Steven Spielberg: 'I am real, my movies are not'


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, March 17 -- Last Monday and Tuesday were memorable for the Hindi film industry. Globally acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg paid a short, but meaningful, visit to Mumbai, turning Bollywood's finest filmmakers and actors into fanboys and fangirls, collectively and unapologetically.

After all, how often do you get to have a full-length conversation with a filmmaker whose body of work is so eclectic and inspiring? And how often do you bump into him at a Mumbai party, even at industrialist Anil Ambani's home, to make small talk over food and wine?

The last time Spielberg visited India was 30 years ago when he shot Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. "India's a great plug-in place for me," he said about that visit. "Spiritual and real. And I am going back with great memories again."

I met Steven Spielberg at the Reliance Tower, Ballard Estate, on Monday morning. Impressively unassuming, he spoke with great candour about his life, his body of work and his 40-year-old career.

Do you plan to translate your visit here into something more concrete than just a location recce for your next joint venture with Anil Ambani?

Oh, certainly! One major part of the purpose of our association with Anil Ambani's group is to bridge the wide cinematic gap. As of now it may just be a oneway process, but it's a beginning. We will try and find ways to give American people access to Indian films. I will try and help these movies get theatrical and television releases so that there's more awareness. But first I need to be properly exposed to current Indian cinema. I'll try and search for more eclectic genres, with different sensibilities, skills and tastes than just the Bollywood style of filmmaking. I need to watch a lot of movies.

With so many accolades, honours and labels bestowed on you, is the real Steven Spielberg getting lost?

No. I spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week with him. Let me tell you, I am very much real. My movies are not. The real Steven Spielberg is the man my children call their father, my wife calls her husband and the kid my mom and dad call their son.

You have attempted almost all genres of movies, but never a pure love story. Why?

No, I have not made what you would call an unqualified or an undeniable love story yet. But I have been living an undeniable love story in my personal life with my wife Kate (Capshaw, she acted in his Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) and I haven't thought of making a movie on my wife and my family. Maybe I will not make a love story.