Danny Boyle, Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire and the man behind the widely-acclaimed opening ceremony of the London Olympics, is reported to have turned down a knighthood saying he wishes to remain “a man of the people”.
“I am very proud to be an equal citizen and I think that’s what the opening ceremony was actually about,” Mr. Boyle told the BBC.
The £27-million ceremony famously included a dramatic appearance by the Queen seen welcoming “James Bond” Daniel Craig in the Palace, and then parachuting down a helicopter to reach the Olympic Stadium in time for the opening show.
But Mr. Boyle dismissed suggestions that he might consider directing a full-length Bond movie.
“No, I’m not very good with huge amounts of money. I’ve learnt that. Don’t trust me with huge amounts of money... I did a film The Beach (starring Leonardo DiCaprio), which was a proper Hollywood-scale budget, and it didn’t suit me. Certain people can handle that and I love watching those kinds of films. I’m much better with a small amount of money and making it go a long way,” he said.
According to The Sunday Times, Mr. Boyle was recommended for a knighthood by the government’s arts and media honours committee in recognition of his services to the country but when officials approached him to give him the good news, he turned down the offer.
Others who previously said “no” to a knighthood include the artists David Hockney and Henry Moore; writer Michael Frayn; and Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor.