posted by Nick Hornby September 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm Films , , , ,

In Sundance, it was Uma Therman; at Toronto last weekend, where ‘An Education’ was showing as part of the Film Festival, it was Penelope Cruz who asked me for a light. This is all very difficult. Like most smokers, I don’t intend to smoke forever, but where’s the incentive to give up here? If I quit, none of the world’s most beautiful women would approach me randomly at parties or press conferences.

“Oh, stop with the false modesty,” I hear you say, and I can see where you’re coming from. But a handy lighter at least gives people like Penelope the pretext for conversation – an opportunity that, admittedly, she did not exploit on this occasion, probably because I looked (and indeed was) very busy. If I am to stub it out for the final time, somebody is going to have to arrange for the world’s most beautiful non-smoking women to come up to me, punch me on the shoulder, and tell me how well I’m doing. Does anyone who reads this blog know Angelina? Is she a non-smoker? Because she could help, I think.