Steven Spielberg On Being Difficult In Early Directing Years Before Kathleen Kennedy Intervened

By Shawn Rice

Steven Spielberg is on par with Tom Hanks as being one of those men who appear to be incredibly friendly and giving in their Hollywood jobs. Spielberg exudes warmth and a friendly demeanor. However, that does not appear to have always been the case when it came to his early directing years.

Speaking with THR, the filmmaker revealed that at one time when he was much younger – he was actually something of a jerk to some of his co-workers. It was something that went on for a while until a friend, then young producer and current Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, called him out on it:

“Basically, I was a little bit of a hothead, impatient, and I would be hard on my crew – loving to my cast but tough on my crew. And about 15 days into shooting ‘E.T.,’ she pulled me into her office and sat me down in a chair and gave me the bollocking of my life.

Because she did not like the way I was talking to the crew. She didn’t care for my impatience, she didn’t care for my sharpness. She said, ‘This is unacceptable behavior,’ and I hadn’t heard that since a teacher in school or my own mom – and that was a big shift in my life. I became mindful because somebody I trusted and respected had called me out.”

It is an even more eye opening a story when you realise the film was Kennedy’s first producing credit and Spielberg was coming off the success of “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Kennedy and Spielberg have since collaborated many times.

Kennedy is of course well known as the President of Lucasfilm and the current driving force behind the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, but back in the day she was essentially Steven Spielberg’s secretary. The Post has quickly become an Oscars frontrunner after already winning awards.

Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in “The Post,” a thrilling drama being released on Dec. 22 about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light.

What do you think of Spielberg’s admission that he was a jerk in his early directing years? Are you excited for The Post? Let us know in the comments section.

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