Saturday, March 15, 2014
Daily Telegraph: Is there anyone in Hollywood you respect, I wonder? Terry Gilliam: “I had a great time on Brazil with Arnon Milchan,” he says, “the world’s favourite Israeli spy.”
Director Terry Gilliam left the United States and renounced his US citizenship. Today he resides in the United Kingdom. Back in the 80's he had a massive falling out with Arnon Milchan following the production of Brazil. Almost 30 years later, Gilliam describes his appreciation for Mr. Milchan:
Is there anyone in Hollywood he respects, I wonder? “I had a great time on Brazil with Arnon Milchan,” he says, “the world’s favourite Israeli spy.” He’s not joking: Milchan, the head of New Regency, whose hundreds of production credits include 12 Years a Slave, LA Confidential and Once Upon a Time in America, recently admitted in an interview that he’d been a spy in an earlier life. “He was actually in the arms business,” says Gilliam, cheerfully. “I don’t care where the money comes from. It’s all dirty money as far as I’m concerned!”
Certainly, we would agree that Mr. Milchan is "the world's favorite Israeli spy". He is also probably the best known and most fascinating Israeli spy in history, with a story worthy of a film franchise alas James Bond. Gilliam himself would have a role. While Gilliam and Milchan worked together, unbeknownst to Gilliam, Mr. Milchan was an extremely active agent during that period, on a number of covert fronts, including nuclear... and yes, as an "arms dealer", for a lack of a better term. Brazil itself was financed through such activities unbeknownst to Mr. Gilliam at the time... but certainly he had his suspicions.