Steven Spielberg: My Inner Voice Never Lies To Me

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Steven Spielberg: My Inner Voice Never Lies To Me
Steven Spielberg: My Inner Voice Never Lies To Me

Video: Steven Spielberg: My Inner Voice Never Lies To Me

Video: Steven Spielberg: My Inner Voice Never Lies To Me
Video: How to Trust Your Intuition (Find Your Inner Voice) | ft. Steven Spielberg 2023, March

In fact, this is my third meeting with Steven Spielberg, but every time I feel nervous until I faint. During the first interview, the three of us spoke: with us was America's favorite Tom Hanks. But … I could hardly take my eyes off Steven Spielberg's feet: he was wearing different socks, just like the children of superstitious parents (by the omen, unpaired socks are worn from the evil eye). The second meeting took place in a dark cinema at the premiere of the film, where his friend is the director and my friend is the producer. And here it is, the third meeting, and its place cannot be changed: again the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York, whose windows shamelessly look at Central Park. Nervously shifting from foot to foot and twisting a sheet of questions before meeting with the most influential person in cinema, I check the facts: he is 69, three Oscar statuettes are gathering dust at home, Jaws behind him,Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, plus six children, three grandchildren, goddaughters of Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow. In the imagination of many, Spielberg is associated with the magic of cinema, he knows how to make laugh (remember his cameo in "Paul: The Secret Material"?), And knows how to move to the core ("Schindler's List" is just what it is). He is capable of sweeping gestures, such as bringing Will Smith to the Hamptons in his own helicopter. And every now and then he manages to find talents where no one is looking for them. So it happened with the next picture of Spielberg: two new talents at once, with which viewers will be able to get acquainted - nine-year-old Ruby Barnhill and 56-year-old Mark Rylance. Despite the age difference, for both of them a big career in Hollywood is just beginning, but knowing the "light" hand of Steven Spielberg, there is no doubt about success.

MS: Stephen, last time you and I met about Spy Bridge, I would like to pick up where we left off. Mark Rylance, who played a Soviet spy in your film (for which he earned an Oscar this year), they say, got a role in "The Big and Good Giant" almost on the set of "The Bridge", is that so?

Steven Spielberg: How interesting - we talk to you about every film! Yes, on the first day of filming "Spy Bridge" I was so shocked by Mark's work that I decided to try him right there and for the role of the Big and kind giant! I asked, "Mark, do you read the script?" He asked: "Another version of the Spy Bridge?" I said, "No, the script for my next picture." Rylance thought I wasn't asking him to watch the script for audition, but just to get another opinion. Came to me the next day and said: "Oh, this is magical!"

MS: Didn't he read Roald Dahl's book until that day?

SS: No, I haven't. I offered him from the fly to play the main role, and he agreed. In fact, I decided on the performer of the role of the giant instantly!


MS: Yes, you are effective! What was it like to switch from a historical picture to a fairy tale for children?

Steven Spielberg: A real relief! After Bridge of Spy, after the Cold War story, it was a blessing to start filming Roald Dahl's poetry film, like going to therapy. I had a wonderful period in my life, I liked that I did not move from like to like.

MS: By the way, thank you very much for the opportunity to get acquainted with the book, I, like Mark, have not read it before

SS: How so? Never read The Big and Kind Giant ?!

MS: No, and now I read in the original language and sometimes got lost. The main character speaks not the most correct English in terms of grammar. I even got the idea: God, that's how we, emigrants, probably sound for native speakers

SS: (Laughs.) Well, when I myself read The Giant for the first time, there were many words that I had not heard before. But I remembered them, and they became candy words for me - they turned out to be so sweet-sounding, like real candies! And then I felt like I had joined the Big and Kind Giant connoisseur club. And this club is secret, closed, private. It is enough to say a few words in conversation, for example whizpapoper or phizwizzer, to understand whether you are in the club or not! Roald Dahl created his own language. Although what is surprising here - why, for example, each country can have its own language, but the book does not? But you should not be afraid of the difficulties of translation - it is impossible not to understand the story of Roald Dahl. The idea is that we are able to empathize with each other no matter where we come from or what we do.

Personal history


MS: When did you first read the book yourself?

Steven Spielberg: “The Big and Kind Giant” was written in 1982, and six years later I read the book to my eldest child, my son. Max was then only three years old, and he did not understand anything except the difference between a little girl and a giant. But despite this, the boy fell in love with the book because the giant did not eat the baby, and in fact there were such heroes in the "Giant", mmm … far from being "vegetarians". By the way, I read this book to each of my children!

MS: Wow! Do you also read the Giant's grandchildren or have you already switched to something like Harry Potter?

SS: No, because the daughter is now a parent herself, her turn has come to read "The Big and Kind Giant"! Jessica has already done it - Lucas, Poppy and Viv are now at the club too.

