These news stories about Spielberg at the reopening of the damaged-by-fire Universal backlot, and pictures of him on the studio tour bus, remind me of a moderately funny story. A good friend of mine, who doesn't like to have his name mentioned on this blog, bore and still to a certain extent bears a near-uncanny physical resemblance to the iconic American director, and even used to sport a kinda-sorta Indiana Jones-ish hat, in spite of being more of a Kubrick man when it comes right down to it. Many, many years ago he was sightseeing in California and went of the self-same Universal backlot tour that the actual Mr. Spielberg is seen "enjoying" above. A little after the start of the jaunt, two nice little old ladies approached him and asked him if he was, in fact, Spielberg. My friend was nonplussed. Where was their logic? What would Spielberg be doing on a public studio tour? My friend spluttered a bit, then remembered his manners, and politely demurred.
The two women, aged versions of the cuckoo Pigeon sisters no doubt, nevertheless kept looking at my chapeaued pal throughout the tour, and near its end, they approached him again, and said, "You are him, aren't you?" Just to get them off his back, he nodded, and smiled, and said something about wanting to keep the tour guides on their toes.
"You know, you missed a golden opportunity there," a friend he and I have in common noted upon hearing the story. "What you ought to have done is said you were Spielberg right off the bat. And then muttered little comments all along the tour. Such as, 'I hate kids.' And "The movies I make...are for idiots.' That would have been funny." And it would have, too.