Richard Curtis: My films and TV shows are looking like ‘historical documents’

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Richard Curtis has said that his films and TV shows are starting to look like “historical documents” and admitted his children feel some of his jokes are no longer appropriate or are “old fashioned”.

The Love Actually and Notting Hill filmmaker, who co-wrote sitcoms Blackadder and Mr Bean, reflected on how society’s views have evolved since he created his projects.

Curtis added that he was interested in how the next generation who have grown up “passionate” about social issues may “change things for the better”.

‘About Time’ Premiere – London
Richard Curtis co-wrote Blackadder (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Speaking on the Desperately Seeking Wisdom With Craig Oliver podcast about his children’s thoughts on his films and TV shows, Curtis said: “They are starting to look like historical documents.

“Scarlett, who’s my most activist daughter, goes about her activism in a very different way from me, and if anyone ever attacks me, she defends me as being someone who did what seemed right in the way they thought right at that time.”

The screenwriter added that he feels society is in a “very gripping time” in regard to social issues such as race, gender, diversity and representation.

He added: “All my conversations with my children now, they don’t like 20% of my jokes, because they think they’re old fashioned and wrong in some way.

“So I’m really interested in how a generation that’s grown up to be passionate, angry and pedantic about these issues may well change things for the better.”

Sky Arts Awards
Sir Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis founded Comic Relief together (Ian West/PA)

Aside from producing a string of classic romcoms and sitcoms, Curtis co-founded the charity Comic Relief with comedian Sir Lenny Henry in 1985.

He admitted that he often becomes fixated with his work and finds it difficult to let go of a project but feels his role as a father suffered due to his busy work schedule.

He recalled: “I think all my kids think I work too hard. I was horrified when – it must have been either my 60th or 50th birthday – they gave me a comic book that they (had) written about me not being a very good father, and then them going down a magic slide and arriving in a village in Botswana, and understanding why I’d been in a bad mood and worked so hard.

“So I’m not sure I’ve done my job very well.”

Desperately Seeking Wisdom With Craig Oliver is available on all major podcast providers.

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