Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q: Dakota Fanning is proving to be a very gifted young
actor. What was it like to work with her?
A: Dakota is enormously talented. She is innately talented
and very bright and fun to be with, too. And Justin (Chatwin who
plays Robbie Ferrier), very talented. I thought the movie was
Q; You’ve become known for doing a lot of your
own stunt work. What did you do on this movie?
A: A little running and window smashing and cars flying
at me and running away! You know, it was great working with Vic
(Armstrong, second unit director), I’ve worked with him
before. Oh and the swimming. Dakota, Justin and I in the water
- that was fun.
We had to jump off this huge platform into the water and Dakota’s
looking at me and I said ‘you can do this..’ It’s
about an eight foot jump and she looked at me and it’s like
‘OK..’ and I was like ‘come on you can trust
I had to take her to the bottom of the pool and then we had to
come up. I had weights to hold on to and she had to hold on to
We went all the way down and then we had to take our masks off.
I think we were about 14 foot deep, something like that. And I
was looking at her saying ‘are you OK?” and she was
like ‘yeah, yeah..’’
So she would hang on to me and I would have these weights and
we would drop down 14 feet, fast. And then I’d have to swim
up in all my gear. And you know the three of us were just laughing
hysterically, looking at each other under the water. But with
the first take it actually took me a bit longer to kick to the
top and you know, we’re holding our breath. And I’m
more worried about Dakota and I’m starting to run out of
breath. And afterwards I said ‘look, if there’s anything
you don’t feel comfortable with here, you have to tell me..’
And you know she just said ‘maybe you could go a little
faster, Tom…’ And I said ‘I’ll do some
things to fix it.’ And we did.
Q: And the car going through the window?
A: That was fun, you know. Those kind of things are really
cool and gets your adrenaline going. But what I’m really
proud of in this story is the relationships in the movie –
those moments are really wonderful. Steven and I were talking
about it and it’s the littlest, biggest film we’ve
made. I mean it’s the biggest film I’ve ever been
part of and I’m talking about in scale, not in (terms of)
finance. But it’s just huge and it has everything I want
to see in a Spielberg movie.
I remember going to see Jaws. We were going on a picnic but I
convinced my family that we should see Jaws and we waited in line
for hours because it was sold out.
And when I saw it there were moments when I jumped out into the
aisle! I literally went over about five people and I was standing
in the aisle. And I want that in a Spielberg film, I want that
in a movie.
And as an actor, you know, it’s fun to be part of that.
To see him create on that level, backed up by this amazing team
of his, is just fantastic.
Q: The cinematographer, Janusz
Kaminski, is obviously a crucial part of that team…
A: Janusz is a brilliant cinematographer. It’s
the third picture I’ve made with him, Steven has made nine
with him. He’s a true character and a true artist. Really,
a brilliant guy.
Q: You filmed on the East coast during some very cold
weather. What was that like?
A: Yes, it was cold when we were shooting some of the
big crowd scenes. And a lot of those people hadn’t made
a lot of movies so they were very excited about the process and
being on a movie set.
And it was incredibly cold and you can see the breath of these
people who were there every night doing this. But I don’t
like being back in my trailer. I’d rather be on the set
and working. And it’s nice when you have a lot of people
because you can have a chat.
I like to hear about people’s lives and what they are doing.
So was it challenging? Do I sleep much? Yes, it was challenging.
And no I don’t sleep much when I’m making a film.
I just feel that I’m lucky, lucky to be making a movie and
working with the people that I’m working with and Steven
Spielberg, the greatest storyteller in the history of film.
I’m privileged that he is my friend and that I’m able
to have this opportunity to work with him. So I didn’t want
to sleep. I wanted to get there early.
Q: You were talking about Jaws and the scenes that made
you and millions of us jump. What can we expect from the aliens
in War of the Worlds?
A: Those aliens have gone rogue, you know. They’ve
gone rogue alien. It’s E.T. man, but he’s gone bad.
You do not want to run into these aliens! They’re malevolent.
Q: So we can expect plenty of scares?
A: The tension and the fear factor has to be there in
the structure. And you have to care about the characters. And
then it’s the framing, the composition, the staging and
the camera moves. And there’s a point where if you are there
too long you lose tension, if you are not there long enough you
don’t have the tension.
And Steven just gets inside it. He is just communicating what
frightens him. This is going to be a scary movie – this
is a scary, intense film. And emotional. It’s an emotional
Q: How was working with Tim Robbins?
A: It was good to work with Tim. He’s a great actor,
a great artist – a tremendous director and a writer, too,
a very unique filmmaker.
Q: What do you hope that the audience will get from War
of the Worlds?
A: It would be nice if they walked out and wanted to
hug their children or maybe they want to take time with their
family a little more. But there are many different layers to the
film and I hate to tell people what I want them to feel. I don’t
want someone to tell me what I should feel. I like to experience
it for myself.
When I was making this film I really thought about what are the
common enemies of mankind instead of man on man. So somewhere
there is that thought of us wanting to unite together, to battle
those common enemies. And of course we want to scare the audience,
give them a great ride and wow them with this. And we’re
in the hands of a master storyteller here; Steven Spielberg. As
a Spielberg fan, I really wanted him to make this movie..
War of the Worlds: Review
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