Hanks and Spielberg - Together again

Friday, June 18, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- When you're the world's biggest actor, nobody tells you "no." The same is true when you're the world's most powerful director.

But Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg can say it to each other, and that's one reason the two Academy Award winners have started to elbow their way into each other's films.

Their latest collaboration is "The Terminal," starring Hanks as an Eastern European traveler who becomes indefinitely trapped in an American airport because of bureaucratic red-tape.

"He can say anything to me and I think vice versa and whatever answer comes out is perfect," Hanks said in a joint interview with Spielberg. "To be relaxed on a movie set means you can get stuff out that you haven't even imagined before, and that comes from knowing each other."

They have become so trusting of each other, Spielberg said, he even acts as an agent of sorts for Hanks.

"I actively look for things for him," Spielberg said. "Literally, I actively try to find projects we can work together on."

After months spent among thousands of background actors at a real three-story terminal built specially for the movie, Hanks and Spielberg finished their work on the movie "The Terminal" only a few weeks ago, when Spielberg made a subtle -- but last-minute -- change to the ending.

They're already planning to do another movie.

"We hope to bring 'Snagglepuss' to the screen," Hanks joked, referring to Hanna-Barbera's easygoing pink cartoon lion, who's fond of exclaiming "Heavens to Murgatroid!"

Spielberg laughed, then said: "I won't mention what it is, but we have a project in the works for Tom to produce and me to direct and Tom to star in."

That would make Hanks the producer the boss of Spielberg the director, who's the boss of Hanks the actor.

Good thing they get along.

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