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January 17, 2013

Honest, Abe

Actors, writers attest to the virtues of Steven Spielberg

It looks like Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” is hot on the track for an Academy Award, proving that the director’s alchemy is still spinning straw into gold.

In spite of his success Spielberg admits that he’s still a nervous wreck before a film is released.

“We’re all scared, actors especially and people who do plays and films. It’s the one thing we share in common and success does not distill how scared we can get,” he says.

“Every movie I make, it’s like I never worked before.”

At 66, Spielberg has reached a point where he’s not only a mentor but an inspiration to those who work with him. Daniel Craig confesses he was reluctant to don James Bond’s Savile Row suits when he was offered the first of his three 007 movies.

“I asked Steven Spielberg, who I was working with at the time, and I said, ‘Look, would you work with me again if I did James Bond?’ And he said, ‘Yes, of course I’d work with you again.’ And I thought, ‘Fine, that’s good to know.’”

Screenwriter David Koepp, who’s worked with Spielberg on several films, including “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “War of the Worlds,” says he likes the exclusivity that Spielberg provides.

“The nice thing about working with Steven Spielberg is that you pretty much only work with Steven Spielberg. Because of his success, he’s able to exclude everyone from the development process,” Koepp said. “I just firmly believe that the best stuff comes from the lowest number of people in the room.”

George Clooney credits Spielberg for his decision to star in his hit television series, “ER.”

“I had a deal at Warner Bros. They offered me another pilot at NBC,” Clooney recalled. “I wanted to do ‘ER’ because it was Spielberg and Michael Crichton and a two-hour movie. If it didn’t go at the very least I could say I worked with them. That’s a coup for an actor coming from ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.’”

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