One thing that I'm really interested in is the kind of esoteric detail that surrounds these great figures. And Wikipedia is full of that kind of stuff, whether it's true or untrue. It staggers me: why, in the short space assigned to a person or an event, that kind of random information is there. To be honest, that's wonderful fuel for songwriting.
So, most of it was done over the phone. But one of the first things I did as a director, because it's one of the first things you should do, even though most don't, is to ask good actors who they think is right for the part. They know better than anybody. But without missing a beat Maggie said Pauline Collins. I didn't know Pauline because I hadn't seen Shirley Valentine, but then I saw this thing that she did with Woody Allen [You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger], in which she was wonderful as a psychic, and I said to her on the phone: "The dialogue seemed improvised. "