A Minute With: Film director and writer Richard Curtis

Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:09pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Richard Curtis is better known for the films he wrote than the films he directed, but he sees himself working behind the camera more and more.

His writing credits include the English romantic comedies "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and he both wrote and directed 2003's "Love Actually."

Curtis was back on set with "Pirate Radio," the U.S. version of "The Boat That Rocked" which opened in Britain in April. The U.S. version, released on November 13, is 17 minutes shorter. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh.

The story is set in the 1960s aboard a ship off the British coast and is loosely based on real-life pirate radio stations which used to broadcast pop music from at sea.

Q: Why have you made the U.S. version shorter?

A: "I do think that as an 'intended goer', one word which slightly puts you off is 'It's a bit long'. There are a couple of films I really thought I would enjoy but I didn't go and see because I read maybe three times that they were a bit long.

I had a go at shortening it and brought it across to America and had another think about how I felt about the movie. There was definitely more bounce in the room (at screenings). It seemed generally like a good thing."

Q: How did you decide what to cut?   Continued...

<p>Director Richard Curtis leaves a photo call to promote his new movie "Radio Rock Revolution" in Berlin April 7, 2009. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke</p>