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John Cleese denies retirement reports

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John Cleese
Mike Marsland/WireImage

John Cleese says movie casting directors should not be put off from hiring him by recent reports that the Monty Python comedy legend is retiring from films.

“Sometimes you read these things and you say, ‘I don’t remember saying that,'” explains Cleese, 74, whose acting credits include fellow Python Terry Gilliam’s 1981 film Time Bandits, 1988’s Cleese-written A Fish Called Wanda, and two of the Harry Potter films. “What I would say is, when you get to my age, the number of parts that you get offered is very, very small. They’re not looking for 75-year-old comedians most of the time. I have been offered a large part in a movie which, if they get the finance together, will happen in the spring. But that doesn’t happen a lot. What I did say is that I don’t enjoy movies very much. Terry Gilliam, who has nothing better to do with his life, loves to have movies because it structures him and gives him a purpose, which otherwise he lacks. I don’t like the way that they take your life over.”

So, to be clear, Cleese is available for film work? “I’m available for anything that will enable me to buy a house in London with a garden.”

Those interested in helping the comedian buy his dream home, but unable to offer him any film roles, may care to note that Cleese’s autobiography, So, Anyway…, will be published next month.

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