The Ghost of Richard Harris (2022) Movie Script

I think the journey has
been a turbulent journey,
straight away.
And I think that
somehow or another,
I think the essential
thing in life
which we seek for is peace.
Hello, I'm Richard Harris.
I'm coming to town
and I'm gonna tell you
some lies about myself.
This is Richard Harris.
This is
Richard Harris.
Richard Harris.
Yes sir.
that is Richard Harris.
I was the jockey on
this sort of wild horse.
Unfortunately, I'm a
very excessive person.
You know, I can resist my first
drink, but not the second.
Everything I did, I did with
an overindulgence of passion,
you know what I mean?
When I drank, I
devoured alcohol.
When I did coke,
I devoured coke.
When I went on my amorous
exploits, I devoured women.
Someone left the
cake out in the rain
I've had huge success.
I've had huge failures.
In the between that balance,
the truth is neither
of them were important.
At least if I died tomorrow,
you knew that I was here.
I was here.
I remember
the day after he died,
going for a walk in Battersea,
and this hurricane
hit out of nowhere,
hit London.
And I just thought, to me,
that was his spirit raging,
because he actually
loved life, you know,
he enjoyed the tempest of life.
I just felt like there
was some part of him
that wasn't ready to leave yet.
He had a suite here for
28 years or something.
And when they say
he's like his father
I'll know the very
heart and soul
Where would
I find the ghost?
Where is he haunting?
Hello, this
is Richard Harris.
I've been telling some lies
about the movies I've been in
and the life I've led.
Hello, this is Richard Harris.
Coming to town to spend
an evening with you.
I hope you'll come and join me.
He had his Golden Globe
for "Camelot" right there.
Last time I was here, the
year that he got sick,
it would've been June of 2002.
He had this sort of
recurring flu-like symptoms,
which would get really bad.
And so he thought I've got
lung cancer and I'm gonna die
and that's it.
He didn't want to know
about treatment or anything,
wasn't interested.
And he basically...
This is where mum and
Damian came and got him
because there was no
answer from the room.
No one had seen him
for a long time.
And they came in and he
was lying in the bed.
And the sheets were soaking wet.
Mum said it was like he
was like an old lion dying.
They wanted to call an ambulance
and he wouldn't get in.
He refused.
And then mom sat down
on the edge of the bed
and started stroking his hair,
and persuaded him to let
them call an ambulance.
I feel as though there's
the image of himself
that he spent a long time
putting out into the world,
which was, you know, the
wild hell raising image
that's sort of overtaken
everything else about him.
And then people, it's the
first thing anybody ever says.
He was much, much
bigger than that.
And the Oscar goes to...
Hi Dad.
How are you my love?
Fine thank you.
I got your
letter yesterday.
I would love it if he
had come and woken me up
in the middle of the night
and sat and chatted to me.
You know, I would've loved it.
I do feel as though the lights
dimmed slightly after he went
and they've never
really recovered.
But I would say
that I don't feel
that I knew him completely.
And do you ever know
your parents completely?
You know?
I suppose that's part
of what this is about
for all three of us.
If you tell me
I didn't have three sons,
my life would've been a wreck.
I would've had not
achieved a bloody thing.
My friendship with my
three boys is my life.
They're my life.
It's big.
This is a lockup of my
father's belongings,
coming from the
homes that he had.
There we go.
There we go.
There it is.
You got it, D.
You keep away.
Where we going?
Well done, man.
That's all his poetry.
You do
write good poetry.
Well, I'm
delighted about this.
It makes a beautiful
Christmas present.
It's called I'm I-
"I, in the Membership
of My Days."
One of the reviewers
today said that
it's some of the best
poetry written today.
And that threw me
when I read that.
And I crown thee...
That crown's
from "Camelot."
Thank you.
It fits.
Fits you well.
It's amazing.
It really does.
It really feels good.
I'm not taking this off.
It's mum.
That's mum.
That's mum, look.
She's so beautiful.
I think this is something
that a fan sent him.
Like a little puppet
of him as Dumbledore.
It is not our abilities
that show what we truly are.
It is our choices.
With any famous person,
the public has a relationship
with that person.
I do remember growing
up being irritated.
I wanted him to be my dad
and not this person that
other people thought they knew
or you know...
And there was a sort of a...
I don't remember,
is it jealousy or...
We were at boarding
school from 6 to 18,
so the whole thing
was different.
We would see...
The holidays were still
up to mum and dad.
You'd see him for two weeks at
a time, and then he was gone.
You know, well, you
were gone actually,
you went back to school,
and then he was doing
what he was doing.
You didn't know
what he was doing.
I didn't know what he was doing.
I mean, I'm very
aware to this day
that there are other people
who had a very strong
and big relationship with
him that I don't know
and I wasn't a part of.
Billy Baldwin had a
relationship with Dad.
Russell Crowe had a
relationship with Dad.
Completely separate.
You know, there's that
thing that's in mum's book
about Dickie Harris
and Richard Harris.
Did you ever
know Dickie Harris?
No, never.
Never did.
Dickie Harris, as he was
known as Dickie here,
not Richard.
He was well built.
He was over six foot.
He had a big pair
of broad shoulders.
And he would swim
across the bay,
no problem, on his
own, just on a whim.
He was fearless.
He would try anything.
He really would.
Now, the diving
boards in his time
were two planks stuck together.
The big thing was to
dive off the top one.
Excuse me
while I disappear.
Slowly I wander through
scenes of my childhood
It brings back fond memories
of happy days gone by
And then I came here to Kilkee,
first time I was
eight months old
and every single
year for three months
until I left at the age of 22.
Every single year
for three months.
And having been brought up
here, it was a luxury really.
The main event of the
summer season in those days
was the rackets competition on
the beach for the Tivoli Cup.
There would be hundreds
in for this competition.
And it was like a festival.
Rackets was unique to Kilkee.
It's always
played on the beach
and it's being played there
since the very early 1900s.
The one person everybody
wanted to beat in the rackets
was Dickie Harris.
And he won the tournament four
times, one after the other.
1947 and '48, '49 and '50.
Nobody has ever achieved
that in succession.
And I mean, for
such a small trophy,
there was such a
lot of excitement.
I went through a
very introspective period
of my life when I found
out the great thing
about the invention.
When did I invent
Richard Harris?
You know that great
line from Sam Becker?
When, when, when?
Why keep bothering
me about your time?
One minute we are born,
the next minute we die.
A stride of the grave,
a difficult birth,
lingering into the hole.
The grave digger
applies the forceps
and we have time to grow old
and the air is full
of our promise.
In 1955, we, the
Dramsoc from UCD,
we decided to hire a theatre
in Kilkee for the summer.
So we played six or seven plays,
which we varied then
night after night.
And there's this great big
gangly character from Limerick
who suddenly is
there and wants to be
part of the whole madness.
And we liked the look of him.
He was odd, interesting.
We did an evening
in the amphitheatre.
There's a kind of an
amphitheatre up by the pools.
And Dickie, he would do scenes
from "On The Waterfront",
as Marlon Brando.
I could have been a
contender, Charlie.
Oh, I could have
been a contender.
And we decided he'd never become
an actor, he was hopeless.
Too big.
Too ungainly.
Too full of himself
as we call it.
Richard Harris, you come from
Limerick, isn't that true?
Where did you begin
in the theatre?
Do you mean where I got my idea?
Well I got my idea
from a group of people.
You were one of them at
the time, weren't you?
One of the university
students who went to Kilkee,
and did a season in Kilkee.
And I was friendly
with you all, I think.
And I got on very well and I
thought I might take it up.
The English
looked upon the Irish
as working class.
It doesn't matter what
status they came from
or what part of society
they came from in Ireland,
the British, the
English looked upon us
as really sort of peasants.
If they stabbed me that, I
wasn't gonna argue with them.
If they wanna think
that, let 'em think it.
I was taken to their
society and I fucked 'em up.
This is The Troubador.
This is where my
mother and father met
for the very first time.
