TOO CLEESE FOR COMFORT

John CleeseOriginally published in People, Nov 29, 1999

It’s becoming obvious that John Cleese feels annoyed. For one thing, he can’t wrap his tongue around the cybervocabulary he needs to speak in the commercial he’s shooting for a California Web site design company. For another, his attempts to focus his thoughts keep getting stymied by the technicians parading through the hallway where the gangly actor currently hunches, muttering. When a woman with a clipboard walks up and catches his attention, Cleese seems to snap.

“This always happens!” he says, his voice rising into the sort of sharp yet perfectly enunciated rant Cleese perfected as one or another of the hot-tempered loons he portrayed with Monty Python’s Flying Circus. “I’m running my lines and some idiot comes up and interrupts me! What do you think? That I’m old and stupid? That you’re going to bring me to my senses?”

At 6’5″, Cleese would look imposing even if he weren’t standing with shoulders thrown back and nose aloft. But there’s a twinkle in his eye, and just before the woman’s expression fades to horror, he clicks right back to British charm. “Hello,” he smiles. “What can I do for you?” [Read more…]