On Sunday, two days before Anthony Minghella went in for an operation on a tumour they had just discovered, Anthony called me to see if I would direct a short he had written as part of a film a called ‘New York – I love you’, where a bunch of directors make short love stories based in NY. Anthony was supposed to direct it himself but given his sudden illness could not do so. He told me his film was about the value of life, and how people sometimes just throw away their lives unable to look beyond into the real beauty of it.
Anthony was completely alert and aware of his own mortality at this time, and as long as I had known him, he had valued life in a creative and compassionate way..
Although we had not spoken in two years, we had in that past long conversations about the nature spirituality, life and death. He recalled those conversations – saying that it was those conversations too that lead him to believe that I should be the one to direct this short film. We spoke once again about the nature of life and mortality. I also put him in touch with Deepak Chopra who’s books he had read. I am so glad that he and Deepak spoke to each other before Anthony passed away.
Anthony and his beautiful Chinese wife Carolyn were the first people to open up their home to me after I came to the UK to direct Elizabeth. Anthony was compassionate and wise. His smile was one of the kindest I have known. He cared about other people. His son Max, at that time a little boy that constantly took your breath away with his knowledge and wisdom, is now one of Hollywood’s upcoming young stars.
I do wish so much time had not passed between our meetings. I always looked forward to meet him and spend time with him. He always had time despite his busy schedule.
I will direct the film now – with Anthony in my heart and in presence of his soul,