Home > Movies > Dreamworks Exposé Reveals Steven Spielberg’s Bizarre Work Habits; Rep Denies Book’s Accuracy

Dreamworks Exposé Reveals Steven Spielberg’s Bizarre Work Habits; Rep Denies Book’s Accuracy


Eccentricity can often be a characteristic of highly ambitious creative people and Steven Spielberg, the celebrated filmmaker of movies like E.T. and Jurassic Park, is no stranger to having his private side revealed publicly; usually in the form of a tell all book. Peter Biskind certainly didn’t spare any punches in his 1999 book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls when he described him in the opening chapter, writing:

Spielberg even had a mild speech defect, a lateral lisp, and, like Schrader and Scorsese, lots of phobias, fears of elevators, roller coasters, airplanes and so on. If anyone looked at him sideways he got a nosebleed.

He also talked about his tendency toward narcissism:

The number of times he wanted his name on the screen was an embarassment. If he could have written, ‘Hair Styled by Steven Spielberg,’ he would have.

And his delayed sexual maturity:

By the time he was thirty-five he had a the sexual maturity of a 25 year old. He thought he was unattractive to women, and the only way he could attract them was through power. Which made him uncomfortable.

Speilberg’s persona takes another hit in entertainment journalist Nicole Laporte‘s new book, The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks. One passage of the book describes some of his more bizarre work habits:

His passion for secrecy sometimes suggests a burgeoning near-paranoia. In Spielberg’s office, hanging above his desk, a plexiglass half-moon keeps sound from reverberating so that his phone conversations remain ultra-confidential. When an assistant once asked what the funny thing over Spielberg’s desk was, a security guard referred to it as a dome of silence.
When… Spielberg’s longtime editor views footage in the screening room, a black cloth is draped over the projection booth window to hide the screen. Every document that leaves the office – a script, development report, even a memo – is coded, so that should it somehow get into the wrong hands… the person responsible for the breach can be identified.
When Spielberg isn’t at (his office), live-cam images are streamed to his home. There are also measures to protect against earthquakes or attacks, as Spielberg believes in being prepared… At one point, employees were given survival kits including gas masks and other amenities.

Speilberg’s rep shot back a response to the allegations in the book, saying:

This description is so far from the real world of Steven that it doesn’t deserve a comment. If the rest of the book is like this excerpt, readers can expect very little of what they read to be true.


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