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THE MOVIE: Catch Me If You Can

Leonardo DiCaprio • Tom Hanks
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

DiCaprio, Spielberg and Hanks THE CONCEPT:
Set in the Sixties, the movie is based on the true story of Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) who, as a master of deception, conned people into believing that he was a doctor, a lawyer and a co-pilot for a major airline, all before his 21st birthday.

U.S. RELEASE: December 25 2002, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13


LEONARDO DiCAPRIO (Frank Abagnale):
“As an actor, being able to play this role really was a dream come true. I was an actor playing another actor. Steven [Spielberg] and Tom [Hanks] both got attached to the project because they were compelled to tell this unique story which is unlike anything they had ever heard of before.”

“I love scam movies. I love The Sting; it’s one of my favorite films. I love movies that are essentially about people that are against the law, but they are not killing anybody. They are basically trying to find a place for themselves in the world.”

TOM HANKS (FBI Agent Carl Hanratty):
“My character Carl is so impressed with the style and panache of [Frank Abagnale] his quarry, that he’s doubly astounded to discover how young he is. Carl suddenly realizes that he is just a kid, incredibly gifted but ultimately a child, who is in the midst of an adventure that is bigger than he is.”

“Steven Spielberg was like a conman when he was young, that’s how he got into the business. He actually impersonated a director for three months on the Universal lot and walked in and watched how people edited television shows and how directors worked with actors.”

“I had never heard of Frank Abagnale in the Sixties. But it was 1965, when I came to California for the first time, I took a tour of Universal Studios, jumped off the bus to go to the bathroom, never got back on the bus and spent the whole day walking around Universal watching TV shows being made. I put on a suit the next day and I walked past the guard, looking like an executive. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. But I always thought I’d get caught.”

“Everybody loves a scoundrel, and I think in this case everybody thinks they could get away with what Frank did. They look at what Leo does as Frank Abagnale and say, ‘I’m smart enough to do that.’ They actually think that they are as hip and as quick as Frank. And I think they are rooting for him to get caught as well. And I’m the goofy cat chasing the hip mouse.”

“I was conned a lot after Titanic – it was such a worldwide phenomenon, that people couldn’t help but think of me like a product. All of a sudden the worst of the worst becomes attracted to you and finds a way into your life, and it’s made me more skeptical about people certainly. And this just boils down to people pretending to be your friend, or that they genuinely care about something having to do with you or your life, and they have other intentions completely. But the benefit of it is that it’s brought me closer to the people who were already established in my life, my family and my friends.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © Amblin Entertainment
Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #627, February 2003 cover

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