And I really don't
think they've changed
one of those coffee pots,
any of these banjos,
since the fifties
when it was a hangout
for sort of penniless artists.
It's just one of those places
that are just caught
in a time warp.
Soon enough after he'd passed,
he just started
appearing in dreams.
And so it felt real enough
that when I woke up,
I thought he was still alive.
And he was, as I rem...
He was the age and in the state,
frail state, that
I remembered him.
But what's been
interesting, over the years,
he's got younger,
and now he actually can
be younger than I am.
Often, or it could be
with that, you know,
you have a dream that's quite
sort of frantic and things,
you're getting upset
'cause things are going
really wrong in the dream.
It starts off with, you
know, you've lost your phone
and now you don't
know who to contact.
You've got nobody to call,
now you have no money,
you go I'm stuck and
I dunno what to do.
And you feel
completely abandoned.
And then he'll be
there, and you know,
he'll talk it through or take
me into some other space,
some other part of the dream.
And then I wake up.
My father, he was a
drama student at the...
There's a drama school
up the road called LAMDA.
And then after about six months,
he felt he knew as
much as anybody else.
So he was gonna put on his
own play in the West End.
And he held auditions here.
Probably right there
where he met my mother
for the first time and
they went down those steps
and he was doing
auditions in the basement.
Well, I'd always
wanted to be an actress
from the first moment I can
remember being conscious.
There I met Richard and I-
And was it...
No, he didn't look at me.
I mean, he couldn't
have ignored me more.
He was very sort
of into himself.
He was a extraordinary
and I was terrified of him.
Anyway, I got the part.
you became friends.
Eventually I got
Richard as a husband.
I don't know which was
the most frightening.
Burton, Finney,
all these chaps and me, okay.
The thing about that
period was that there was
a tremendous revolution
in the theatre.
The old establishment,
the old upper middle class
was being kicked up the arse.
Why don't you go out and do
some catching or something?
A great, great angry
revolution took place,
as much against society
as against the theatre.
Let me tell you something.
They come in here,
the punters...
I know what the theatre
should be doing,
what it's always done
when it was flourishing.
Give people their
identity as a people.
I always say to the actors,
"Go to the streets and the
parks and the cafes and the pubs
and watch people and don't...
Let's have art for art.
That art from life."
As soon as Joan Littlewood
got a hold of Dickie,
he was going to go
on and work there
for anything she had
in mind at that time.
And of course he also
was noted by critics
and by filmmakers and
by people writing.
I ruffled up some
middle class drawing rooms
and caused a bit of
commotion here and there.
I mean, my stage work
with "Diary of a Madman,"
"The Ginger Man," "Man,
Beast and Virtue."
They were all high class stuff.
Wow, it's country life.
Did you know dad then, in 1954?
So that was about the
time when you guys met
at The Troubador.
You were a deb as
well as a young actress.
And then this, "Penniless, I
proposed to a peers daughter."
This would be he proposed to
you and he had no money at all.
I don't think your
parents took it too well.
My mother let out a scream.
And my father tried
to take our attention
away from the scream.
You guys did a
lot of press together.
"Film tough guy in a punch up."
It was his image.
He thought
that was being a man.
Or maybe he just had
a very bad temper.
I'd prefer to go with that one.
"This Sporting Life."
This was sort of the
beginning of the whole thing,
wasn't it, really?
He started off, the
bar was set really high
because the film,
it did well for dad.
He got an Oscar nomination
and he won the
Cannes film festival.
It's quite devastating film.
And it changed his
life, all of our lives.
"This Sporting
Life", that was my break.
I mean that was my big
break to get that picture.
Oh, I just
thought it was
a beautiful piece of work.
What's his name, Wayne?
Frank Machin.
I thought the performance
was extraordinary.
It was real.
Do you want a thumping, love?
And Lindsay Anderson was
a tremendous director.
Lindsay was
a very gentle man.
Oxford University, a very
intelligent, intellectual man.
But what he had was he
had this most amazing
understanding of violence.
What I would call almost
psychological violence,
volcanic passion.
Some people have life made for.
That's right, Mrs. Hammond,
and some people make
it for themselves.
It's about time you
took that tonne of rock
off your shoulders.
And don't wake me
in the morning.
I might be dead.
Richard was uniquely powerful.
His acting had a physicality.
You know, he would scare
the life outta you.
What do you have to
be to be a successful actor?
You have to be masochistic,
very strange.
You have to be able to
inflict pain on yourself.
You have to walk out and saying,
"I'm gonna go into
this relationship
and I'm gonna be
very hurt, I hope.
From it I'm gonna get
something out of it I can use.
I'm gonna build up a
treasury of emotions here
that I can use."
And sadistic.
You gotta step over maybe the
closest of people to get that.
Yeah, I mean, what comes
to mind when he says that
is his relationship
with Lindsay Anderson.
It's really detailed
in Lindsay's diaries,
how cruel my father was.
Initially Lindsay
travelled to Tahiti
to see if Dad would
do "Sporting Life."
He was doing "Mutiny
on the Bounty"
and they were both very
excited about the idea
of making this film and
they were collaborators.
And then when filming
began, my father changed,
partly because Lindsay fell
in love with my father,
And so, my father
used that against him.
And he really was controlling
and humiliated Lindsay,
which Lindsay put up with
'cause he was in love with him,
and that he also was
getting what he wanted,
therefore, let it continue.
"Sporting Life" just was
the breakthrough film
for Richard.
Not in terms of its
commercial success,
but in terms of
establishing Richard
as one of the sort
of really great
contemporary actors
of that period.
I think Richard, in the plotted
history of English cinema,
holds a very important place.
There's still that very
deep theatrical tradition.
But then Richard,
who's come from it,
who's from within that,
is looking to sort
of break that.
He's looking to give
himself the same passageway
to truth as a Brando.
There's no sort of
archness about it,
and seemingly no performance,
because it just
seemed to be so real.
But of course, that's the trick.
We're not proper people
now because of you.
Because you show
up every Saturday
in front of thousands of them,
because you're just a great
ape in the football field.
Because you want
me to be like them!
You are in a crawl about
just like the rest.
Well just have a
look at the rest.
Take a right good look at 'em!
Take a right good look at the
bloody people around here!
There isn't a bleeding
man amongst him.
You're flat on your back from
the go, crawling about you.
Because they haven't got the
guts, do you understand that?
They haven't got
the guts to stand up
and to walk about like me.
I mean, he could be
a terrifying figure.
He was just...
He didn't pretend.
It was terrifying.
And we had this scene
together in "Trojan Eddie",
and it's where he's
telling the story
about how he was
fighting with someone.
As he started to play the scene,
and he really took
on the power of it,
I realised that he
was talking about me.
He was going to kill me.
Do you see those rings?
Do ya?
They're my father's rings.
I broke a fella's jaw with
that fist one night...
And another night, another
night, I broke a feller's nose.
I mean, there was a level
of anger that he had
that never completely went away.
I remember actually, I did
actually ask him this question.
It's funny, this reminded me.
We'd had a huge, huge
row one Christmas.
And I asked him, "Why
are you so angry?
What are you so angry about?"
And he said, "I don't know,
I've always been angry.
I don't know."
I absolutely
believe that the world is bad.
I believe from the very
first moment of conception
to the moment we die, that
life is absolutely riddled,
cloaked in tragedy.
It almost is something that
should never have happened.
I think it was a great mistake.
This miracle of
life is absolutely,
I hate to say that
it's kind of rubbish.
Richard Harris has
been running all his life,
and of course that grows
increasingly complex.
When I look around
me today, nothing works.
We don't want anything to work.
And it's never changed.
What's happening a hundred
years ago was just as mad.
And we don't like each other.
We don't respect each other.
We talk about compassion,
there is none.
That's what it is,
it's a fucking joke.
It's a juggling of hats.
It's a pulling a
rabbit out of a hat
and losing it in your pocket.
