Steven Spielberg told CBS newsmag 60 Minutes that when producer Kathy Kennedy was looking for a director for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she happened to speak with him. Spielberg, who worked with Kennedy on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and other films, told her, “Kathy, there’s only one director that really should undertake this daunting, epic task, and that’s J.J. Abrams.” CBS News’ Bill Whitaker interviews Abrams about the making of his soon-to-be-released Star Wars movie for a 60 Minutes segment to be broadcast this at 7 PM Sunday.
Six weeks before the premiere, 60 Minutes watched as Abrams raced around a Hollywood soundstage, phone in hand, recording video mementos of composer John Williams at work on the movie’s score. Abrams grew up listening to recordings of Williams’ iconic movie scores, so he wanted to capture the composer in action. “This is like, momentous … as a fan, I can’t even believe I got to be here,” says Abrams, who was 11 when he first sat mesmerized in a theater watching the original Star Wars.
While making The Force Awakens for Disney, the seventh film in the blockbuster franchise, Abrams tapped his childlike wonder for the Star Wars galaxy, the newsmag reports. He tells Whitaker he couldn’t let his inner fanboy get in the way. “I had feelings of ‘Holy, what the … I can’t believe I’m here’ … constantly happening and I had to suppress that and say, ‘Yep, OK, let’s do it’ … because the job was not to be a wide-eyed fanboy. The job was to be director of the movie,” Abrams says.
Check out a clip of the interview above.