After working together for the first time in 1998, Hanks and Spielberg went on to collaborate with Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal, while also co-producing historical TV series like Band of Brothers and The Pacific. And now they have made the Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies.

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg on the set of Bridge Of Spies

While they first met each other in the 1980s, they struggled for years to find a project they wanted to work on together. "We got to know each other as guys who live in the same part of town," Tom Hanks says. "We had kids all about the same age, operating in the same nonprofessional circles. And we developed a language that was all about how we read history for pleasure. We were constantly reading biographies and watching documentaries."

Of finding a project to work on together, Spielberg says, "It's funny because a couple of times it's been my idea or it's been Tom's idea. Once Tom read the first draft of a script and I read the first draft of a script and we called each other on the phone at the same moment - that was Saving Private Ryan. That was the one time that he cast me and I cast him." "It's no surprise that the first thing we did was based on the vision of history we never cease reading about," Hanks says. So of course both were intrigued by the true story behind Bridge of Spies. "I knew nothing about this story two years go. It was simply a piece of history that was so compelling personally for me: a man who stood on his principles and defied everybody hating his family for what he thought he needed to do - equal protection under the law even for an accused Soviet spy. That was to me a righteous reason to tell this story."

And Hanks agrees that this wasn't like other movies in which he has played a real person. "I was fuelled by no pre-conceived notion of James Donovan," he says. "I knew nothing about the man. When you're coming across the guy who is an awfully good insurance lawyer that then ends up being part of such a momentous six days in history - I'm a selfish actor. I'll lunge at that opportunity!"

Watch the trailer for Bridge Of Spies here: