Mark Rylance on Working With Steven Spielberg, How Life Has Changed Since Winning Oscar

Steven Spielberg describes Mark Rylance in one word: “extraordinary.” Following his Oscar-winning portrayal of a stoic Russian operative in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance stars as the titular titan in the director’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” playing out of competition in Cannes. Next up for the actor: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — then two more Spielberg projects.

What has been the biggest change in your professional life in the past year?

I am recognized in the street; I’m not so anonymous anymore. Partly because of “Bridge of Spies,” but mainly because of the way the film business markets its products by elevating its actors via competitions.

How is your relationship with Spielberg?

Because his imagination is so intoxicated by actors, he’s found it difficult before to hire an actor he’s just had in one film for another film. I am apparently one of the first actors that he has employed on two consecutive films.

What aspects of the BFG’s character drew you to the role?

I was a little bit like Sophie (the orphan in “The BFG”) when I was a young person. I was very much enamored of my grandparents and older people generally, and of ‘odd’ people — the people who were, so to speak, on the edge of town.

What else about the story resonated with you?

I love all the stuff about dreams, and the idea of dreams existing, not being self-generated by the psyche, but the psyche being a receptive part of our consciousness that receives dreams from the greater collective consciousness.

How did you find the motion-capture process on “The BFG”?

It was surprising to me that I missed the camera. I missed that whole tight knot of people — the focus puller, the operator and so on — the group of people who are around the camera, and indeed the kind of dark proscenium of the movie camera somewhere on the set.

What you didn’t know about Rylance

AGE: 56 FROM: Milwaukee FAVORITE KIDS’ STORY: “Sparky’s Magic Piano” (it talks) PLAYLIST: “Glenn Gould Plays Bach,” the Sex Pistols’ “Never Mind the Bollocks” FAVORITE TYPE OF FOOD: Indian

More Film

  • ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

    Korea Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ Stays Bigger Than ‘Skyscraper’

    Steven Spielberg describes Mark Rylance in one word: “extraordinary.” Following his Oscar-winning portrayal of a stoic Russian operative in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance stars as the titular titan in the director’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” playing out of competition in Cannes. Next up for the actor: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — then two […]

  • China Box Office: 'Dying' Holds off

    China Box Office: 'Dying to Survive' Scores $69 Million, Holds Off 'Hidden Man'

    Steven Spielberg describes Mark Rylance in one word: “extraordinary.” Following his Oscar-winning portrayal of a stoic Russian operative in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance stars as the titular titan in the director’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” playing out of competition in Cannes. Next up for the actor: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — then two […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    'Yellow Submarine': A Dazzling Revival Everyone Should See (Especially the New Leaders of Pixar)

    Steven Spielberg describes Mark Rylance in one word: “extraordinary.” Following his Oscar-winning portrayal of a stoic Russian operative in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance stars as the titular titan in the director’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” playing out of competition in Cannes. Next up for the actor: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — then two […]

  • Elsie Fisher appears in I Think

    'Eighth Grade' Rules Indie Box Office With Top Screen Average of 2018

    Steven Spielberg describes Mark Rylance in one word: “extraordinary.” Following his Oscar-winning portrayal of a stoic Russian operative in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance stars as the titular titan in the director’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” playing out of competition in Cannes. Next up for the actor: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — then two […]

  • International Box Office: 'Hotel Transylvania 3'

    'Hotel Transylvania 3' Climbs Past 'Skyscraper' at International Box Office

    Steven Spielberg describes Mark Rylance in one word: “extraordinary.” Following his Oscar-winning portrayal of a stoic Russian operative in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance stars as the titular titan in the director’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” playing out of competition in Cannes. Next up for the actor: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — then two […]

  • Box Office: 'Skyscraper' Underperforms; 'Hotel Transylvania

    Box Office: 'Skyscraper' Gets Rocky Start as 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Checks In at No. 1

    Steven Spielberg describes Mark Rylance in one word: “extraordinary.” Following his Oscar-winning portrayal of a stoic Russian operative in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance stars as the titular titan in the director’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” playing out of competition in Cannes. Next up for the actor: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — then two […]

  • Mitzi Gaynor and Nancy Sinatra Sr.

    Nancy Sinatra Sr., Frank Sinatra's First Wife, Dies at 101

    Steven Spielberg describes Mark Rylance in one word: “extraordinary.” Following his Oscar-winning portrayal of a stoic Russian operative in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies,” Rylance stars as the titular titan in the director’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The BFG,” playing out of competition in Cannes. Next up for the actor: Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” — then two […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content