EN­COUNTER OF A RARE KIND

Hol­ly­wood great Steven Spiel­berg shares his be­hind-the-scenes sto­ries and film­mak­ing in­sights with China Daily film writer Ray­mond Zhou in an in­ter­view in Bei­jing.

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

ac­cent. I felt I spent three and half months with Abra­ham Lin­coln. When the shoot was over, he started talk­ing like­him­self again. AndI cried, be­cause I miss Abra­ham Lin­coln.”

All great ac­tors he worked with have their own process, tech­nique and tal­is­man, ac­cord­ing to Spiel­berg, “and I didn’t get into that be­cause it’s per­sonal”.

AboutMarkRy­lance, a the­ater vet­eran who got an Academy Award for his sup­port­ing role in Bridge of Spies, Spiel­berg says he no­ticed a kind­ness in him and a twin­kle in his eyes, which made him per­fect for the friendly gi­ant in The BFG.

The­ater ac­tors are the most pre­pared and most open to change be­cause in the­ater you may get new lines af­ter the 20th per­for­mance, he adds.

While I agree that film­mak­ers grad­u­ate from fun en­ter­tain­ment to se­ri­ous fare, it sur­prises me to see Spiel­berg “switch gears” in the same year and make two com­pletely dif­fer­ent movies. His an­swer: “It’s ther­apy.”

Af­ter mak­ing a dark film, he needs a re­lief, some­thing light and frol­ick­ing like Catch Me If You Can to get the heavy stuff out of his system be­fore he finds some­thing for “the other side of my­self” and to tell sto­ries with so­cial mean­ing.

I ask him what movies he wanted to make but some­how has yet to make them, he cites the quin­tes­sen­tial ro­bot movie. He would also love to do a song-and-dance mu­si­cal.

Tak­ing a cue from an au­di­ence ques­tion about bal­anc­ing work and a fam­ily of seven kids, I jok­ingly ask if he had ever thought of re­mak­ing The Sound of Mu­sic. He says his kids would not want him to touch that clas­sic be­cause they love it so much.

Spiel­berg ad­mits he is very mucha fam­ily man. He rel­e­gated film­mak­ing to sec­ond pri­or­ity when he started hav­ing chil­dren. But now they have all grownu­pandthe younge­stone has gone to col­lege.

“My ev­ery­day life is re­ally bor­ing,” he says. “Mostly writ­ing and do­ing story boards.”

His wife, Kate Cap­shaw, makes it in­ter­est­ing and “brings me to the world”, he adds.

Con­tact the writer at ray­mondzhou@china daily.com.cn

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

TheBFG, di­rected by Steven Spiel­berg, will be re­leased in main­land the­aters on Friday.

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