With all the hundreds
and thousands of years
of Christianity and the
preaching of gospels
and the bringing of the
word of God and kindness
and humanity to the world,
it hasn't worked because there
are more people than ever
destitute and lost.
And what happens?
In comes the vulture.
In comes the hawk that
flew over the landscape,
observing it.
And he looked down for
the bodies and he plucked,
for his own benefit.
It's horrible.
I wish I could preach
my gospel to the world.
I wish I could say to them,
we know it's a disaster,
but make the most of it.
Laugh, dance and sing.
Those who wanna come with
you, come dance with me.
Those who don't, fair
enough, don't dance on them.
If we take it seriously, it
is a very, very bad joke.
I'd like to be able
to tell people that.
Here is one of England's most
respected and honoured stars,
Mr. Richard Harris.
The nominees are...
You know, somebody says,
it isn't how good you are,
it's how long you've lasted.
I've lasted a long time
and I've lasted a long time
and also never played the game.
I never went to Hollywood,
lived in Hollywood.
When I did live in
Hollywood for a time,
I never mixed with the
major motion picture stars.
I never went to the
houses of producers
or the heads of studios though
I was invited many times.
Every single time I
either win an award
or I present an award,
they always say, you know, like,
"British actor wins
another major award."
And every time I get into a
fight, "Irish actor in brawl."
I refuse to play their game.
Well, he went to Hollywood
and he did play the game.
Richard changed course.
I think he, in some
ways, lost interest
in those small, personal,
maybe more experimental
type films.
You come
a time when you are
faced with obligations.
You have to.
Got children, you must
support the children.
You must support your wife.
You can't support
that on art films.
'Cause we were living at...
I'm not making excuses.
We were living in a tiny flat.
I remember the day
I made the choice.
I was offered to do "Major
Dundee" in Hollywood
for a lot of money.
And I made the choice.
And the choice was I was
gonna do the Hollywood picture
and make the money.
And now you're a murderer.
Tomorrow morning I am gonna
hang you and be done with you.
I'm fighting for the
only country I have left
and I kill men in a
hopeless war for it.
But not men who are my
neighbours and my friends.
You know, Hollywood
does that to people.
I've seen it so many
times where, you know,
you go to Hollywood
as one person and...
A few years later
you're somebody else.
You know, you buy
into the system.
He was attracted by the
money, by the staring role,
a musical, big mainstream
Hollywood film.
And listen, playing King
Arthur is a great role.
So I didn't know Richard at all
until we met at the
studios in Warner Bros.
And from the moment I met him,
I thought, oh, I'm going
to love working with you.
Why did
you feel that, Vanessa?
What was it about Richard
that made you think that?
Well, all the obvious
things, darling.
A law was made a
distant moon ago here
July and August
cannot be too hot
He was enchanting.
He looked great.
He had the most wonderful voice.
I think he's absolutely
adorable on screen, you know.
And I think a lot of
people thought he was too.
In short there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily ever aftering
than here in Camelot
There, on the hill!
Having done a scene in which
we had one of the songs,
I forget which one it was.
Anyway, I had an idea
and I said to Richard,
"Why don't we ask If
we can sing them live?
It would make it so
much more spontaneous."
Simple folk do
We do not
I have been informed by
those that know them well
They find relief in
quite a clever way
We're now free to really
be our characters.
No lip syncing, just
be our characters,
revolutionised the whole way
of doing musical comedies,
which we were quite
proud of, Richard and I.
In Camelot
What I can never forget is
Richard's generosity of spirit.
It's rare to feel so
relaxed and so happy
to be with another actor,
and believe that you
are in love with them.
I wasn't ever in
love with Richard.
I was in love with
him as an actor.
Did you ever
read that great line
that Elizabeth
wrote in her book?
"Richard went to London, but
Dickie stayed in Limerick."
Great line.
I'm afraid I can't claim
to have the romance
of coming from a poor family.
What did happen was I came
from a very, very rich family.
My great-grandfather, he
had a huge flour mill here
and a bakery.
But we would be small millers
compared to the British,
English Millers
who came in here.
And they came in with huge
monies and huge combines
and broke all the small miller.
During my youth, they
began to lose the money.
They went bankrupt in the end.
I remember the staff
got less and less.
I don't know, so I came
from a huge family.
The eight children,
there were eight of us.
I got lost.
I was kind of situated in the
no man's land of my family.
This army, Harris Brigade.
I don't remember the stroke,
the touch from the mother
or the affection from
the father very much.
You had to learn to fight for
the affection of your parents,
to fight for the attention.
You didn't get it free.
You had to tap dance,
you had to tap dance,
you had to tap dance
to be recognised.
You had to put up
the flag and say,
"Hey look, I'm here too,
you know, don't miss me."
And you were missed.
And I can remember my father
saying, putting me and saying,
"What's his name again?"
And my mother saying,
"That's Dick."
"Oh yeah, okay Dick.
Now look, don't do that, Dick.
What's his name again?"
I kind of said, well, I'll
make sure he remembers my name,
next time he looks at
me I'll break a window.
introductions to the Jesuits.
Very tough the first
couple of years.
And I unfortunately had
been discovered later on,
been diagnosed with not
chronic, but as semi dyslectic.
It was tough for me to read,
put things together right.
They didn't realise
that as it's only really
a modern thing now.
But my first couple of years
they were really very tough.
No one knew at the time
that Dickie had dyslexia.
So he was a bit behind.
Your exercise was checked
and if they weren't bright,
you got punished for that.
In our case, it was the priest.
He had a docket and
everything was in Latin.
They'd tell you first
of all what it was for.
And then parcome was how
many, that was slaps.
So when Dickie got the docket,
say at half nine in the morning,
it would be burning a hole in
that pocket until 11 o'clock.
That was the time the
whole school would break.
It was administered
by a leather,
lead lined, three
in each hand, six.
And if there was a ring
around it on that docket,
it meant six hard.
We loved rugby.
Rugby was our outlet.
I would give up
all my Academy
Award nominations,
all my Golden Globes
that I've won,
my Grammys that I have won,
my town film festival,
the Palme d'Or that I won,
I'd give it all up,
to have just played
once for Ireland rugby.
I mean, I can remember nothing
else from Limerick but rugby.
It was inbred in us as kids.
It was tribal.
He was an outstanding player.
He was on two teams that won
the Munster Senior Schools Cup.
Dickie could have gone and
played professional rugby.
He was a fine second row and
played in the back row as well.
The original jersey,
and there's still mud on
it here in the back look.
Never washed it.
That was 1948,
when I played for Munster
Schools against Connacht.
I got one cap.
And that's it.
And I wouldn't...
That's it.
And I wouldn't give
it up for anything.
You tackle well.
I often
say, well, who are we?
Who was Richard Harris?
Someone said to me once,
"Of course, you know
you're an alcoholic."
I said, "I'm not, no.
If you think so, that's okay.
It doesn't necessarily
mean that I am.
If it makes you feel
good, that's okay."
It doesn't do anything for
me to be told what I am.
All I know is that I
drank because I loved it.
The wonderful tendency
again is why did you drink?
Are you running
away from something?
Are you hiding?
Was it something to
do with your work?
Your personality?
I remember being with Burton
one day in South Africa
making this picture together.
And both of us said
the same thing.
We drank because we loved it.
I loved the trouble
I was gonna get into.
I loved to wake up the next
day and say, "What did we do?"
Either pick up a newspaper
and read it in the papers.
Oh, that's what we did.
With an eye that was closed
or a fist that was broken.
All we knew was we
had a wonderful time
and we weren't
running from anything.
We enjoyed drinking.
Hey drink up all you people
Order anything you see
He didn't know
anybody in New York
when we first met in 19...
Must have been 1958, I
think, at PJ Clark's.
That was a great Irish pub.
So then whenever he
was passing through,
he always called me.
His fame was coming up
and people would say,
"Oh, there's Richard Harris."
Without a doubt, he was both
a drinker and a hell raiser.
And he could turn mean,
he could turn violent.
