- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Advice compiled and condensed from actual sources by Kelly Jane Torrance, who composed the questions.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m better known for my mistakes than my successes. I was a member of that classic British comedy troupe Monty Python. My film “Twelve Monkeys” made more than $168 million, a lot more than its $29 million budget, and “The Fisher King” was nominated for five Oscars, but all people seem to remember are the films I haven’t made.

I tried making an adaptation of “Watchmen” twice, and now I have to listen to the buzz surrounding someone else’s successful attempt. There even was a documentary made about my most famous disaster, the very expensive failed filming of “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.”

Now, I’m finally starting production on “Quixote” again, eight years after my first try - but am I just wasting my time on a pipe dream?

- Terry Gilliam

Dear Terry,

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.

- George Bernard Shaw

I’m usually happy to appear in all the newspapers and tabloids. These days, I’m more famous for being famous than for a role I played when I was just a toddler, after all.

I can’t say I like being at the center of this latest story, however. Everyone’s reporting that I won’t speak to the Drug Enforcement Administration about my friend Heath Ledger’s death unless I get immunity. He died partly because of some illegally gotten drugs.

I have to admit, I can’t see what all the fuss is about. I’m a beautiful young woman who people love to read about. And I’m a fashion icon - you wouldn’t want to see me wearing nothing but an orange jumpsuit for a few months, would you?

- Mary-Kate Olsen

Dear Mary-Kate,

No illusion is more crucial than the illusion that great success and huge money buy you immunity from the common ills of mankind.

- Larry McMurty

We’re feeling a little under the gun right now - and we’re not talking about just a starting pistol.

Some people - really, it’s mostly journalists and special-interest groups - are upset that we negotiated with the Chinese to allow them to block some Internet sites. These sites, such as those belonging to Amnesty International and the spiritual sect Falun Gong, have nothing to do with the Olympic Games China is hosting.

Journalists don’t need to access them to report on the Games. So what’s the big deal?

- Officials from the International Olympic Committee

Dear IOC officials,

How can tyrants safely govern home / Unless abroad they purchase great alliance?

- William Shakespeare

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