Stephen Fry’s Worst Career Advice
Comedian, actor and writer Stephen Fry was born in 1957 in London and brought up in Norfolk. He attended Queen’s College Cambridge from 1979, joining the Cambridge Footlights Dramatic Club where he met Hugh Laurie, with whom he forged a highly successful writing partnership. His first play, Latin! or Tobacco and Boys, written for Footlights, won a Fringe First at Edinburgh Festival in 1980. He wrote again for theatre in 1984 when he rewrote Noel Gay’s musical Me and My Girl (1990). This was nominated for a Tony Award in 1987.
He has written for television and screen, and as a newspaper columnist – for the Literary Review, Daily Telegraph and The Listener. Stephen Fry's four novels are The Liar (1991), The Hippopotamus (1994), Making History (1996) and The Stars' Tennis Balls (2000). He has also published a collection of work entitled Paperweight (1992); Moab is My Washpot (1997) - an autobiography; and Rescuing the Spectacled Bear: A Peruvian Journey (2002) – his diary of the making of a documentary on the plight of the spectacled bears of Peru.
His book, Stephen Fry's Incomplete History of Classical Music (2004), written with Tim Lihoreau, is based on his award-winning series on Classic FM and is an irreverent romp through the history of classical music. The Ode Less Travelled - a book about poetry - was published in 2005. His latest book is Stephen Fry in America (Harper Collins 2008).
Question: What is the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?
Stephen Fry: The worst career advice I’ve ever gotten well, is to something because it paid more money. I mean it’s… I know it sounds obvious and cheesy, but it’s just if you got two jobs and one pays a lot more than the other and they seem the same maybe you go for the one with the more money, but even then I just think toss a coin because if you go for it for the more money somehow you always end up paying more in terms of ease and peace of mind. Of course one does things just for money and everyone knows that when you do a commercial you’re not doing it because it’s a statement of personal belief, but it’s a fun film. You try and choose a commercial, TV commercial that’s good. It’s made by a good nice people and it’s a product that you’re perfectly happy to be associated with, so but obviously you do those in order to earn time to do other things, but no, I don’t think I’ve ever been given disastrous advice.
Recorded December 8, 2009
It’s never a good idea to follow the money when you’re picking projects.
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