From The Talks:
Mr. Rushdie, do you have an optimistic view of the world?
No. (Laughs) In one word! I think it’s very difficult to be a writer in this moment of the history of the world and be an optimist. Anyway, darkness makes better comedy.
What motivates you to write?
I’ve got nothing else to do! I always wanted to write. The only other plan that I had in my life is that I wanted to be an actor. That didn’t work out! I had always thought that if there was a film of Midnight’s Children, the part I would like to play is the fortuneteller. I thought, since I made up the plot of the novel, if the film ever gets made I should play the fortuneteller.
Well, now the movie has been made. Were you in it?
The director hired me, but I fired myself because the last thing you want to happen in that scene is for the audience to be thinking, “Isn’t that Salman Rushdie?” (Laughs) It would just take your attention away from where it should be. We cut the scene out in the end anyway.
But my greatest regret about a part that I wasn’t able to play, I was approached by Will Ferrell’s company to play a part in what was then called “Untitled Will Ferrell Nascar Movie,” which became Talladega Nights.