The Big One

A visit to the lost world of Steven Spielberg

I think you're looking at yourself honestly, which is always a fruitful personal strategy.

So when the time comes around to cast Saving Private Ryan, I'm only half surprised when the magnificence contacts me through an agent at William Morris. And she lets it be known that the magnificence, having worked quietly and uncredited in so many of my films, would like a leading role. It's not a demand, though the threat that the magnificence might refuse to appear fills me with a certain amount of worry. Now I've already committed to Tom, and I'm not going back out on that commitment. But there's another part in the script--a missing paratrooper with a winning smile and a grieving mother. And though I worry that critics might feel cheated to discover the magnificence at the heart of this film, I've got to be true to what the audience wants, even if they don't know they want it until they've got it.

I can see this is a dilemma.

Steven Spielberg tries to get a handle on the enormity of his movies
Steven Spielberg tries to get a handle on the enormity of his movies

It is and it isn't. The part is there. The endowment is there. Tell me, what can I do? It's show business. Brian casts his wife. Francis casts his daughter. I give the endowment the part.

I'm afraid our time is up for today, Steven.


Saving Private Ryan is playing at area theaters.

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