So, what’s it like playing Steven Spielberg … for Steven Spielberg?
You’ve got to get him in the habit of calling. In the past, he might have called to say hello to you. Now, he’ll say, “Hey, you’re playing in L.A.?” and you say, “Yeah.”
His tone is always businesslike. You never know what he’s going to ask you.
You see him at film screenings. Or if you’re in a movie theater the night of a big release, he’ll be there. He’ll be standing at the back of the theater, at the very front of the lobby, in front of the popcorn stand, and he’ll be smiling, shaking hands, just talking to everybody.
“How is he feeling?” he’ll ask, and if you know the answer, you’ll flash him the smile that says, “Oh, he’s great. He’s playing terrific.” And he’ll say, “He’s just great,” and go right on talking to people.
Afterwards, when the lights come up, he’ll stand right there, and he’ll say, “We’d like to have you come backstage, if you’re available. We’re going to try to get you in for a couple of scenes. What do you feel like doing?” And you go, “Why, I’d love to.” And he says, “Great. What would you like to do?” And you go, “I’d love to do a scene with him.”
Spielberg said he has not written a script in 10 years. He now considers himself a storyteller.
It takes a while to get his ear, to make sure what he wants to hear is in front of him. There’s a way that the mind takes the world and makes it understandable. And a storyteller becomes the story, and he becomes storyteller number one. You’ve got to get him in the habit of calling. He’ll call when he wants to hear what you’ve got to say. When you were playing Batman, his agent said, “You’ve got to get him in the habit of calling.” I used to tell him, “Your agent is going to get you an agent, but you’ve got to get your agent in the habit of calling.” As it turned out, he didn’t