Harris was up to get belligerent
when he had a few
drinks taken, yep.
There he is behind the bar,
at himself, serving beers.
That's my bar.
But he wasn't very good,
'cause obviously he
can't pour a beer.
He told me that he was giving
up the acting business.
He was tired of it.
So he said, "I want a
job as a bartender."
So here is this movie
star in my saloon.
And one night, these
two elderly ladies,
they said, "Oh, you
have a very nice barman.
He didn't charge us
anything for our drinks
and gave us a
And I thought, Jesus Christ.
I didn't say anything to Dickie.
But anyway, he got
tired of the routine.
And when he left, my
other regular barman said,
"Oh, I have something for you."
So he went to the cash register
and in it was a
check for $3,000.
And Dickie had wrote in it,
"This is for all
that I gave away."
Richard Harris was what you
look for in a talk show guest.
He delivered, as they used to
say in production meetings.
You all know Richard Harris,
will you welcome him please?
One appearance of his,
he came bounding out
and there was a big gob
of what, like dried blood
on his face, a big scar.
It's nice to sit down.
Do you know each other?
Have you ever...
But nobody mentioned
it right away.
And I thought, this is strange.
So I said...
Mr. Harris.
Politeness toward one side.
Oh yeah, sure.
Yes, you've been ignoring it.
I can't help
noticing that...
You wanted to mention it.
Everybody else is
worried about it.
Well, I can't help noticing
that a lot of your face
is not injured.
But he loved that and everyone
wanted to talk about it.
He'd been in a brawl.
The row started and
I jumped over the bar
and I hid behind the bar 'cause
punches were going like mad.
And I hid behind the bar and
I said, "Let them fight."
You see?
And there was a guy
beside me, crouching too.
And I said, "What
are you doing?"
He said, "I'm ducking Harris."
I have a wonderful facility.
I have a wonderful
facility of delivering
what people expect from me.
Richard Harris.
Yes, sir.
There are interviews
that don't want to get into
anything of any great depth.
What's the difference
between this kind of beer
and a bottled beer?
A lot of gas.
Keep it funny, keep it funny.
I think that one of the
great dangers of publicity
is that one isn't
planned to believe it.
And I think I was
probably guilty of that.
I think that very, very often,
I was very conscious
when I entered the room
and people looked up and
said, "Oh, there's Harris."
That I suddenly had to behave
as they thought I
should have behaved.
You know what I mean?
Tough, drunk, loud,
funny, careless.
You know, I think I
ruined my first marriage
because of that, to Elizabeth.
It was purely because
somehow I began to believe
what they said
about me was true.
That was very difficult.
I remember once saying to her,
"I'm going out to
buy a newspaper."
And I was gone eight days.
And now, I thought, how
am I gonna get back?
How am I gonna say to her?
And at this stage, I'd heard
she was gonna file for divorce.
She'd really had it.
Now really, she really had,
the poor thing really
suffered a lot.
So I arrived back and I
knocked at the whole door
at Bedford Gardens,
and I heard her coming
down the stairs.
I thought, what's she gonna say?
And she opened the door and
I looked at her and I said,
"Why didn't you pay the ransom?"
Excuse me
While I disappear
Honest men have served us
faithfully and many have died,
that this house
may sit in freedom
and this nation live in liberty.
In the name of
God I besiege you.
Do not dessert them now.
True or false, you've
acquired the reputation
of being something
of a hell raiser.
But for example, recently
in a Sunday newspaper,
there was a report of a sort
of continental jet plane binge
that you took, which
lasted several days.
Well, it wasn't really,
because you see,
the story that was finally
printed was the story
that the readers of that
particular newspaper
would only want to read.
But I can't deny that any of
the reports on the newspaper
were not true.
The outrageous inefficiency...
While Richard was
making Cromwell,
the film company had
said, "Right, no drinking,
you know, off the bottle
for all the time."
But in the middle
of the filming, they
gave him a week off.
Those against
Colonel Cromwell's motion.
An executive jet, you know,
with two pilots
and a stewardess.
And I was sort of
called in by the letter,
and basically told,
"Right, off to Heathrow,
you're meeting Richard Harris
and you're going travelling
with him for the next week."
He rang me up and he said,
"It's very important
you come here.
This is my divorce," he said.
I said, "What?"
He said, "This is a
honeymoon without a bride."
He had just been to
the court that morning
and gotten his divorce.
And off we went.
All I know is that I was not
sober for about seven days.
The night we flew out, I
think it was a Friday night,
we were booked into
the George V in Paris.
First thing that Richard did
was try and chat
up an American nun.
There was no flight plan.
Richard decided
where we were going
and half an hour later
we'd be airborne.
Went to Hamburg the next night.
Denmark, Sweden, all
over the bloody place.
There's me naked.
Good God almighty.
It must have been
in Hamburg that he decided
he would like to
visit a brothel.
And we did.
It's a very different era.
It was an era that had
no political correctness.
There was no condemnation
for behaviour.
In some ways,
being badly behaved
was an attractive
element and a quality.
Possibly the weirdest
experience of all,
Richard said, "I fancy a
beer at Dirty Nellies,"
which is a very well known
bar near Shannon Airport.
So climb on board
the aeroplane and...
It was a wild time.
It was a wild time.
That's the lost
weekend where they went to...
Is it Amsterdam?
Yeah, and Paris.
Can you imagine anyone
doing that now though?
Like bringing your
photographer along.
You don't think it's a
personal thing against Mum?
He wanted her to
see every reason
that you're leaving me
for, I'm still doing.
Well, I mean, what
you're saying is actually right
because mum would've
seen that in the papers.
And that would've
been extremely hurtful.
Or she could have said
thank God I'm rid of that.
Do you remember they sent
each other divorce gifts?
The cowbell?
He gave mum a cowbell...
So that he could
always hear her coming.
If she wore it round her neck.
And she sent him a birdcage.
An empty bird cage.
Saying next time...
Put her in there.
Yeah and don't let him get away.
And I have the cowbell.
You do?
Living well
means being free.
It doesn't mean living
in fucking luxury.
Saying, "I've got 55 fur coats,"
a woman saying, "I've got
three Rolls-Royce's, 19 cars.
I've got a private jet."
That is not what I
mean by living well.
I mean, living well as being
free, been able to laugh.
You've got a bit of money, yes.
I made a lot of money and my
life hasn't changed a bit.
It hasn't ruined my taste.
It hasn't made me...
It hasn't.
I haven't spoiled myself.
She's a 1964 Rolls-Royce
Phantom V state limousine.
Incredibly rare.
And back in '64, you could
Anthony, how did
you get ahold of this car?
Well, I was working
at Jack Barclays,
where your father had the
car regularly maintained.
And it came in for a full refit.
And I never met your
father, but I saw him.
That's how I met the car.
When he died, I said,
"Well, I must have that car.
I've known it for years."
It was meant to be.
I think so.
I have its history file.
It was under your father's
name servicing wise.
I don't think he bought it new.
He was given it.
He was given it.
Can I ask you about that?
I mean, it's a rumour, but
everybody who sees the car
tells me that the
Princess Margaret
actually bought this car new
and gifted it to your father.
That's not the
story that we heard.
It was a signing on bonus
for him to do a movie.
"The Heroes of Telemark."
A producer, basically
said, "What do you want?"
He said, "I want a Rolls-Royce."
Exactly the same
one as the Queen's.
And he got it.
I mean, the
Princess Margaret thing
didn't come out until
after he'd passed away.
That they
had a relationship.
He didn't talk about it.
He never mentioned it in
the press or anything.
I did a charity
show for a theatre
called The Theatre of Beam,
And I put together
a series of poetry.
Really a fantastic evening,
with the most
extraordinary, Mia Farrow,
Walter Pidgeon, Jean Simmons,
Peter Sellers, et cetera.
There's this great Irish
actor in town, you know,
he's doing an evening of
peace and love and anti-war.
And I was, you know, absolutely
in whole hog for that.
