How we made Monty Python’s Life of Brian
‘We didn’t ad lib because John Cleese doesn’t like it – ironically, he’s a fundamentalist when it comes to humour’
We were on a publicity tour in Amsterdam for Monty Python and the Holy Grail when Eric Idle came up with the title Jesus Christ: Lust for Glory. We all laughed: “We could never do that!” But we liked the challenge of doing a film about religion. Then someone suggested it be set around the time when Jesus was alive, but it’s a case of mistaken identity. Someone who’s thought to be the Messiah, but spends the whole film protesting that he isn’t.