Terry Gilliam does not suffer fools gladly. Moviegoers who caught the 2002 documentary "Lost in LaMancha" - about the total chaos of Gilliam's aborted film production of "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" - have seen the evidence writ large onscreen.
And on a recent day, in the ritzy dining room of Manhattan's Plaza Athenée, as publicists and hotel staff dither over where to seat him and whether he is to be fed or not, the idiosyncratic director of "Brazil," "The Fisher King" and "Twelve Monkeys" simply stakes out a corner table, orders a whiskey sour and starts an interview himself. It's the same MO viewers saw on the doomed "Don Quixote" shoot, as roadblocks mounted and everyone around him freaked out: Just keep rolling.
Gilliam had flown into New York the night before, following the L.A. premiere of "The Brothers Grimm," his first completed film in seven years. Starring A-listers Matt Damon and Heath Ledger as the 19th century German siblings of fairy-tale fame, the movie is a hard-won comeback for the director, who is as famous for his power struggles with studio executives as he is for his extravagant, imaginative productions.