As part of the special Round Table series, HFPA members recently met with the man who inspired the making of the upcoming Tom Hank’s film Captain Phillips, merchant mariner Richard Phillips, the former captain of the Maersk Alabama who was captured and held hostage when the ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in April 2009.
After spending five days tied up in a small lifeboat with the hijackers, Capt. Philips ultimately escaped unharmed when US Navy Seals killed the pirates.
Despite the experience Capt. Phillips soon resumed his work.
“For me, it was a pleasure to get back to work; that’s what I am used to.” Phillips told HFPA members. “I have been sailing now for 34 years, and it’s what I know, it’s the life I’ve had.
“I really do not consider myself a hero. I consider the heroes the SEALS and the Navy who put their lives in danger for mine. I was really looking out for myself and my crew and we were working together. My crew did a great job and they were instrumental in the positive outcome for them and I.”
While the experience has changed his life, it has miraculously left few scars.
“Yes, to me it’s really in the past, I have never had another problem, I don’t have daydreams, nightmares, I really don’t think about it, I truly believe I am lucky.
“I have always tried to enjoy my life. A lot of people say, ‘Oh your life must be great now,’ but it was great before, I have always enjoyed my life, so I really put what happened behind me.
Exclusive video: 4 time Golden Globe winner Tom Hanks talks about the heroic real life title character he plays in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, director Paul Greengrass’s gripping big screen adaptation of the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged cargo ship MV Maersk Alabama.Read More »