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Khaled Hosseini

Afghanistan's Tumultuous History

Khaled Hosseini: I loved to read as a kid. In fact, I was raised in a household where classic Persian literature and poetry was revered and prized. Both of my folks were really into it and they got us into it. In fact as a kid, I grew up around the likes of Saadi and Hafez and Omar Khayyam and Rumi and people like that. And I really discovered the novels at a little bookshop in Kabul, because there is not a great tradition of novel writing in Persian literature, certainly not in Afghanistan. There is a great tradition, an ancient tradition of poetry, but not of prose novel. So I discovered Western novels, though translated into Farsi, at a local little bookshop in Kabul, and it was there that I read my first novels. I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and I was in wonderland. I think they had these condensed young adult editions of classics like Don Quixote and Ivanhoe and Treasure Island, and I remember reading all of those and just falling in love with the format. And then they also had serialized novels that they would publish in magazines, and I was really a sucker for those as well. So I really fell in love with prose at that time and I began writing my first short stories at that age. I was probably eight or nine years old when I began writing. I really loved it, and I was really passionate about it. I felt so in my element when I was writing. And pretty much since then, I haven't stopped writing. It is really kind of when my history of writing began.
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Ron Howard

Oscar for Best Director

Ron Howard: I became intrigued by what the director did primarily because when I was working on the show -- The Andy Griffith Show -- the actors, they were a blast. I had so much fun hanging around with them. They were interesting, they were smart, they were funny. They were playing practical jokes, then on a dime, they could focus and do great work. And even as a kid, I was impressed with these people. But I also really enjoyed spending time with the crew. They'd let me sit up there and work the camera or learn a little something about sound, how the microphone worked, and placement, and lighting, and things like that. And I enjoyed that time. And, after a while, I realized that the director was the one person who, moment to moment, day in and day out, really got to play with everybody. And the job just started to look very, very good to me.
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Jeremy Irons

Award-winning Stage and Screen Actor

I got a job off the back of a newspaper as a - what they call an "Acting ASM," I think it was called then. An acting assistant stage manager in a theater in Canterbury, a rep theater. A small wage but just enough to get by on, and I made props and I walked on and I changed scenery and I realized that I just loved it. Not the acting. I wasn't acting. I liked the theater. I liked the people. I liked the time that we worked. Now looking back I see what I was doing, but at the time I didn't know. You never know at the time. What I was doing was finding a way not to have to be stuck with any of the sort of people I'd been educated with, but finding a way of creating the life of a gypsy really, of being able to move from camp to camp, singing around the fire, getting to know those people and then moving on maybe with some of them -- or maybe not -- to another place.
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Jeremy Irons

Award-winning Stage and Screen Actor

It's allowed me to go on great journeys into other people, which I enjoy. I have a very blinkered mentality. I tend to -- there's good things and bad things about that. I tend to see what I'm after and go for it and everything else doesn't exist, which is very useful when you're creating a character, or when you're acting in front of a camera with 100 people, you know. It's quite difficult for those who live with you, who suddenly don't exist, like your wife or your children or your secretary. You know? But they're used to it now.
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