Danny Boyle confirms knighthood snub
March 4, 2013, 12:05 AM EST
British filmmaker Danny Boyle refused to accept a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II because he would rather be "an equal citizen" than a celebrity. The Trainspotting director was nominated for the honour last year (12) for his work helming the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, and he hinted about rejecting the offer in an interview with Britain's Radio 4 in December (12). Now he has spoken out about his decision not to become Sir Danny Boyle, telling Britain's Live magazine the honour didn't interest him. He explains, "I'm quite keen not to turn into a celebrity... I really didn't want to publicise it, I was hijacked by (Radio 4 presenter) Mark Lawson! I wasn't expecting him to ask - I don't even know how he found out about it - and so I answered honestly. I never said it was because I wanted to be a man of the people, as has been reported. Clearly because of my position in life, I'm no longer a man of the people. "People fought many battles to make everybody free, equal citizens. I have no reason to believe that being a preferred subject would have any value that could improve the pride I feel in being an equal citizen. I'm lucky because I've made money and people like the work I've done but it doesn't make me feel I'm better than anyone. You've got to be careful because it sounds like you're criticising other people who have accepted knighthoods, which I'm not doing at all. It's a very personal choice." Other celebrities who have turned down an honour from Britain's Queen include John Lennon, who returned his MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1969, and Empire of the Sun author JG Ballard, who turned down a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2003. Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock snubbed a CBE in 1962, but he went on to be knighted in 1979.