Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg joined others involved in the making of “The Post” to talk about the Katharine Graham-as-Pentagon-Papers-hero movie.But The Hollywood Reporter’s long Q&A contained a tidbit being featured as a headline elsewhere.
Streep had worked with Spielberg only once before — “for a single day of voice work on 2000’s ‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence.’
“Most of the time, we talked about how his property was haunted and did I know anybody who did exorcisms?” Streep is quoted as saying. “And of course, I did. I got him a priest.”
No follow-up was asked about whether the exorcism happened — or worked.
(An inquiring mind wanted to know more.)
Wait, I am as excited for @ThePostMovie as anybody, but can we stop for a sec and learn more about the exorcism that Steven Spielberg asked Meryl Streep to arrange?! https://t.co/9FOMLG1MvL pic.twitter.com/a7mzd0dvdd
— Julie Zauzmer (@JulieZauzmer) December 5, 2017
Stephen Galloway of THR, in his story THR story, focused on another fright: The similarities between 1971 and 2017, especially regarding White House efforts to intimidate the press.
Galloway asked: “This film came together on very short notice. Why?”
Spielberg said: “I read the script without any intention of telling the story myself or of committing to a production while in the middle of [another one,] ‘Ready Player One,’ which was only half sane. But I was really curious about the subject matter. Ben Bradlee was my neighbor for years in East Hampton. He and his wife, Sally [Quinn], and Nora Ephron and [her husband] Nick Pileggi would come over and we would have these soirees. When I finished Liz [Hannah’s] script, I thought this was an idea that felt more like 2017 than 1971 — I could not believe the similarities between today and what happened with the Nixon administration against their avowed enemies The New York Times and The Washington Post. I realized this was the only year to make this film.”
Producer Kristie Macosko Krieger said: “He said, ‘If I can’t make it this year, I’m not making it.'”
And Spielberg concluded: “My first reaction [reading it] was I got scared — which is good for me because fear is my fuel. The more frightened I become of something, the more I have to work through it. This was a topic that was scaring everybody I know on my side of the [political] street — and quite rightly.”
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