Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Movie Plot Threat No Longer a Metaphor


Director Mike Figgis flew into LAX airport and was detained for five hours because he oopsed. He said, “I’m here to shoot a pilot.”

On the one hand, yes indeed, on the list of things you shouldn’t say while in Immigration, “I’m here to shoot a pilot” is right up there with being careful how you greet your friend John.

But on the other hand, is the US government really filled full of so many beady-eyed, mouth breathers with brains the size of cashews that it takes five hours to clear this up? And in Los Angeles, of all places? Dear God, click on the link above. It’s a Google search for “Mike Figgis.” All ten links on the first page point to the director, celebrity, and film maker Mike Figgis. Link #1 (IMDB), link #3 (, and link #5 ( all have pictures of him.

Admittedly, IMDB says he was born in Cumbria, England, and (link #4) says he was “Kenyan-born.” Hmmm. Highly suspicious. But filmbug says,

Born in Carlisle, England, Figgis moved to Nairobi, Kenya as a baby. He lived there until his family relocated to Newcastle in the north of England when he was eight.

And that seems to clear it up a bit. Mooviees tells us: Born: Saturday, February 28, 1948
(Carlisle, Cumbria, England, UK), and that seems to let us know that Carlisle is in Cumbria, and hey, there’s a date that might be on his passport! Wikipedia (link #2) agrees with that date, but says, “Cumberland” instead of “Cumbria” and unless you’ve taken Latin, that might look suspicious as well.

So what happened? Did the dates not match properly? Did he cut the curls and go all Bruce Willis? Surely there must be some reasonable explanation. Maybe they really hated Leaving Las Vegas. Or perhaps it was that Sopranos episode. Maybe he called the Immigration agent “Sugartits.”

Tip of the hat to 27 B Stroke 6. Original article from The Guardian. Photo of the perp along with Saffron Burrows shamelessly stolen from IMDB, whom I would have linked to if they’d made it easy.

Update on 31 May 2007: This story is apparently too good to be true. Boing Boing got told by people in the know that it’s not true.

One comment on "Movie Plot Threat No Longer a Metaphor"

  • Drew Thaler says:

    It’s being suggested by readers of BoingBoing that this is a hoax. Nothing up on Snopes about it yet though.

    I sincerely doubt the authenticity of the Mike Figgis story about being detained for saying he was there to “shoot a pilot.” I’ve heard versions of this same story (involving several different directors and destination airports) floating around Hollywood since as early as late 2001.

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