Billy Connolly stars in Dustin Hoffman’s movie adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s stage play Quartet. The film, set in a retirement home for opera singers, with British stalwarts Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay, is an amusing but thought-provoking look at old-age and ageing.
Connolly, who turns 70 in two months’ time, spoke to the Toronto Sun about old age with the wry humour and dissecting eye that has made his comedy so universal:
[Old age] is lovely as long as you don’t pay any attention to it. Don’t let a number control your life. People make decisions based on what number you’ve become, which I think is quite baffling. It’s like acting your street number. Because you’ve become 57 or 58 you should wear beige or wear wide trousers with a saggy ass.
I find it a lot when I go home to Glasgow and I meet people I went to school with. Some of them are in great shape, but some of them have voluntarily become old men. They’ve gone for the old-guy haircut and the old-guy sports jacket and that terrifying little half a raincoat that they wear.
And of course, they call ME Peter Pan.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.