Question: You were never actually in Hawaii to film your scenes?
Answer: “My locations were very inglorious for this movie, I worked at the stage at Disney for the cryptography bunker and I worked at the El Monte Sewerage Processing and Municipal Water Plant for the scene where we had the Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Washington. It was five days of work on basically interiors, but five of the most exciting days of my life – probably the greatest days of my career since I did ‘1941’ with Spielberg which was the first week of my career…making movies that is”.
Question: Why did you find it so good?
Answer: “I guess wearing the uniform of an American serviceman, playing a character that was a composite of real people who lived and existed in that time, saying words that might have been said, working with Jerry & Michael, obviously all that. A period piece too, I love that and I love military history”.
Question: Was it fun playing this character, speaking all the political and intelligence lingo?
Answer: “It was fun…I reminded myself of my dad, I mean I looked like my dad when he was a Government bureaucrat – he was one of Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada’s senior policy advisors…I kind of added a little eccentricity to it…and ended up playing my father”.
Question: Is the character a serious side of your “Spies Like Us” role?
Answer: “Its neat to have played a cryptographer twice in one’s career – its kinda cool. Naturally that’s all changed, see the problem was back then the decryptions were incomplete, and the machines to process the decryptions were faulty so you had two major weaknesses there – in the pipe and out the pipe, that’s why the accuracy and the immediacy wasn’t there. I think I read in one account that it was ten minutes prior to the attack they knew that it was too late”.
Question: Are we better today in terms of our military foreknowledge?
Answer: “It depends what…I guess what situation you’re talking about. The biggest threat to this country in the last ten years has come from an American boy born near Buffalo, New York – McVeigh. How were we to know that? As far as domestic issues – Columbine High School, Pearl River…all these horrible shootings, we didn’t anticipate them. We failed at anticipating, we failed at anticipating McVeigh, we have to be more vigilant.. I don’t know if we’re any better at it in a domestic sense. In an overall global warfare sense, gentleman I can tell that right now in the books of the American Defense establishment there is a laser that will be able to give you a brain aneurism on a street corner and in twenty years they will have that. So when we have a Milosevic or a Saddam Hussein in the future, it ain’t going to be a problem”.
Question: What about the Japanese in the movie, and the war, what are your thoughts?
Answer: “The Japanese put bombs in balloons and those balloons blew up in Nebraska, they blew up in Colorado and killed eleven people…I do think that the Japanese in the movie were portrayed as professional warriors, with dignity and integrity…they were human beings, they were exercising a strategic initiative and this was something that had to be done in warfare, war is rough. I think that the filmmakers took the view that many Americans have in retrospect and that is that the Japanese were, it was a sneaky horrible attack yes, but it was necessity in their eyes. You know those pilots, and airmen and sailors were just doing a job, a professional job”.
Question: What’s the status of the comedy “Unconditional Love” in which you play Kathy Bates’ husband?
Answer: “I’m not sure. P.J. [Hogan, Director] locked the picture about two months ago, its just up to the studio to position it I don’t know – that should be a good movie. Kathy Bates and Rupert are…I mean you can’t think of a more unusual screen friendship slash romance really between a disillusioned Chicago house wife and the gay lover of a music star trying to hide from the world that he is gay…in the end there’s a great scene where they’ve got him [the music star] in the coffin and he’s dressed up in a feather boa and lipstick, and its very very funny”.