Three interesting facts about Terry Gilliam on his birthday:
1. J. K. Rowling wanted Gilliam to direct the Harry Potter franchise "but the studio was never going to let me", he told the Telegraph UK in 2009.
2. He was the only American member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (he was born in Minneapolis), but in 2006 he became British.
Mother Jones: In 2006, you renounced your American citizenship to be a full-time Brit. Seems pretty extreme.
Gilliam: Well, I don’t live there. I got tired of my taxes paying for exciting little wars around the world. Then I discovered that when I died, my wife would probably have to sell our house to pay for the taxes in America. The fact that Bush was there made it easier.
3. He considered Heath Ledger, with whom he worked with on The Brothers Grimm, as the finest actor of his generation. Gilliam was crushed when he heard of the actor’s tragic death.
"Well, we had finished shooting in London on a Saturday night, and that morning Heath goes to New York and I was in Vancouver and then two days later he was dead, which makes no sense. It’s not possible," He told Kurt Loder of MTV. “When you hear that you just don’t know how to deal with it. He was so full of life and vitality and energy, and — it stops. I laid down on the floor for a couple days and didn’t move, and my immediate reaction is, ‘The film is over.’ The middle of the film, the star dies, you don’t finish. I didn’t want to finish. My daughter was one of the producers and also Nicola and they kept kicking me on the floor until I got up. They said, ‘You cannot let Heath’s last work disappear. You have to find a solution.’”