Richard Curtis: One of my big rules, if I had any rules for screenwriting, would be to let things sit there and stew. Because the two times that I’ve written films, just thought of them and written them, have been the two times I’ve just put them in a drawer and never done anything with them again. So, on the whole, if you take About Time, I thought about the idea in one shape or form at the same time that I was deciding to do the Pirate Radio movie, and I needed a bit more time and a bit more wisdom. “About Time is a bit more serious, so I’ll wait.” So that one, I’ve waited five years.

I often think the fact that, as it were, I’ve written half the number of films I could have or should have done, has been to my advantage. Because I like to really live with an idea. A film is not a flirtation, it’s a relationship. I said to my girlfriend the other day, “The difference between having a good idea for a movie and a finished movie is the same as seeing a pretty girl across the floor at a party and being there when she gives birth to your third child.” It’s a very long journey, and my first idea doesn’t bear much relationship — there are lots of pretty girls at parties, but not many will be there when you have your third child.

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