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Tom Hooper

I decided to be a filmmaker when I was 12. I had utter clarity that this would be my life.

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When I was growing up my mother would say, 'Your dad may have to learn about being a father because he lost his own and that would have affected him'.

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The hardest part of directing is the choosing. Unlike an actor who can do a variety of work, it is a year of your life, you can't afford to get it wrong.

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In 'The King's Speech,' patriotism is utterly contained within a historical moment, the third of September, 1939, where the aggressor is clear, the fight is clear, it hasn't become complicated over time.

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The thing that fascinates me is that the way I came to film and television is extinct. Then there were gatekeepers, it was prohibitively expensive to make a film, to be a director you had to be an entrepreneur to raise money.

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With the coming of radio as a mass medium, suddenly the world changed. It became about, 'can this leader project emotional connection through the way he speaks on the radio?' And the anxiety about whether he could do that, we've inherited.

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I think I would say 'The King's Speech' is surprisingly funny, in fact the audiences in London, Toronto, LA, New York commented there's more laughter in this film than in most comedies, while it is also a moving tear-jerker with an uplifting ending.

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What I learned about stammering was that, when as a young child you lose the confidence of anyone who wants to listen to you, you lose confidence in your voice and the right to speech. And a lot of the therapy was saying, 'You have a right to be heard.'

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After my grandfather's plane took enemy fire, he was denied permission to land at the first available airstrip. In that classic British bureaucratic way, they said he had to go back to your own airbase in the Midlands. They crashed between the coast and the airfield.

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I feel connected to the Second World War because my father lost his father in that war. So, through my dad and the effect it had on him of losing his father young, I always felt connected to the war. It goes back years, but it still feels to me as if we're completely living in it.

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