Director Steven Spielberg has often tackled seminal historical events throughout his career. A history enthusiast, his knowledge of the Cold War dates back to childhood when his father told stories of the deep-seated feelings of animosity and distrust that existed between the U.S. and Soviet Union, stories he still remembers today.
Before filming began, the actress had the opportunity to meet Mary’s granddaughter. “I saw her family’s wedding albums and vacation photos and heard firsthand stories where I found out that Mary was born in Bay Ridge, raised in a strong Irish Catholic family, graduated from Marymount College and eventually settled down in Park Slope,” Ryan explains. “Mary was proud of what her husband was doing, but she didn’t like the attention it drew to her family and worried that their children might be in danger.”
Ryan’s biggest challenge was making her character, a woman in the midst of extremely-trying circumstances, believable. Says Golden Globe® winner producer Marc Platt, “Amy’s portrayal of Mary has us rooting for her, but we also feel her conflict over wanting to protect her family. Her husband’s involvement with the case brings the family some danger and causes friends to sort of drop away, and you feel the tug-of-war within her to want to protect and love her husband and do what he thinks is right, and yet to protect her family at the same time, and you love her for that conflict.”
Ryan was especially thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Hanks, finding him generous, both in spirit and energy. “I was very impressed with the amount of enthusiasm he was able to bring to each scene, and he’s had so much experience as an actor that I tried to listen and observe as much as I could,” she says. “In addition to all the technical sides of knowing where the camera is going to be and where the lights are, he is still able to inhabit the scene so fully and truthfully…that is an amazing skill.”
And for Hanks, the feeling was mutual. “Working with Amy was amazing…I was always thinking that it looked as if she was hardly doing anything, and yet she was doing everything all at the same time.”
One of world history’s greatest untold stories unfolds in “Bridge of Spies” when it opens in Philippine cinemas this October 14 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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