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Exclusive Interview on The BFG with Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney

Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill The BFG

When I heard that I was going to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview the Director of the upcoming Disney film “The BFG,” Steven Spielberg, I almost fainted. Spielberg is the mastermind behind all of my favorite childhood movies, and it felt surreal that I was going to meet him in real life. Not only was I going to get to meet Spielberg, but also meet the upcoming rising star in The BFG, Ruby Barnhill.

I couldn’t sleep the night before the interview, and spent the evening thinking back about all my favorite memories from Spielberg’s films including my favorite moments from his newest film “The BFG.” The BFG is an incredible film where Spielberg showed off his many talents as he brought the beloved story to life for families to cherish forever.

When I walked into the room, I got a seat in the front row, just a couple of feet away from the chairs where Spielberg and Barnhill were going to be sitting. It was either the LA heat wave we were experiencing or the adrenaline that had my heart racing with excitement.

Interview with Steven Spielberg

As they walked into the room, everyone in our group clapped with excitement. He took his seat along with Barnhill, and she looked up at him with such admiration, which made my heart gush. Before the interview began, Spielberg stopped to ensure that everyone in the back of the room could see and was comfortable.

Ruby Barnhill in The BFG

The interview started by talking about how his discovered the amazingly talented Barnhill. “I kinda believe in fate, and I really believe that they save the best to last, ’cause we were casting eight months and had not found Sophie after eight months of casting,” said Spielberg. He shared with us how they were searching for the perfect actress to play the role, and wasn’t going to give up hope. Just when he was about to consider his third or fourth choice for the role, he was shown an audition from Barnhill, and he said, “My whole life changed for the better.” Then Barnhill replied by saying, “Ahhhhh.”

“In that instant, Everything was okay with the world at that point, and I was so excited.” -Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

Barnhill had always wanted to be an actress after growing up watching her dad be an actor since she was a toddler. She found out that she got the role when her parents told her there was a phone call for her. When she picked up the phone, Nina Gold said, “Ruby, how old are you? I’m ten, ten. And she said, oh, well, that’s a shame because you’re not gonna be able to drink champagne when everyone’s celebrating because you got the part.” Her family was so happy for her, and her Nana bought her hundreds of balloons to celebrate.

Spielberg then shared that he put Barnhill’s father in the film. He is the one in the film which helps to guide The BFG into the palace when he’s crawling on his hands and knees.

The big question for Barnhill that everyone in the room wanted to know was how was it like working with Spielberg? “It was amazing. I don’t like making mistakes, and my art teacher was saying whenever you make a mistake you, you panic. But Steven really helped me realize that it’s okay to kind of make mistakes,” said Barnhill.

“I don’t even call them mistakes. I call them happy accidents.” -Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg and Ruby Barnhill

When Spielberg was asked what it is like being such a significant influence on multiple generations of children, he said, “I think of it in a way as having a very large extended family. I didn’t even understand when I was first starting out making movies about the power that film has. I wasn’t really appreciative or even aware of the outreach of cinema until I was actually older.”

“I thought Jaws was just a freak of nature, that that would never happen again. And then when ET suddenly happened, and lightning suddenly struck twice, I realized that cinema outlives the filmmakers.” -Steven Spielberg.

With all the movies that Spielberg has created, The BFG is his first Disney film. Spielberg shared with us that he has been a Disney fan for most of his life. “Disney had such a profound effect on my childhood because I was raised in the world of Walt Disney,” said Spielberg. He continued to say that Walt Disney’s movies, “Scared me to death, thrilled me to pieces, and made me laugh and made me cry.” Then when the Mickey Mouse club came on, Spielberg felt the same as many children in the 50’s did as an extended Mousketeer.

“To finally make a movie that has Disney’s name on it, I’m so proud when the start of the film begins and the castle shows up, and I get to make a movie right after it. My movie follows the castle.” -Steven Spielberg.

Making a Disney film is something that Spielberg had been waiting for his entire life. “Through The BFG and through Ralph Dahl’s genius I got the chance to do it,” said Spielberg.

“It doesn’t matter what languages we share or who we are and what our backgrounds are, sometimes a feeling can be communicated all over the world.” -Steven Spielberg.

The BFG with Steven Spielberg

Families all over the world will feel the same feeling of love, caring, and friendship when watching The BFG in theaters on July 1st. Learn more about The BFG on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Coraline Hughes at

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  1. I’m really looking forward to seeing this movie soon. I grew up having read the novel and now that the movie is out, I definitely need to check it out.


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