So after I'd sent out the first email about the William Atherton film festival last spring, I was amazed by the enthusiastic response and subsequent developments. Here is the second email.
Date: 26 May 2005
Dear William Atherton fan,
Firstly, may I thank you all for the overwhelmingly positive response to the forthcoming festival.
I'd like to commend Edward Hagan, Northern Ireland, for recognising that Atherton did not in fact play "the fucking idiot who did lots of coke then tried to befriend terrorist Hans Gruber" in Die Hard, but in fact was the fucking idiot journalist who tried to undermine John McClane's credibility and got his comeuppance in the form of a swift punch in the face from Holly McClane. Additional kudos goes to Nicole Kobie, Canada, who pointed out that the man on the inside is actually Harry Ellis, played by Hart Bochner.
Thank you to Will Macfarlane, Dorset, who, "as something of a Die Hard expert", has pledged to bring his Die Hard trilogy box set to the festival.
Also well done to Jamie Wilkes of Japan, who sent a heartwarming and poetic reply: "So sad i can't make it; the festival sounds like the very life-blood of intellect that I, as a vampire of thought, would love to sink my teeth into. Still, I wish you all the best with it. I like the idea of subverting the academies by turning your living room into one."
I like the idea too, Jamie, and I'm sure William Atherton would approve!
Which brings me to the final point. Michael Kline, America, has managed to find out that Atherton is represented by Deborah Miller of Miller & Company in LA. By strange twist of fate, Mike, who used to work in Hollywood, already has her mobile number. As you read this, the young Chicagan is calling in all favours in an attempt to get Deborah's email address, so we can formally invite Atherton himself to speak at the festival.
I'll leave you with one of Atherton's finest and most waspishly irritating quotes, from Die Hard 2: "But why in hell can't I get the first class meal my network paid for? Do you know who I am?"
Yes we do. You're William Atherton.
The Dalyell Road film committee