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Richard Phillips packs Whallonsburg Grange Hall

Capt. Richard Phillips speaks to the over 150 people in attendance at the Champlain Valley Film Society’s screening of “Captain Phillips,” Feb. 2.

Capt. Richard Phillips speaks to the over 150 people in attendance at the Champlain Valley Film Society’s screening of “Captain Phillips,” Feb. 2. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Phillips said he rarely was on set for the filming of the movie and that the time he was there made him turn away from the profession.

“It’s not something I would want to do,” he said.

He also said the producers of the movie were very eager to see if he would be a fan of the movie once it was finished.

“They were worried about how I would react,” said Phillips. “My wife cries twice and jumps at the end. I thought it was a good movie.”

Phillips said the graphic nature of the violence portrayed against him in the movie did not bother him.

“I saw a lot worse than it portrays on the screen,” he said. “There were mock executions, beatings, things like that. They made it very clear they didn’t care about my life at any time.”

Phillips said he can also understand why the movie develops the roles of the pirates into near-sympathetic figures.

“They are people in the end, they are just in a terrible condition where there is very little hope,” he said. “When you are in those conditions, you can make decisions that are the wrong ones, and that is what these people did.”

Phillips continues to sail the seas as a Merchant Marine and ship captain. When he is not afloat, he spends his time talking to gatherings and organizations.

“I like to do things at local schools and give something back any time that I can.”

To watch video from Capt. Richard Phillips’ remarks at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, visit here.

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