MS: Did you personally meet Roald Dahl? You lived in New York at about the same time

S. S.:Yes, yes, I know, but we have never seen each other, and I would so like to talk to him! But I got to know his children, they came to the set, were crazy about Mark, they said that Ruby is the perfect Sophie, so the approval from the Dahl family was received. They told me a lot, for example that Roald didn't want to turn this story into a book. He composed it only in order to put the children to bed as soon as possible, and did not even write down the story, it existed only in his head and was quite mosaic. Dahl himself did not know what the next "chapter" would be about until it was his turn to lull the children to sleep. But at the end of the story, the children said, "Why don't you, Dad, write a book?" To which he replied: "I will not publish a fairy tale, I composed it exclusively for you." But the children were persistent - and this is how the book "The Big and Kind Giant" appeared.

MS: What a great story! I heard that you have been preparing for the filming of this film for a very long time, almost 25 years, so why now, when almost a quarter of a century has passed?

SS: In fact, we got the rights to film adaptation only five years ago … You know, sometimes I feel like they take me by the hand and lead me to direct a picture. This voice inside me does not sound so often, but when I hear a whisper: "I am yours, and you are mine, let's go make a film together" - I know he is not lying to me, I have to go and shoot this particular picture! You know, there were many projects that I wanted to take a look at, but I did not dare without the "approval" of my inner voice. And there were films that no one expected to see from me, but they "spoke" to me, and I shot them.

With children - only through lawyers


MS: You worked with a very young actress - Ruby Barnhill, you filmed little Drew Barrymore in "Alien". What do you think is the difference between the new generation?

Steven Spielberg:These kids are much better informed! When I shot Alien in 1982, there was no social media or the Internet at all. There was only a phone, which is really cool too (laughs). Now children grow up much faster and sometimes they know what, in principle, they should not know at this age. This is because there is a lot of information in the public domain. But there are much more opportunities for your voice to be heard! You can create your own content and post it to, say, Snapchat or Twitter. Thus, children enter the big world much earlier. This has not been the case since 6-year-old Drew during the ET. Ruby is a little different - she was nine when we started working on The Giant. Her parents, Serah and Paul, did an excellent job in raising the level: Ruby is a very polite child, always wanted to impress the film crew,and she succeeded.

MS: You have been working with children for so many years - how is your outlook on your own childhood changing? If you had the opportunity to go back in time and give yourself advice, what would you say?

SS: Probably, I would repeat the words of Sophie from "The Giant" - two very important words: be brave. In everything and always!

MS: Something, but you definitely have no less courage! Please, for example: at the age of six, you infiltrated Universal Studios and met an editor who taught you a couple of filmmaking "tricks"

SS: Yes, but it can rather be described by the Yiddish word "chutzpa" - also, of course, a kind of courage, but not quite (laughs).

MS: Do children come to your studio today?

SS: Oh yes, it happens all the time! (Laughs.) And as long as they don’t give me a script, which I am not allowed to read without the consent of lawyers, I am very hospitable.

Casting for Elizabeth II


MS: You have high demands on yourself. Is this why the film is almost entirely "British" cast?

Steven Spielberg: Now all the actors are a global community, every now and then Australians play Americans, New Zealanders are British, and they are French. British actors have excellent hearing: they easily pick up the manner of speech, accent, including Russian! But the great thing about working with classic actors is that they know the lines by heart. And Mark is a classic actor.

MS: Since we started talking about casting, I remember how you told me that Angela Merkel herself came to the shooting of Spy Bridge, stood with you on the bridge for two hours and discussed how she was in the bathhouse on the day the wall fell. I can't help but ask: a person like you could certainly have invited the Queen of Great Britain herself to play the role of the Queen

SS: (Laughs.) Yes, I had such an idea. For exactly five minutes I thought: what if Queen Elizabeth plays in my film? But then I realized that I would never dare ask her, it’s not royal, somehow, you know! I would not want to seduce her with such an offer, if at all she can be seduced at all! So after some deliberation, I decided to hire Penelope Wilton, who played the queen in Downton Abbey and knows the role very well. Everything happens here in the early 1980s, during the Reagan rule, and Penelope looks exactly like the age of Queen Elizabeth in the 80s.

MS: Legend has it that you have never worked on weekends before, that the weekend is only for children, that you dine exclusively with your family and always come home from work at 6:00 pm. That before, every evening they themselves put the children to bed, and in the morning they accompanied them to school. How is it today?

SS: Oh, so now everything is different - I am in an empty nest. The children flew in all directions: some work, some in college, so now I shoot on weekends and fill everything with work.

MS: What was your favorite fairy tale as a child?

SS: Probably the very first. My grandfather from Russia told me many fairy tales from real life: how he went to school at the end of the 19th century, for example. I honestly believed that my grandfather invented everything. He talked about countries that in my imagination could not even exist - about Russia and Ukraine, where he was from … And the very first tale was about three bears.

MS: Masha and the Bears?

SS: No, an American fairy tale.

MS: Yes, what's the story? In the Russian version, there was a little girl named Masha, who came to the bears' house, and they wondered who ate from their plates …

SS: Yes, and who slept in my bed! (Laughs.) Yes, yes, this is the story!

MS: Well, you say - American

Photo source: Getty Images

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