Directors aren’t always known to be the most agreeable bunch of folks. Oftentimes, people with strong visions tend to have big personalities, and people with big personalities sometimes may either clash with folks, or run them over completely.
Steven Spielberg isn’t really a director with that reputation. After decades of filmmaking, there aren’t a lot of stories about him going off the rails and losing his temper. Well, it turns out that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy may have a little something to do with that.
Early on in Spielberg’s career, Kennedy had a stern talking to with Spielberg. Speaking to THR, Spielberg recalled a moment when Kennedy shifted his way of thinking. Here’s what he had to say:
“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.”
While we can’t credit Kathleen Kennedy for changing Spielberg’s personality (let’s be real, no one really changes after a single conversation), it certainly sounds like she made him a lot more self-aware about his ego, and his treatment of the crew in general.
Given that Spielberg has been around to craft classics for decades since, it sounds like it’s a mental shift that’s done him good.
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