Celebrity interns: Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ common story

Before their prolific meeting, at the origin of Saving private Ryan, Catch me if you can, or The Terminal, both Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks were surprisingly interns.

In 1963, At the age of 17, a young Spielberg could be found at the Hollywood Universal studios, sneaking into any departments he could. This experience was decisive for Spielberg, as he could watch directors at work. His commitment in the editing department paid off : he found himself realizing a short movie called Amblin, and Universal executives were so impressed by his work that they gave him a seven year contract, making him the youngest director hired by the studios. The rest is history : Oscars for Best Director in 1993 for The Schindler’s list, and in 1999 for Saving Private Ryan.

11 years later, at the other side of the country, a 21 year-old Tom Hanks was recruited as an intern by Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. During his internship, Hanks took care of the lighting, set design, and stage management. He was so interested by his experience that his contract was extended to 3 years, during which he found the courage to put himself under the spotlight : he notably won the Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for a performance in The Two Gentleman of Verona by Shakespeare, the first award of one of the best actor to ever touch the silver screen : Oscars for Best actor in 1993 for Philadelphia, and in 1994 for Forrest Gump.

Spielberg and Hanks met for the first time in 1986 for the shooting of a relatively unknown movie, The Money Pit. Almost a decade later, Spielberg directed Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, followed by Catch Me If You Can four years later and The Terminal in 2004, representing one of the most successful actor-director partnership.

Be sure not to miss Hanks and Spielberg’ new collaboration, Bridge of Spies, portraying James Donovan (Hanks), a Brooklyn insurance lawyer who risked his reputation and his family’s safety to ensure a fair trial for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy arrested by the FBI in 1957 during the Cold War. The movie is set to be on screen on Oct. 16. 2015.

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