of five children, Anthony Minghella grew up above his parent's busy ice-cream
shop on the Isle of Wight. With a very supportive, gregarious family, there was
a strong working ethic:
"It felt different to everyone else's upbringing.
The problem with growing up in a cafe was the cafe never closed, my parents worked
every day of the year from morning to night. So it was a big menagerie of kids,
business and cooking!"
image of childhood is very much connected with living life in public - our kitchen
was also the cafe's kitchen, our bedroom was above the kitchen, and there was
a tannoy, so when my sister and me used to go to bed they could hear us mucking
around upstairs and we'd get this intercom message saying "Shut-up, go to
was one of five very clever kids, the other kids were cleverer than I was and
still are and are very achieving. The girls were always first at everything and
I was always 101st!"
at Ryde Pier|
quite interesting to be around a lot of women, the very first play that I had
done was a play with only women in it. My grandmother was a huge influence on
me and the fact that there was this very strong, rather formidable presence of
women in my life has been an enormous value.
"The imaginative leap for me of writing for women is no more difficult than
the one of writing for men. I've always wanted to have women well represented
in the work that I've done because I've always been around them and around the
way they look at the world."
Ryde Pier holds some very special memories for Anthony, where he made his first
film about his grandmother. For several years he went to school in Portsmouth,
so every morning he would walk down to the pier catch the 7 o' clock ferry:
love this place, this part of the island is full of Victoriana. Our cafe was just
there, so the whole of the world was here for me. I used to plod down from our
house and hope it would be too foggy for the ferry to run, which it was occasionally."
pier was a very significant place because it was a place to escape and it's also
where my parents courted. My father was living in Portsmouth, my mother was here.
They would meet and they would walk up and down the pier so it was always a rather
no surprise then that a young Anthony chose Ryde Pier as one of the locations
for his first ever film, which was based on the life of his grandmother.
scrounged some money when I was a postgraduate student and tried to write the
script and direct and be in it. My brother played me in it and we came and shot
all the way around here."
Minghella with his Best Director Oscar in 1997.|
"I borrowed a lot of money from the
bank to make the film, it took nine years to pay it back and of course I never
finished the film - it's in a vault somewhere and I hope it never sees the light
"But it did the worst possible thing, it gave me the
bug for making films and I realised that making movies was this opportunity to
lasso everything that I love doing into one job. It's a fantastic all embracing
gig, making films, even if you owe money to the bank, it's a pretty good way to