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Making the cut with Spielberg

EMILE GREY
Last updated 14:30 14/11/2012

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I was born in New Zealand but grew up in Western Samoa, mixing with kids from the same background.

To pass the boredom of living in paradise we use to play little pranks on tourists.

We would go to the market place in Apia and spot one out and talk with them in a "We-can't-speak-English" kind of way. It was so funny. The tourists would use hand and facial gestures to explain where they were from and all that.

One day we spotted a bloke dressed in army green and sitting alone drinking Cocoa Samoa. We approached him and started to chat and play our little game. I think he was on to us from the beginning because he didn't flinch one bit, so we got on to having quite a discussion about where we were from.

This guy later introduced himself as Steven Spielberg. Steven who? I was thinking he's going to turn this into his game. He rattled off several movie titles and still my friend and I were none the wiser.

This was more than 20 years ago, and Samoa was not up to play with recent releases -we were still caught up in the subtitled or voice over Kung Fu movies.

We must have chatted for a good hour because we thought this Steven guy was having us on and we started rattling off some movies ideas.

I still have his image in my head as it was one of those chats you just remember.

I came back to New Zealand after a while and either on television or in a newspaper I saw his name and face... the face I had spoken to in Samoa.

To this day my family are always reminded when I hear or see the name Steve Spielberg that he and I are practically best friends.

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