Steven Speilberg’s new movie is Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks and Alan Alda. It’s a story about the capture of a Russian spy in Brooklyn and the tense negotiations which followed with the Russians for an American prisoner. I went along to the premiere of the movie in the hope of standing next to one of the great movie directors of our time.
Along with most people, I’ve loved Speilberg’s movies since he scared my undies off with Jaws. I still think of that big sucker of a shark when I hit the beach. Speilberg then made me cry for the first time in the movies. I became very attached to that little E.T. creature with the fluro red finger.
As I stood on the red carpet patiently awaiting my opportunity to chat with Steve, he arrived with a posse of publicists and a bodyguard as big as a minivan. This was going to be a tough get.
After a few minutes, Steven appeared in front of me, where we greeted each other like we were two old guys who used to work together. I was super focused with the goal of getting Steve to open up a bit about the movie, and I could see his publicists were trying to pull him into the theatre where 600 movie nerds were anxiously waiting.
I started by asking him if the lawyer, James Donovan, played by Tom Hanks was an ordinary guy who did extraordinary things. Speilberg quickly disagreed with me saying, “I thought he was extraordinary from the very beginning, this guy had worked on the Nuremberg trials”.
At this point Steve was being pulled away, so I attempted to get one more question in. Alan Alda had prepped me to ask Speilberg about “bathtubs when he was a kid”. Asking Steve this, I got a wonderful response about his fear during the Cuban missile crisis, “I panicked and filled up the one bathtub and all the sinks”. His parents came home and asked him why water was all over the place. He replied, “Because the Russians are going to attack, they’re going to cut off all our water, this is our drinking water!”
I asked, “You were a scared little boy?” “Oh no, I was 14 or 15,” he replied.
Probably a little old to be that scared Steve! But god bless his wild imagination and fears. We would never have got that psycho shark, the cuddly little alien or that guy Indy who appropriated his name from the family dog.
Also, make sure you check out my interview with Alan Alda, who plays Tom Hanks’ boss at the law firm, below. One of the nicest and most charismatic movie/TV guys in Hollywood. Always funny. We open up talking about doing shots together when I interviewed him at an awards night years ago.
Watch the official trailer for Bridge Of Spies, in theaters Friday.
—Brad Blanks/Shannon in the Morning