Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Steven Spielberg Confirms What We All Suspected About Kathleen Kennedy's On-Set Behavior

In an era where auteur directors have increasingly been scrutinized for unprofessional and abusive on-set behavior, Steven Spielberg stands out as a director who other Hollywood professionals love working with. Spielberg has gained a well-earned reputation as one of the best filmmakers of all time over his prolific 50-year career. His films include "Jaws," "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," "Jurassic Park," "Schindler's List," "Saving Private Ryan," and 2021's "West Side Story," not to mention 20-something other movies he has directed since the 1960s (via IMDb).

The 75-year-old auteur still pumps out hype-worthy movies to this day: his next project, "The Fablemans," is reportedly a fictionalized version of Spielberg's own childhood starring Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, and Seth Rogen.

While Spielberg is well-loved by his contemporaries and modern Hollywood creatives alike, even he does acknowledge that he was not always a perfect director to work with on set. Spielberg cites producer Kathleen Kennedy, who he has worked with as far back as 1979, as someone who helped him nip any bad behavior in the bud before it grew worse.

Steven Spielberg says Kathleen Kennedy called him out for 'unacceptable behavior' on E.T.

Kathleen Kennedy's first producer credit on a feature film came from 1982's "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," one of Spielberg's greatest hits (via IMDb). In a 2017 interview, Spielberg noted that he was hard on his crew in the film's earliest shooting days until Kennedy stepped in to admonish him.

"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," Spielberg told The Hollywood Reporter. "And about 15 days into shooting 'E.T.,' [Kennedy] 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."

Kennedy's professional standards, even as a young producer working with Hollywood's brightest mind in the early '80s, are part of what has made her one of the most decorated film producers ever (via IMDb).