So, what’s it like playing Steven Spielberg … for Steven Spielberg?
It’s not often that I get a chance to say that I’m a man of letters. Not only do you have to be cool enough to be a movie star, you have to be cool enough to write the script that goes with the movie. I’m a man of many passions, but I’m also a man of letters. And, when it comes to art, I love movies as well as writers. The movie The Color Purple, starring Viola Davis, was, in addition to its brilliant music score and performances by Oprah Winfrey, an artist with an exceptional visual sense. The same could be said for The Aviator, based on a novel by Stephen Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. The film tells the story of Francis Prefontaine, who is inspired to create the first flying machine (for flying above the clouds) after a mysterious event in his life. In doing so, he saves his beloved African nation from certain annihilation.
Now, I’ve always found that an art form, to be art, has to have a visual component. And that goes without saying, but it’s important for any artist to have the courage to take a stance and say “I like this,” instead of being a timid little baby who crawls around with his hands in his ears. Take, for example, the music in the movie The Color Purple. It’s an incredible score, with a sense of wonder and beauty that comes out of the mouths of the African women who were instrumental in its creation. But, there’s a big difference between singing a song and painting a picture. And that’s the place Spielberg comes into his own.
The film was largely, well, pretty terrible. I’ll be blunt. I don’t know how we ended up with Tom Cruise and his wacky singing voice, but, man, he nailed it. He was, in a word, a fool. But that didn’t stop me from seeing the film as a whole