Geoffrey Rush Helped ‘The Book Thief’ Co-Star “Steal” Books

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One of the drawbacks of having a job in which you interact with celebrities is that EVERYONE in my life literally asks the same question after I mention that I’ve met/interviewed/seen a celebrity: “Is he/she nice?”  I often point out that they’re supposed to be nice to me because our interactions are in a business engagement.  It isn’t like we had lunch and played a round of golf.  Of course, that does little to stop the questions. I’ll even say, “I only spoke to him/her for about twenty seconds” and someone will still ask “Yeah, but was he/she nice?”

However, I do have an actual answer to the question of “who is the nicest celebrity you’ve ever met?” That honor goes to Geoffrey Rush, who took extra time out of his schedule to answer questions from me even though he had a thousand other people wanting to talk to him and publicists trying to drag him away.  And after reading a story on Vulture, it confirms what I’ve always thought about him. 

That’s because the article reveals that during the production of The Book Thief Rush actually helped his young co-star Sophie Nélisse steal books to get into character.  She told Rush of her plan to swipe books from a bookstore across from their hotel, but while it is a defining trait of her character I doubt Rush thought it was fair to the bookstore or to Nélisse to let her go down a criminal path at such a young age.

So, Rush actually arranged it so she wasn’t stealing books even though she thought she had.  Nélisse’s mother explains, “She and Geoffrey had planned this whole thing out, and Geoffrey took me aside and told me what I thought I had overheard, and he said, ‘You should go see the people at the store.’ So everything was arranged. Everybody knew.”  It wasn’t until a week later that Nélisse’s mother told her that she had actually paid for the books beforehand and the “stealing” was no secret to the store’s staff.

So yeah, I guess I can keep saying Rush is the nicest celebrity I’ve met.  I mean, what other celebrity actually stops little girls from becoming criminals?

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