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Ben Stiller shares how he screwed up a scene filming Steven Spielberg’s EMPIRE OF THE SUN – GeekTyrant

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In front Ben Stiller becoming the huge star and filmmaker that he is was one of the first major film roles he landed in Steven SpielbergThe 1987 movie Empire of the Sun. This is actually one of my favorite Spielberg films and has an impressive cast that includes Christian Balle, John Malcovichand Joe Pantoliano.

At a performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Stiller spoke about his experiences on the role and how Spielberg asked him to shed some weight. Apparently, Stiller went too far and when he showed up on set, Spielberg thought he was ill. The actor remembers:

“He basically cast me in the movie and said, ‘I think you’d be great for the role. Do you think you could lose some weight because you should be in a prison camp?’ So I showed up on set. I had lost about 28 pounds and he looked at me and said, ‘Are you alright?’ and I said, ‘You told me to lose weight. You are Steven Spielberg.”

Stiller only had a small role in the film and he only had a few lines. But while filming one of those scenes, he messed up one of his lines and yelled Cut, which Spielberg didn’t seem happy about.

Stiller explains that there was a long steadicam shot that follows Bale as he comes back to the barracks. At one point in this shot, Stiller is then supposed to offer the child a Hershey bar, but ended up saying the sentence wrong. He said:

“I’m supposed to say, ‘Hey, kid. Do you want a Hershey bar?” and I screwed up and said, ‘Hey, kid. Would you like a candy bar?’ and then I said ‘Oh damn. I am sorry. Cut. Then I just hear from where the monitors are, ‘What?’ and I thought, ‘I’m sorry. I messed up my lines’ and then I hear Steven Spielberg say, ‘You never yell cut!’”

That would be rough. Being an aspiring actor working with Steven Spielberg and messing things up. I can only imagine it was quite an embarrassing moment. But he got through it and his career ended quite well. It’s okay to make mistakes!

If you have never seen Empire of the Sun, the film tells the true story of Jamie Graham (Bale), “a privileged English boy living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade and force all foreigners into prison camps. Jamie is captured with an American sailor named Basie (Malkovich) looking out for him while they are at camp together. Despite being separated from his parents and in a hostile environment, Jamie retains his dignity and youthful spirit and is a beacon of hope for those held captive with him.”

Check out this movie if you haven’t seen it yet!

https://geektyrant.com/news/ben-stiller-shares-how-he-screwed-up-a-scene-while-shooting-steven-spielbergs-empire-of-the-sun Ben Stiller shares how he screwed up a scene filming Steven Spielberg’s EMPIRE OF THE SUN – GeekTyrant

Subhankar Mondal

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