A Minute With: Director Phillip Noyce on "Salt"

Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:30pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Australian director Phillip Noyce returned to directing Angelina Jolie in the new Russian spy action thriller "Salt," more than ten years after he worked with her in "The Bone Collector."

The newest film, which was released in the United States last week and Russia this week, evokes old Cold war suspicions between the two countries. "Salt" received some good luck on the publicity front when just before its release 10 Russian spies based in the United States were arrested and swapped for four Russians suspected of working for the West.

Noyce spoke to Reuters about why Hollywood is returning to the Cold War as a topic for movie entertainment and why Jolie was the perfect fit for the role of a secretive agent.

Q. The Russian spy arrests earned huge media attention. What is it about U.S.-Russia relations that still captures America's public imagination so long after the end of the Cold War?

A. "Because it was such a monumental contest on every level from the sports field to outer space, because we won. And when you win you want to keep returning to the story and replaying it."

"The struggle between the two belief systems was so monumental and fought over so many decades, and we won so we keep returning to the story. The story is still going on as we have seen with the arrest of the 'New York Eleven'. Why will it keep going on? Because those 11 are the tip of the iceberg."

Q. But the Cold War is over? Why return?

A. "Because the human being is the ultimate weapon -- the penetration of the sleeper spy."   Continued...

<p>Actors Angelina Jolie (L), Chiwetel Ejiofor (C) and executive producer Phillip Noyce pose during the launch of their movie "Salt" in Cancun June 30, 2010. Reuters/Gerardo Garcia</p>