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Sir John Hurt: I don’t fear mortality

Published 11/08/2015

Sir John Hurt
Sir John Hurt

Sir John Hurt is happy to report his pancreatic cancer treatment is “going terrifically well”.

The 75-year-old actor, who has starred in films like V for Vendetta and three Harry Potter franchise instalments, announced his diagnosis with the disease in June.

And even though some people with cancer fear the illness will lead to their death, John isn’t caught up in these types of thoughts.

“I can’t say I worry about mortality, but it’s impossible to get to my age and not have a little contemplation of it,” he told the Radio Times. “We’re all just passing time, and occupy our chair very briefly. But my treatment is going terrifically well, so I’m optimistic.”

While he is treating pancreatic cancer, John is also working. He stars in a play for Radio 4 written by Keith Waterhouse entitled Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, which centres on the late famous British journalist of the same name who was known for gambling, womanising, drinking excessively and writing amazing pieces.

John has a lot of longing for the old times, as he’s convinced the modern world can be far too socially restrictive.

“Jeffrey made a life choice and was very much a character of his period,” he explained. “Now it would not be acceptable. No one drinks so much. People don’t give in to temptation and everything is controlled ... Society is much more homogenised and we’re all supposed to conform. People are censorious but the pendulum will swing back, as it always does. There were difficulties in those days, obviously, but life was more fun.

“We’ve become obsessed with the dangers of alcohol – you get newspaper articles that are entirely over the top. There’s political correctness as well. I wonder who instigated that? Where does it come from, and who says what is or is not politically correct? And as for the way you have to treat women these days …”

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