I did not want to put myself on the line, as an Australian playing Britain's greatest comic actor. The fans of Sellers are obsessive, possessive - and aggressive. I did not want to risk their anger - or my own reputation.
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Within our culture, every school has a swimming pool. We lived on the coast. People swam in the surf. It's a very sporty nation and at that particular time anyone who had an artistic bent was very much an outsider. So if you liked reading or ideas or playing the piano then your dad viewed you as a sissy, basically.
I went to England in the '70s, and I was in my early 20s. There was still a residue of that era of being an underclass or colonial. I assume it must have been a more aggressive and prominent attitude 40 years before that, because Australia internationally wasn't regarded as having much cultural value. We were a country full of sheep and convicts.