon had lists upon lists upon lists. They were tragic lists saying, 'Smile more,' or, 'Be stronger - remember, it is your job to spiritually uplift the nation.' This understanding of his limitations is heartbreaking. "
" I don't want to become too self-conscious - it's why I never read reviews, even the good ones. "
" I'm not being presumptuous, I hope, when I say that 'The Crown' is little bit like 'The Godfather.' It is essentially about a family in power and survival. "
" The minute you become a leader of a country, you go into a very small club. You join that sort of pantheon of other world leaders. "
" Sometimes if biography is too head-on, it can feel too obvious. "
" Self-destruction is such an interesting thing for a dramatist, and what's particular to Nixon is how human the failings were that led to his downfall. "
" I prefer my writing to do all the talking for me. "
" I have a great deal of compassion for those in public life and what we have done to them. "
" There's something about the soul of a country that is somehow connected to the head of state. "
" I have no directing ambition whatsoever. And as long as I meet filmmakers like Tom Hooper, Stephen Frears, and others who allow that collaboration, I can't see why I would ever want to direct. "
" Movies feel like work, and reading fiction feels like work, whereas reading nonfiction feels like pleasure. "