Someone brought
along a young fellow
called Jimmy Webb,
he hasn't done anything.
So I met him, liked
him, and said,
"Write me six songs,
here's what I want."
And he came to the rehearsals,
went up and wrote the numbers.
Fucking beautiful numbers.
I said, "God, these are good."
We became fast friends,
and I said, "Richard,"
I said, "You should come
into the studio sometime
and we'll make a tape together,
let's make a tape together.
I know you sing."
And he said, "Ah, Jimmy
Webb, I'll do that."
We were sort of beginning
to put this album together,
but I'd played
several songs for him.
Jim sat down and
he played "MacArthur Park",
and I thought it was stunning.
I think if it moved
me, I want to do it.
And he went slam like this,
wham right in front me.
He says, "I'll have that and
I'll make a hit out of it.
And I'll be a pop star."
It happened, just like he said.
He played me "MacArthur Park".
I thought, my God, that's good.
Spring was never
waiting for us girl
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
"MacArthur Park", to this day,
will still be in my top five
finest record of all time.
I mean, it was groundbreaking.
And the vocal on that
is, it's quite astounding
for an actor.
Now ladies and gentlemen,
here is the real
treat of the evening,
the musical side of
that marvellous actor
and exciting recording
star, Mr. Richard Harris.
"MacArthur Park".
That song swept
the nation somehow.
I never knew why.
It had to do with a cake that
got left out in the rain,
but it was a big
phenomenon in his life.
In those days, two
minutes and 40 seconds,
that was your optimum,
because then you would
get played on radio.
Now, "MacArthur Park" is
between seven and eight minutes.
It's seven minutes, 21 seconds.
But still managed to
get played on radio.
MacArthur's Park is
melting in the dark
All the sweet green
icing flowing down
"MacArthur Park"
was a gold record.
My God, we had only set
out to do this for fun.
You know, I
was a jack of all trades
in those days.
I felt that somehow I wanted
to challenge myself, I suppose.
See, could I do it?
Richard had my heart and he
invited me into his world.
And I can remember when
the two little boys
were about this big and
they would go off to school.
I remember thinking that
I'd never met anyone
who loved their children
as much as he did.
And he was going
through a divorce
with their mother at the time.
He loved his children, I think,
more than any man
I've ever seen.
And I sort of became
a part of that.
I was always welcome there
up until a certain point
and this all...
There is a point where all
of this ended unfortunately.
When we were making
the first album,
he told me that if
"MacArthur Park" was a hit,
he would give me that Phantom V.
After, you know, after the fact,
he had started sending me
photos of Rolls-Royces.
How about this one?
How about this one?
How about this other one?
It wasn't the
Rolls-Royce though.
It wasn't the one.
And it had nothing
to do with money.
It had nothing to
do with anything
except I was like
21, 22 years old.
He had promised me that
car and I was hurt.
I was hurt.
Is everybody warm
And then somewhere along the
way, someone said to him,
"Jimmy's making all the money.
You're doing all this work and
Jimmy's making all the money
because he owns the company and
he has all this publishing."
Standing with the Kansas
City housewives in doorways
And we didn't speak
for about 20 years.
And it's silly.
It's all stupid.
It's all over material
things, which, you know,
when you're young, those
things matter a lot more.
But now I would rather
have had the friendship.
I would rather have
had the friendship.
And then what got away from
us, what got away from us
is a really cautionary
tale, I think,
for anyone who might be going
through something similar,
even right now at this moment.
You know, it's never
late to go back
and make a phone call and say,
"Hey, listen, let's start over.
Let's have this
conversation again.
Let's start again."
Richard Harris!
Well, I met
Dick socially first
before we started
working together.
He'd become a little
bit disenchanted
with the whole recording thing,
but I kind of persuaded
him to think about
the singing bit again.
You're sleeping son I know
But really this can't wait
I wanted to explain
before it gets too late
I had in my kit bag, this
song that I had worked on
with Claude Fran?ois.
I turned that into "My Boy".
For me, it was the
perfect fit for Dick.
But God knows how I tried
Because you're
all I have my boy
You are my life
my pride my joy
The whole
scenario of "My Boy",
it was very tied up with his own
personal situation right then.
My boy
One of the few occasions
where we actually fell out
was when we were preparing
for the American tour.
We'd made the album and
so of an evening time,
we would be kind of
in the bar together.
And on one of those nights,
Dick was on a bit of a rampage.
When the barman finally
called last orders,
Harris goes up to the counter,
and demands more drink and
starts kind of shaking...
Not the barman, but
the cash register
and making a lot of noise.
So I went up to say to
Dick, "Dick, for God's sake,
I mean like, this
is not the place."
And he just turned around
and hit me, a blow like that.
I crashed onto the floor and
slid halfway along the bar.
So I picked myself up.
I'm outta here.
A few hours later,
and now it's well in
the middle of the night,
there's banging at the
door and I thought, oh God,
I know this is Harris.
And he's shouting and
he's shouting at me,
"Phil, Phil, Phil!"
And he was like all
teary and apologetic.
As I recollect he got on
his knees in front of me
and pleaded with me not
to go and da da da da.
Anyway, I relented.
Hello, I'm Richard Harris.
I'm coming to town to sing
some songs for my albums,
read some poems I've written.
Hello, this is Richard Harris.
I'm coming to town to sing
some songs from my album,
"A Tramp Shining", "The
Yard Went on Forever",
from my recent album "My Boy."
Hello, I hope you'll
come and join me.
We had one of those
heart to hearts.
"Dick, when we go to America,
I'm going as your
musical director,
not your spiritual director
and certainly not as
your tour manager,
nor as your minder,
so on the night that
you're walking on stage,
having had a feed of drink,
you will meet me walking off."
Side by side
And when they say
And in fairness,
it never occurred.
When we were on the
road, nothing crazy,
no real kind of drug crazed
orgies or any of that.
Back then he still had a
bit of a grip on himself.
He was a force of nature,
Harris really was.
He was the kind of guy
who could suck the oxygen
out of a room when he entered.
He was larger than
life and everybody.
That was one adventure I
would hate to have missed,
for sure, for sure.
Warts and all.
I'd like to read a poem.
I've written the poem in
the point of view of God.
Comes back to the
north of Ireland
and sees Christians
killing Christians.
The poem is called "There Are
Too Many Saviours on My Cross".
There are too many
saviours on my cross
lending their blood to
flood out my ballot box
with needs of their own.
Who put you there?
Who told you that
that was your place?
You carry me secretly
naked in your heart
and clothe me publicly
in armour, crying-
God is on our side,
yet I openly cry-
Who is on mine?
Who is on mine?
Tell me who.
do you think of it?
It's pretty powerful.
I was never a big
fan of his poetry,
and the particular poem about
too many saviours on my cross,
about the north of
Ireland, I didn't get that.
Believe me, the last
thing that people
in the north of
Ireland want to hear
is Richard Harris
reciting a poem
about the north of Ireland.
Richard was not an
actor getting involved
in Northern Ireland.
That's the first thing.
He was somebody who
responded on a good level
to political events
that he felt wounded by
and moved him deeply.
When he saw Bloody Sunday,
he took out a notebook
and he wrote a poem.
But what he says in the poem is
-I am not orange.
-I am not orange.
-I am not green.
-I am not green.
I am a half ripe fruit
needing both colours
to grow into ripeness.
And he's basically saying,
you must find a point
of reconciliation.
I in my poverty alone
without trust, Christ,
shame on you and shame and
shame and shame on you again
for converting me into a bullet
and shooting me
into men's hearts.
The situation in the
north of Ireland back then
was far more
complicated than that.
He wasn't aware
of the subtleties,
certainly wouldn't be
as aware as I would be
because that's
where I come from.
So I advised him against it
and that kind of damaged our...
That damaged our relationship.
We didn't collaborate
after that at all.
Oh, a thousand
pardons, my lady,
please don't run away,
I will not harm you.
You lied.
You'll lean into me and
throw me to the ground.
I will do no such thing.
