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Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK
Spielberg works Minority 'magic'
Minority Report
Morton (left) plays a human with super psychic powers

British actress Samantha Morton has said the big budgets director Steven Spielberg commands make working with him a "luxury".

Morton - best known for her Oscar-nominated part in Sweet and Lowdown - is a lead in Spielberg's Minority Report, a thriller set in 2054, when murder has been erased.

The movie has already topped US box office charts and has its UK première in London on Wednesday evening.

Morton said the wealth of the production made working with a powerful director such as Spielberg comparatively relaxed.

Poster for the movie Sweet and Lowdown
Morton was nominated for an Oscar for Sweet and Lowdown

"On one level a film set is a film set but beyond that there is another magic that I had never experienced before," said Morton on Tuesday in London.

"That magic is when people have the money to be free with what they want to do.

"So often the frustrations on a film set are: 'We can't afford to do that. We haven't enough time'.

"To have the time and the energy and dedication to be able to do what you want is just a luxury."

Swoop

Minority Report was made by Spielberg's Dreamworks Studio and Twentieth Century Fox.

It stars Tom Cruise as Chief John Anderton, head of the US Justice Department's Pre-Crime Unit where a trio of "pre-cogs" - humans with psychic powers - see crimes before they happen.

Actress Samantha Morton
Samantha Morton: Asked by Spielberg to be in his film

Anderton and his crew then swoop down and arrest suspects for acts they are yet to commit.

Morton plays the pre-cog Agatha, a role for which she was approached by Spielberg.

But, despite Spielberg's respected reputation, it was his movie's story and script that attracted her, Morton stressed.

Minority Report paints a bleak picture of a world ruled by high technology but largely lacking in comfort or hope.

Control

More disturbing still, is that this is an Orwellian hell, where surveillance is a 24-hour reality.

And, according to the actress, the so-called "science fiction" future existence of Minority Report is already here.
Steven Spielberg
Spielberg: Tests the audience's emotional stamina

"If you are arrested they take a swab of DNA. There are CCTV cameras everywhere. We are generally kept under some kind of control," said Morton.

But, she concluded, Spielberg - a director known for fraught films such as the Holocaust story Schindler's List - gave Minority Report necessary depth.

"Steven is like an 'ambassador of emotion'," Morton said.

"Some people feel violated by that - I have friends who find it too much to watch a Steven Spielberg film.

"But he is completely unabashed: He wants the audience to care for the people in his films."

Minority Report opens in the UK on 4 July.

See also:

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