Remembering Harold Pinter (mostly how cantankerous he could be!)

Mangesh Hattikudur
Getty Images
Getty Images / Getty Images

British playwright and Nobel laureate Harold Pinter passed away last night at the age of 78 after struggling with cancer. Pinter was as famous for his sharp, absurdist plays as his political stances (he made waves in his Nobel acceptance speech for his blistering criticism of American political policies). Apparently, America wasn't the only thing that irked Pinter. If the anecdotes below (plucked  from one of my favorite sites, are to be believed, Pinter also hated explaining his work, and explaining his work to actors!

On his work

Harold Pinter, whose difficult nature was reflected in his writing, was once asked what his plays were about. "They're about," he replied, "the weasel under the cocktail cabinet."

On getting the best from his actors

Alan Ayckbourn once appeared in a play directed by Harold Pinter. While preparing for his role, Ayckbourn asked his fellow playwright where his character had gone to school. Pinter's reply? "Mind you own business."*

[*This is apparently an edited version of Pinter's actual reply, which has been deemed "unrepeatable."]
Read more on Pinter's life at CNN. And be sure to check out Anecdotage for other great stories.