Thomas Roberts   |  October 11, 2013

The real Captain Phillips shares his story

The new movie "Captain Phillips" recounts an incredible story of survival, after four Somali pirates stormed a U.S.-owned merchant ship and took its captain hostage for ransom. The real-life Captain Richard Phillips joins MSNBC.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> right.

>> the new movie "captain phillips" recounts an incredibly story of survival on the high seas . four smomali pirates taking a captain hostage and its crew for random. the real life richard phillips joins us this morning. captain, i had a chance to see the movie yesterday. it is riveting and i know how it ends. i knew how it ends going into it but still you're cheering that they're not able to get on the boat, they're not able to achieve what they were trying to achieve the whole time. but for you personally, how have you been able to get through this experience, because it is so emotional and was so emotional for you in 2009 . how have you been able to distance yourself from it now?

>> well, it's pretty much been, you know, that door has been closed behind me. it has been for almost four and a half years ago. i was just lucky to have survived. the s. erchle.a.l.s and the military did an unbelievable job and they are the true heroes of this story.

>> you were taken captive. you guys fought back. then you were taken on the life boat as they tried to escape and then you were held for five days on the high seas until you were saved by the s.e.a.l.s. with creative license being what it is in hollywood, how closely does the movie mirror the actual events?

>> well, it's pretty close. paul greengrass boiled it down to. it's a basic story of a man's peril on the sea. it's hard to compress a five-day event into two hours for a movie so there are some schedule changes. but it does portray the stress and the tension in itself. the name, i think, is a little miss norm because it's more than captain phillips, it's myself and 18 of my crew and my crew did a great job and were instrumental in the positive outcome for them and myself.

>> when we look at the film and know now some been made for what it means for the merchant marines , the safety on board the ship did not include a gun, correct?

>> there was no gun.

>> and how have things changed since what happened in 2009 to you?

>> well, i'm on a different ship now, although many do not know that the maersk alabama has been attacked six times since. but there is an armed security team on the ships i'm on and some other security things we do. i don't want to divulge them. we're always trying to stay ahead of the pirates.

>> one thing i want to ask you about because as you talk about the crew and how much they went through and how much respect you have for them, there are members, the coordination of the crew, a lawyer gave us a statement saying the movie gets significant facts wrong, leaves out important details about why it was located so close to these pirate-infested waters despite multiple warnings to stay away from the area. if you could do it over again, do you think there would be anything you would do differently?

>> as a monday morning quarterback there are a few things we'd do different. but what a lot of people don't realize, we in the merchant marine deal with piracy all over the world. we deal with it off vietnam, java, indonesia, east and west coast africa, east and west coast of south america and indeed off of nigeria it's worse today than somalia ever was. it's something we deal with in the merchant marine . it's not a johnny deppesque situation for us out there. if you go to sea, you have to deal with piracy. the maersk alabama was always in those waters. at no time were we away or what anybody wants to call a safe area . every boat you see, every ship in that area should be considered a possible security and piracy incident. warnings are issued all the time. they're not realtime issuing as far as, you know, on the spot by the news we have here. and it's really, if you can avoid the area, most of the warnings are if you can avoid the area to remain 600 miles off. we were never outside 600 miles. we were in the area. djibouti is just north of somalia.

>> i encourage everybody to see it. tom hanks does a great job. there's oscar buzz about the film.

>> i told him he needs to put on a little weight and get a little better looking. i think he did a good job.

>> he did a good job, he really did. it's great to meet you, captain. thanks for your time. captain richard phillips .

>> thank you.

>>> well, the nobel peace prize , malala not the winner of this year's prize. we'll take a look at who did win and get global reaction.