, Newburyport, MA


January 17, 2013

Honest, Abe

Actors, writers attest to the virtues of Steven Spielberg


Holly Hunter, who starred in Spielberg’s “Always,” has high praise, too.

“I didn’t feel I was working for him. I felt like I was acting with him,” Hunter said. “He’s my cohort, my partner. There is no hierarchy in a way. He’s in the trenches with me. I don’t feel alone when I’m on the set with him. He conspires with actors.”

For Matt Bomer (“White Collar”) the inspiration came when he was just a kid.

“When I was 4 or 5, I went to a Steven Spielberg movie and realized that’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t want the attention, I wanted to be part of the storytelling process,” he said. “I wanted to be part of the good story. I wanted to be movie people and wanted to be part of stories that were affecting people. I remember coming home and asking my mom to get me a red hoodie (like the boy in “ET”). I think it was probably because I saw a young character carrying a movie and being at the center of a fascinating story.”

Diablo Cody, who wrote the underdog hit “Juno,” later worked with Spielberg on “The United States of Tara.”

“What’s so amazing about Spielberg is what a visionary he is,” Cody said. “He came to me before the movie (“Juno”) came out. So he hadn’t seen it. He had a good instinct. He’d read the script and wanted to work with me. So you can imagine my shock because I had no success at that point. I’m still living in Minnesota and Steven Spielberg wants to talk about doing a TV show? I just thought, ‘This is ridiculous.’”

Spielberg’s producers called Cody.

“I dealt with them first. Then one day they said, ‘You know, you have to talk to Steven now. We’re going to call him and put him on the phone and you have to explain what you’ve been working on,’” Cody recalled. “Oh, my God, I almost passed out. I still get nervous talking to him and I see him all the time. That was more than I could handle.”

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