Saturday 23 September 2017

'Christian Brothers beat the shit out of me, time someone stood up to them!' - Stephen Fry reveals reactions to Meaning of Life interview with Gay Byrne

SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Comedians Stephen Fry (L) and Elliott Spencer attend the US-Ireland Aliiance's Oscar Wilde Awards event at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot on February 19, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-IRELAND ALLIANCE)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Comedians Stephen Fry (L) and Elliott Spencer attend the US-Ireland Aliiance's Oscar Wilde Awards event at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot on February 19, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-IRELAND ALLIANCE)

Ruth O'Neill

Stephen Fry has revealed he was in "complete shock" over his 'Meaning of Life' interview with Gay Byrne.

Speaking to Independent.ie at the 10th annual Oscar Wilde party in Santa Monica on Thursday night, the British broadcaster revealed he had not initially realised the nature of the show.

"I went to Dublin before Christmas and I was asked to fit in an interview with Gay Bryne and I agreed," he said.

"We agreed to go to his house in Merrion Square and I soon picked up on the fact it was called 'The Meaning of Life' and is vaguely religious in tone."

During the interview, Fry was asked what he would do if he found himself at the “pearly gates” after his death.

"I'll say: bone cancer in children, what's that about?” he said.

"How dare you. How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that's not our fault? It’s not right. It's utterly, utterly evil.

"Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"

WATCH: Stephen Fry has some tough words for God in interview with Gay Byrne

Asked last night if he stands by what he said, he said "of course", adding, "He asked me a question, he knows I don't believe in God and he said, 'Suppose you're wrong and there is one?'

"How could a God allow bone cancer in children? Even this idea that a God created devil to tempt you and make you wicked?  What about earthquakes? What about natural disasters?"

Fry (57) says he has encountered nothing but support from Irish people regarding his views since the show aired on RTE.

"I was there doing a film a week ago, a Jane Austen Film in Newbridge House, and at the airport I got stopped every yard I walked," he said.

"People were like, 'Can I shake your hand? Thanks for saying that.' Not one negative comment! Often they were saying 'Those Christian Brothers beat the shit out of me, time someone stood up to them!'"

Fry, who married his partner Elliot Spencer, 27, last month, revealed that they would be going on their honeymoon after he presented the Baftas.

"It's suppose to be my honeymoon but I'm feeling apologetic," laughed Fry, of their trip to Santa Monica for the Oscar Wilde party.  "My poor husband! He's like, 'Do you call this a honeymoon?' My agent threw me a bit of a party last night."

However, he revealed they are heading to the Caribbean on Sunday, although "not the water.  At least I hope not!  But we'll tune in to the Oscars from there."

Of his predictions, he says, "I'd love Eddie Redmayne to win I must say. Terrific performance. I'd like Birdman to win best picture. I think all bets are off for best female performance, I'm sure Julianne Moore is going to win."

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