I was raised on Monty Python so when the opportunity to do a portrait of Eric Idle popped up I was thrilled. If I recall correctly he was in town to launch Spamalot in 1999 or thereabouts and he was in full promotional blush, relentlessly hamming it up with the “nudge nudge, wink wink” routine. It seemed tired and I wanted something deadpan. Seeing as it was near Easter there were lots of stuffed rabbits around so I picked one up on the way to the shoot. At first he didn’t get it.
“Holy Grail? Killer rabbit?”
“Oh yes! Of course!”
“But deadpan. Just one.”
I got one deadpan expression then he grabbed the rabbit and the ham returned. He did autograph it and I have it still. She’s a good Sheila, Bruce, and not at all stuck up!