In the scene, Trumbo (Cranston) is talking to director Otto Preminger (Christian Berkel) about revisions to the script for the 1960 film “Spartacus,” which Trumbo wrote before it became the then-biggest moneymaker in Universal history.
Trumbo leans back in his chair to give his bird a kiss before revealing how he got the idea for the alias, which he was forced to use after being blacklisted as one of the Hollywood Ten. In the mid-20th century, screenwriters, actors, directors and producers were denied employment due to their political beliefs, Trumbo among them.
“Do you know that Kirk Douglas gave me this bird?” he tells Preminger in the clip. “I named him Sam Jackson. He wrote Spartacus.”
Douglas was eventually the one who helped remove Trumbo from the blacklist when he publicly acknowledged the screenwriter’s involvement in “Spartacus.” Before then, Trumbo had written and co-written approximately 17 motion pictures without credit.
“Trumbo” opened in limited release on Nov. 6 and is going wide on Nov. 25.
Watch the exclusive clip above.