Then you'll
twist my arm...
The only thing that
I keep an eye on
is the situation in
the north of Ireland.
I think that's a
disgraceful situation.
Everybody is saying,
and Reagan and Maggie Thatcher
are saying to the Russians,
don't you dare enter,
don't you dare come into
Poland with your troops.
What about the 21,000
troops in Northern Ireland?
They've got no
right to be there.
And the sinful situation
is that supposing
it was 21,000 Russian troops
in the north of Ireland,
the provisional IRA were
called Freedom Fighters,
resistance, proud,
the resistance.
That attitude of his changed
because I think it was
after the policewoman
got blown up
outside of Harrod's.
At that point, he came
out and started telling
Irish Americans not to
give money to NORAID,
because that money was
being used to buy bombs
and blow up innocent people.
And he actually ended
on an IRA hit list.
And there was a while
there where we had,
you know, we had armed
security around us.
So I think it was
17 death threats by phone,
11 letters, and then boxes
would arrive at the theatre.
The bomb squad were called
every day practically.
Well, not every day.
I'm a Republican
through and through.
I believe in united Ireland
through and through.
I cannot approve of
blowing up Harrod's.
I can't approve it.
There's a succession
of films in the 1970s
that were not only
commercially successful,
they were artistically viable.
And "Man in the
Wilderness" is one of his
great classic movies
and he rated it as such.
Hello Harry.
And then he did
99 and 44%'s dead...
Hello Buffy.
I don't even
know the title.
I don't want to
remember the title.
What are you doing here
with all these scrubbers?
Killing time.
He made nonsense for the
rest of the seventies.
"Games for Vultures",
"Golden Rendezvous".
They were all done
for the paycheck.
He lived in LA with Ann.
Ann was younger than my
father by quite a bit.
They all got together
on a movie set
and he very much became a
fixture in Los Angeles with her,
partly to try to help
her career as an actress.
He basically used himself
as bait by saying,
"I'll do the movie if
you put her in it."
And they were all
terrible films.
He became my best friend.
We would sit all day
and the set and talk
and in the evenings we'd
have dinner and eat and talk.
And I had heard about his
reputation, I was terrified.
And finally, oh, about
two months later,
after seeing each other
all day, every day,
we had fallen in love and
nothing had happened yet.
It was amazing, after the
most incredible experience
I've ever gone
through in my life.
Literally we both had
fallen so heavily in love
and nothing had happened.
And then when it did, we got
engaged and we got married.
I was madly
in love with Ann Turkel.
There's no question I was
madly in love with her.
I will confess to the fact
that there's something in me
that cannot sustain it.
Ann and I were only
married about five years.
My restlessness
was too enormous.
It's been a turbulent
journey in a strange way.
I had a short period
when I was on drugs.
I almost died a couple of times.
And knighted twice.
Mid seventies, when I just
really swallowed them,
I mean, really got through it.
So I wasn't just taking
coke, like I wasn't drinking,
when I drank, I
devoured alcohol.
When I did coke,
I devoured coke.
I ended up in the intensive
care ward in Cedars of Lebanon.
I know I did.
Everything he did, he did
with such a sort of...
I dunno how to make sense of it.
He was so passionate and yet
he wouldn't draw the line.
And you could not in
any way nail Dad down
as to what he was or
wasn't gonna say or do.
I walked into his bedroom
and it was like Al
Pacino in "Scarface."
He dropped this pound
of cocaine on the carpet
and it had burst
open and his face
was just in the middle of it.
And I don't think I
knew what cocaine was,
but I knew at the
time that I probably
shouldn't have come into
his bedroom at the time.
So yeah, he was unpredictable.
I must have thrown five or
$6,000 worth down the toilet
when I went home
and that was it.
I haven't touched it since it.
It wasn't so much that I
was into drugs, it wasn't,
I was into experiences.
I think he was
still trying to find
whatever it is he
was looking for,
and I can't tell
you what that was.
Like Lazarus, I've
come back from the dead,
I feel.
While I was doing
The Field in Ireland,
I said, "This is it."
I kept screaming, "This
is a great country."
Maybe it is a great place to be.
Maybe it wasn't the country.
Maybe just the
peacefulness of the world.
The tragedy is you'll find it
and you're living
it for a while.
I mean, I get restless.
This is exactly how
I remember Leenane.
This is the field.
This movie, "The Field", was
so important to my father.
That role of Bull
McCabe was, to me,
was his most defining role.
Are these the same
outsiders who watched
whilst our valley went silent
except for the cries of
the last starving child?
The English are gone, Bull.
Gone because I drove them out.
Me and my kind.
I mean
the Bull McCabe coat
looked like an army
coat, which I found.
He's like the patriarchal
figure of Ireland.
He's like all the great
heroes of Irish independence,
and the sort of, the symbol
of it is "The Field."
That's Ireland, that
we have to keep.
I was passionate
about that picture.
I worked on "The Field".
I was a runner.
I was the lowest AD.
Everybody knew whilst
making "The Field"
that it was gonna be phenomenal.
Dad had been going through a
rough patch of movies where,
you know, a lot of them
weren't very good frankly.
And he'd felt
that, he knew that.
And this was a huge break.
And also he had to work
bloody hard to get this role.
He wasn't the first choice.
It was an actor
called Ray McAnally
and he did "My Left Foot"
for peanuts to help us out.
He came to me and said,
"I'd like to do 'The Field.'
If you could get a screenplay."
Then Ray McAnally died,
and that's how
Richard got the job.
I mean, he'd come off the road,
tour that musical
"Camelot", and he...
I just think he was
sick to the teeth
of next town, the next
town, the next town.
I had
to convince them.
I mean, Jim wasn't so sure
and thought I was too...
Hear this.
He thought I was too aesthetic.
Harris, too aesthetic.
Man, that's a joke in itself.
I think Richard thought
he could do anything.
He was kind.
You know, he was
considerate, he was mad.
But I do think there was a
little bit of a war going on
and as much as he
pushed me, I pushed him.
I pushed him like mad, you know.
The end of the movie,
Jim Sheridan argued about the
way I played a certain scene,
which I thought was the
best scene in the movie,
in which Robert De Niro
has said on print is one...
It's the best acting scene
he ever saw in his life.
They all talk about it still.
Actors still come and
say, "Jesus, that scene."
In the room with the priest.
Well well well.
This is the widow's field.
That's the law.
The common law.
There's another law.
Stronger than the common law.
What's that?
The law of the land.
This is the only
scene in the movie
where the Bull breaks down.
He openly admits he put the
field before his mother's life,
and Jim Sheridan
decided he didn't want
the Bull to break down.
He believed that the Bull
should always be the Bull
and show no form of weakness.
My father knelt beside
her, he knew she...
Knew she was dying.
He said an act of
Contrition into her ear
and asked God to
forgive her her sins.
And he looked at me, and
he said, "Fetch a priest.
Fetch a priest."
And I said,
"Let's bring the hay in first."
Let's bring the hay in first.
I went, "Cut."
Like that.
And I heard the
cameraman clapping,
the first AD clapping and the
entire crew, hair and makeup,
all clapping.
And I was like, that's the
worst performance I've seen.
I knew Richard was staring at me
and I just looked up and I said,
"Richard, that was the
most over the top thing
I've ever seen in
my fucking life."
And then it became a war.
Do you know what I mean?
But Jim
didn't like it somehow
and he wanted me to do it again.
I said, "I won't do it again."
He said, "Would you
come and see it?"
I said, "I won't go and see it,
but when the movie is finished,
when the movie's complete,
then you can...
Then I am willing
to look at it."
So on the last day
after we went to Ardmore
and he saw it and he said,
"I can't do better that.
I think that's the
best acting I've done."
And I was like, "Okay."
He didn't feel
that Jim was right,
and Dad won because he
just refused to reshoot it.
You cannot get a better
backdrop to a scene than this.
This was by far the
hardest scene to shoot,
where the Bull
kills the American.
Go on now boy.
The beginning of the scene is
he pits his son
against the American.
Make a man of him, is
what he's trying to do.
Well Dad was standing
out there on those rocks
for four nights in a row.
He had to walk out there
with that stick and stand.
I mean, I cannot tell you,
this is like summer compared
to what it was back then.
It was freezing cold.
It's at moments
like this I realise
how powerful an actor he
was to stand out there
and be the Bull.
I was as proud a son
as you could ever be.
I'll tell you how mad he was.
He wanted to stand at the
waterfall and I was like, "No.
And next minute he's
fucking up there
and I'm like, oh
man, Jesus, you know,
now he's doing Charlton Heston
and "The Ten Commandments",
you know?
And I was like, "Richard,
what the fuck are
you doing up there?"
You know?
Anyway, I thought
I'll cut around it
if there's a big problem.
And then we set up the scene
where he has to drag
them into the water.
We get in the river and
it's kind of like minus 10.
We did the scene.
He puts one down.
I go cut and I say, "Okay,
let's do that again."
And he goes, "What?
And I said, "Let's do
it again, Richard."
And he just ran off.
And then Harris is up the
hill and Sean Bean runs,
goes into the
headlights of the car,
and I can hear him
saying to Sean Bean,
"That's enough now.
Don't go any further."
And I'm like, what?
He said, "Don't go any..."
I said, Sean, "Just keep going."
And Sean Bean there
doesn't know what to do
'cause Harris is telling
him he'll kill him.
So I ran after 'em up the hill.
And I was like,
"Richard, Richard, what
the fuck's going on?
What did you say that for?"
And he said, "Listen to me now.
Any argument you
were having with me,
you're having with
your own father."
And that was the actual
truth of that story.
I had rows with my father.
As a child, I fought him.
There was a conflict between
us that was really heavy.
And I realised the Bull was him.
The father in "My
Left Foot" was him.
Everybody was my dad.
And that I better write
a movie about a good dad.
And in a way,
that was the moment that made
"In the Name of the
Father", I think.
And the weird thing was,
when I made "In the
Name of the Father"
and on the premier
night, I said,
"My father was the
prototype for the guy,
the non-violent father."
And he came up in front
of everybody and hugged me
and said, in this
ear, "I love you."
And I'd never
heard him say that.
So that moment of Harris in
"The Field" may lead to that.
You know what I mean?
I don't like Dickie Harris.
I don't like the idea
of the abbreviation.
Now I like the Richard
fuckin' Harris.
Do I sense that some of
you want to laugh at me?
That would be most unwise.
It would lead me to believe
that you did not understand
that I wear this penitent
sackcloth for political reasons.
Tomorrow our positions
may be reversed.
And then what would you do?
Pirandello's "Henry
IV" is about a man
who either he's pretending
to be mad or he is mad.
I knew that there'd been a lot
of problems with this play.
Richard got rid of four
directors, two designers,
leading lady Sarah
Miles walked out.
She left.
If I believe
something to be right,
though it may turn
out to be wrong,
you've gotta go
with your beliefs.
And when I was asked to join it,
people said, "Are you mad?
You're going into
the lion's den.
It's going to be horrendous."
And I did enter the lion's den.
Got to London, rehearsed
for two weeks in London,
and I worked with
the understudy.
No Richard.
He didn't turn up for
the dress rehearsal.
He didn't turn up for the first
preview, which was cancelled.
The second preview, one
of our producers said,
"Look, Richard's very nervous."
I said, "Of course,
yes, we're all nervous."
And she said, "Could you
go into his dressing room
and tell him that
you're nervous?"
So the first time I met Richard,
"Hello, how nice to meet you.
God, Richard, I'm
really, really nervous."
Which I was, I wasn't lying.
And he put his arms
around me and said,
"You'll be fine with me.
Just stick with me,
you'll be fine."
Too old for this.
He cared passionately
about his work.
It hurt him that people
dismissed his talent.
But that was partly because
he created this other persona
of being this, which
wasn't a lie, it was true,
as being this wild
hell raiser who would,
you know, get drunk and
cause mayhem and fuck about.
I mean, people expected
that play to be a joke.
A very
prominent London critic
said I couldn't play it.
Said the show would be no good.
Give me a chance.
If you see it and you'll say
it's bad or you don't like it,
I'll accept that.
But to say so beforehand,
that's not fair.
I think that he was
afraid of failing in it,
not only for the critics
and for the world,
but I think he was afraid
to fail for himself.
I say, woe unto him
who does not know
how to wear his mask.
Be he the pope or the king.
He put this like very, very
red makeup on his cheeks
and he's come...
He supposed to be playing
man and he was like, woo,
coming out this, whoa,
like this, you know.
And after the first act,
I went to the bar and
there were these two women.
And I remember hearing
them and they said,
"He was a lovely actor
when he was young.
What happened to him?
They were, I mean,
so disappointed.
Says, "Well, what should we do?
Should we go back in
for the second act
or should we just go home?"
And they went, "Well,
let's go back in
and if it still doesn't get
better, then we'll go home.
Then halfway through
the second act,
he walks down towards
the front of the stage
with a towel over his head.
And when he pulls the towel off,
all the makeup's gone, the
wig's gone and everything.
And he says to the audience,
"I'm so bloody tired
of all of this."
The character, the
playwright is revealing
that it's all been an act.
People in the audience
thought, shit, what's happened?
Is this Richard Harris or
the character doing this?
You know, there'd
be nervous laughter.
And in the play the
character has lines of,
"Are you laughing at me?"
But he'd go right at the
person in the audience.
So they'd get fucking terrified.
And it became dangerous
largely because he had dared you
to think that he didn't know
what the fuck he was doing
in the first act.
And now he went at you for
having made that mistake.
It was incredibly brave.
Really fucking
brave performance.
Ballsy fucking performance.
Thank you.
Richard said to me, "We did it.
We did it.
Have you read the reviews?
Have you read the notices?
They're fucking fantastic."
And they were.
But in the words
of Samuel Beckett,
if I may quote him for a second,
perhaps my best years are gone,
but I wouldn't want them back.
Not with the fire
that's in me now.
And I thank you so much indeed.
I'm thrilled with this.
There is a secret part of us
that nobody has any access to.
We change our masks in every
single opportunity that we get.
We read the circumstances and
we cast ourselves into a role
depending upon what they want.
You have proved your
valour yet again, Maximus.
Let us hope for the last time.
Richard, for me is
like a fundamental teacher.
There is always someone
left to fight, right?
How can I reward Rome's
greatest general?
Let me go home.
With Richard and I, it was
like he was very open to me,
you know?
And I was under a lot of
pressure on that job, man.
I'd never been in
something like that
where the budget is so big
and the logistics are so big.
How do we live inside this
world where there's literally
thousands of people?
And I knew that Joaquin was
having the same kind of feelings
that I was having.
You know, the scale of
this thing, I think,
had a lot of us feeling
that we couldn't connect
like we normally might in an
actor's environment, you know?
And Richard just said to me,
"Well, why don't we get
together with him after work?
Let's find out how much
we care about him."
So he did that straight
up old school thing, man,
you know, we just got
together for a drink
in the trailer after work.
Joaquin reminded Richard that
Richard had worked with River
and River had come
home from that set
with all of these
stories about this guy.
And so Joaquin was going,
"Is this story true?
Is that story true?"
And all the stories are true.
And we had a few drinks with him
and he started
doing poetry for us.
And if you know anything
about Richard at all,
grand poet in his own right,
that just made the room just
start to glow, you know?
And then, you know,
Joaquin went home
and Richard and I
were sitting there,
and he goes, "Well, how
do we feel about him?"
I said, "I fucking love him."
He goes, "Me too.
That's solved that."
So then it was just,
you know, it was easy.
And then because Joaquin
and I showed a connection,
then the other actors,
they were able to come into
this sort of core of
gentle camaraderie
in the middle of all of this
crazy shit that was going on.
The tone of
that definitely belongs
to Richard's influence.
