"Let me tell you, this is how I got the part: a letter arrived one spring day. It was from Woody Allen. I opened it very slowly and took it out, it said “Woody Allen” at the top and already I felt like I was in the movies. Very exciting.
It began “Dear Kenneth Branagh, please look at the role enclosed.” This was a big thrill, I was getting the whole script, not just a few pages. “Enclosed is the film Celebrity, please look at the part of Lee Simon. When I wrote this part, I knew that there was only one actor in the world who could play it. Alec Baldwin. And he’s not available. So I thought for a while about Mel Gibson, but in the end decided that you would be more correct.” That was his ringing endorsement [of me], followed by a wonderful line where he said: “Lee Simon is essentially a loser, but he is attractive to women, therefore no facial hair.””
- Kenneth Branagh