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JN: Was Dennis Potter on morphine
while he was writing this?
RD: What he was on was a mission. He
had to delicately balance having enough
medication to not be in too much pain
to write, and not be so inundated with
narcotics to not be able to write. So you
could say he was drugged.
Starts Novembe r 14
from page 76
JN: Mel Gibson, whom you have
known for many years, produced The
Singing Detective and offered you the
lead role. Why has he taken such an
interest in your career, and why has he
been such a friend?
RD: There are people — and believe me
I'm not some limousine liberal anymore,
not anymore — but there are people
who you realize you have the opportuni-
ty to be of service to. You can fill in some
kind of missing chunk of their mosaic.
And the good part is, you don't do it
to be remembered as someone who was
philanthropic. You do it because some-
place, it feeds a part of you. So he's been
like a big brother to me.
JN: What kind of roles are you getting
offered these days?
RD: I'm getting offered really cool stuff.
I am getting offered stuff that I would
have taken five years ago, that I won't
take now But I'm also getting stuff that
there was no way I would have been
offered five years ago, before my issues
became online, downloadable data for
anyone who had a finger and a comput-
JN: Do you understand why you went
through such a troubled time?
RD: I hate to admit it, but you don't get
anything that you don't sign up for on
some level. Why I signed up for that
curriculum is still beyond me because I
don't think I'm a glutton for punish-
ment. But I think it served me in some
way or I wouldn't have done it.
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JN: How does it feel to finally be back
on the big screen, and have two new
RD: Do you remember when John
Travolta had his comeback and everyone
said, "So what's it like being back?" And
he said, "I never left. I was doing Look
Who Talking" or whatever those movies
were he was doing.
I was thinking, "No you weren't; you
were nowhere, bro. Come on!" I have
the same response he does. Li
The Singing Detective, rated R,
opens today in area theaters.