I am dying, Maximums.
When a man sees his
end, he wants to know
there was some
purpose to his life.
How will the world speak
my name in years to come?
Will I be known as
the philosopher, the
warrior, the tyrant?
Authentically masculine,
authentically sentimental,
authentically a storyteller,
be it in prose,
in poetry or song,
or via the process
of allowing yourself
to inhabit a character.
He was an authentic man.
I like my life.
It's a strange life,
I'll admit to that.
And it's a life that
I wouldn't recommend
anybody else to have.
But I can deal with it.
I like it.
It's a life where
there is no compass.
Now, because I've slowed down,
right, from my wild days,
like the pirate ship has landed,
the pirate ship is now beached.
Hey, thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
Hi, how are you?
I would say when Richard
slowed down, in his own words,
I think that was when he started
building meaningful
We met in Copenhagen.
He came out to
shoot Bille August's
"Smilla's Sense of Snow."
And I was asked if I could
go and take care of him
for three days.
And those three days ended up
being until the day he died.
And it was, to me, it
was the greatest mentor.
There's not one
person in the world
that I'm afraid of, at all.
And that's thanks to Richard.
With the boys, I think
Richard truly loved
the three of them.
He regretted that he
couldn't be the great father
when the children needed
him as young boys.
How's the film?
Oh, it's fabulous.
They perhaps grew the
most sincere relationship
when they were all adults.
Hey, dad.
Then Damian brings this
wonder into the world.
He had Ella and Ella
became his big love story.
I think if you can
ever talk about a woman
in Richard's life, it
would've been Ella.
I waited from 1957,
when I got married to Elizabeth,
to 1989 for the girl to arrive.
And I basically grew up
coming here on the weekends.
Swimming in the pool.
Swimming in the pool.
something about her
that's sort of like air.
He came to all my sports
days and all my school plays.
He had an Oscar made for me.
Do you remember when
I did my school play?
He was like a big
giant lion protector.
But were you
aware of him as, you know,
an artist, as an actor?
He was your grandfather.
And your friends?
Only when we got to about 12
and the Harry Potter days.
And then it was like
the coolest thing.
Everyone will please not panic.
Now, prefects will lead their
house back to the dormitories.
Teachers will follow
me to the dungeons.
I mean, you know, when
I was asked to do it,
I turned it down
three or four times.
I didn't wanna do it.
I hate commitment.
To do it, I had to sort of
sign for the four books,
that's four pictures, like
over five or six years.
And that I loathe.
So I didn't wanna do it.
But my granddaughter,
who's 11, Ella,
she worships the books,
and she called me
and she said, "Papa,"
she said, "If you don't do it,
if you don't play Dumbledore,
I'll never speak to you again."
And I thought that is
something I can't afford.
According to Richard,
you're responsible for
getting him into this.
-Is that true?
She told me she'd
never speak to me again.
Why don't we actually
now tell the truth?
The truth.
About the Harry Potter story.
I'm afraid I didn't
say that I would
never speak to him again
if he didn't do the
Harry Potter films.
Because he said the other
option was to go to New Zealand
for three years.
And do
"Lord of the Rings".
And do "Lord of the Rings."
And he said, "I'll have
to miss the Millennium."
Who was he playing?
And I'll be away in New
Zealand for three years.
And I said, "That
sounds terrible.
Definitely don't do that."
He realised that there
was an opportunity
to tell a story, to become...
Oh it was planned.
It was planned.
It was planned for
the red carpet.
Harry Potter opens and
it's on the news rotation.
It's the premiere in London.
All the press was...
It was either Daniel
Radcliffe or you and dad.
And it was, is this
your granddaughter,
the one who said...
Yes, this the
granddaughter, she said...
All the way up the red carpet.
My granddaughter, she's my date.
And he basically did
it so that he could
steal the red
carpet a year later.
I remember calling him
up and telling him,
that's their only two questions,
they're asking about
Daniel Radcliffe
and then about Ella.
And he went, "Ah, they
went for it, did they?
Ha ha ha.
It worked!"
I remember that toy.
I remember that toy
'cause I remember
getting my fingers
stuck inside there.
That's you.
That's Damian, yeah.
Damian, yeah.
Personally, I've been
putting this off a bit.
It's not been something
that I've sort of run to do,
'cause he was so
vivid in our lives,
you don't need this, personally.
He was so vivid that he existed.
And I think for my...
He's never gone away.
And so he's there.
As I said to you earlier, he's
consistently in my dreams.
I always thought
that once he died,
that the relationship
would be over.
But it's not.
We still have conversations.
We still reference him.
He has the last word.
Well, now we can
have the last word.
Sort of.
We can get more of a word in.
Here we go.
So they're just like
little endless books
with notes scribbled in them.
Poetry lines.
Hold on.
"I don't want to be
around me anymore.
I can't relax with me.
At times, I don't even like me.
The life I liked
has gone somewhere.
I don't know where it's gone,
but I don't want to find
it, even if I could.
I have come to realise now
that I never could
maintain relationships.
Drink even isolated me.
Or love me or gave me a
false sense of happiness.
Sober, my life was groundless.
It all began in Overdale."
And that's it.
The rest of the book is empty.
That was a bit of
a shocker, yeah.
Excuse me
while I disappear.
of a young athlete,
the trained eye of the
physician sees the damage
already done by tuberculosis.
Dickie got TB, tuberculosis,
and it just swept Ireland.
It seemed every second
person that you knew
was getting it and dying.
Probably at
that particular time,
one feels a sense of
being deserted, I suppose.
All of a sudden, friends
don't come anymore.
You become a nuisance.
Fuck it, I'll go and
see Dickie Harris today.
He's still in bed.
Mightn't we catch that bug
if we're go into his room?
But that happened to me.
I was 19 years of age.
That's a long time ago.
And my theory of
it hasn't changed.
It is on your own you survive.
I began to read an awful lot,
create things in my own head.
Ah, the letters of
Vincent Van Gogh.
And of course Hammond.
This room is the
room that he was in
for two years when he caught TB.
TB was considered to
be a pauper's disease
and they were, you know,
upper middle class family.
They're a wealthy family
and they're ashamed
that their son had it.
And he was consigned to bed.
The Richard Harris that
dreamed of being the rugby hero
had that future mapped
out for himself,
that wasn't gonna be
possible any longer,
as he was slowly, you know...
His body is wasting away here.
That's when he got to reading
and that's when he found
out about Shakespeare.
And he found out about
plays, literature.
He loved words and he
became expert at using them.
And I said, "I'm
gonna become an actor."
I think it was just identity.
What's his name again?
I want them to realise who I am.
Not just so much me.
What's his name again?
But I want my
father Moses to say,
"Hey, we got a friend
call Richard here
in the family, Dick.
There he is, look.
That's him on the stage there."
Run, boy!
He often said the
greatest part he ever played
was Richard Harris.
Maybe I
was, maybe I wasn't.
Maybe I was never I.
Maybe I was where here
and there never met.
Lost between the ifs and
buts of mind and body,
in the four seasons
of a perfect vapour.
I remember after dad
died, at the funeral,
we all stood up to say
something at the bar afterwards
and there's a line
in here that I...
"He was a man.
Take him for all in all,
I shall not look
upon his life again."
I have a great
philosophy about life.
Don't say let's pass the time.
That's a terrible expression.
Don't pass the time.
Live the time.
I mean, I've lived
every minute of my life.
The greatest thing in
life is to have demons.
Don't try to
exorcise your demons.
Don't have anybody
explain them away to you.
Use them.
Make a deal with them.
Make a treaty with
them and use them.
Don't exorcise them.
Spring was never
waiting for us girl
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
Between the parted
pages and were pressed
In love's hot fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants
MacArthur's Park is
melting in the dark
All the sweet green
icing flowing down
Someone left the
cake out in the rain
I don't think
that I can take it
'Cause it took so
long to bake it
And I'll never have
that recipe again
Oh no
Oh no
Thank you.