“I’m very, very proud of that. I have to admit I didn’t think at the time, ‘Oh, this is going to go down in movie history.’ I’d never been in front of a camera before; I’d been working in the theater in England, my now-ex-wife was pregnant with our daughter, and we were absolutely stone-broke. And I was doing plays for 10 people in a garage somewhere … usually in Polish or something.
“Suddenly, this interview opportunity came up: ‘Do you want to go meet Steven Spielberg to talk about this film he’s making?’ Of course, Steven was a star director by then, and I turned up at this very posh hotel in London, and I got the job. At the time, I was earning something like 100 pounds a week, which was the Union basic for theater. For this movie, they offered me 1,000 pounds a week.”
“[It was] a gift from God. I’ve publicly thanked Steven many, many times. That job saved my bacon, in more ways than one. We were able to buy a push chair and a stroller for the baby, and I was able to decorate her little room in our flat. It was our salvation, that gig, and I’ve never had a problem with people coming up to me about it. They’ll shout that line to me, ‘Throw me the idol, I’ll throw you the whip!’ I’m delighted that people still remember it.”
Alfred Molina, who played the back-stabbing Satipo in Raiders of the Lost Ark, on his gratitude to Spielberg for casting him in the film.