C.J.: Capt. Phillips leaves the acting to the actors

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 18, 2014 - 10:19 PM

Capt. Richard Phillips is positive he wasn’t cut out to be an actor.

The real skipper of the Maersk Alabama who was taken hostage by Somali pirates and rescued by Navy SEALs recently spoke at St. Louis Park’s Beth El Synagogue about his ordeal, retold in a movie for which Tom Hanks didn’t receive a 2014 Oscar nod. During my startribune.com/video Phillips, however, mentioned a man from the Twin Cities who deserved lots of nominations, and that actor did get recognized by Oscar.

“I only went down [to] the set for a scene Catherine Keener was in at a place they were showing as my house,” Phillips told me. “I was there three, four hours. They did the same scene over and over and over. It never even made it [into the movie]. It was very dull. I could never be an actor. They did the same scene for three hours.”

The movie was based on his book, “A Captain’s Duty,” and even though some creative license was taken, Phillips said that’s fine with him, for reasons you’ll read about here.


Q Who’s better-looking in drag, you or Tom Hanks?

A I look better always. (Sustained laughter.)


Q How many times have you seen the movie?

A About two-and-a-half times. That’s enough, isn’t it?


Q Well, you lived it.

A “Saving Private Ryan,” another Tom Hanks movie, and “Das Boot” — those are the only movies I see more than once.


Q Is it difficult to watch a portrayal of such a frightening incident in your life?

A Not for me, because the incident was even more frightening than you see it in the movie. It was worse than what you see. I was more looking at the quality of the movie.


Q Is there anything you would have left in the movie that was excluded?

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  • Capt. Richard Phillips was taken hostage by pirates in 2009. His book about the ordeal was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks.

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