You’d have to be living under a rock not to know director Steven Spielberg. After all, the prolific director has basically changed the way we see movies thanks to flicks like ET: Extra Terrestrial, Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List and Jaws.
That’s why it’s kind of surprising that we don’t know more about the famed filmmaker. Spielberg is certainly a household name, but we tend to hear more insider information (read: gossip) about the likes of James Cameron and Tim Burton. We suppose he likes to focus most of his energy on recreating things that matter to him behind the camera, but that does mean we have a few gaps to fill when it comes to the man himself.
Well, prepare to fill a few gaps. Thanks to rare footage and interviews from director Susan Lacy, the new HBO movie Spielberg (debuting Saturday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO Canada) gives us a whole new insight into one of the most popular cinematic minds of our time. We don’t want to give too much away ahead of the debut, but based on early screenings here are some of the juicier tidbits we learned about the man, the myth and the legend himself.
10 things you probably never knew about Steven Spielberg
He secretly studied HitchcockWhat do you do if you're a young director starting out and you want to learn from the best of the best? If you're Spielberg, you sneak onto the lot and secretly watch Alfred Hitchcock work. Getty
It all started with 'Lawrence of Arabia'The 1962 film started an obsession for Spielberg, who was 16 when it was released. He saw it every week for weeks in the theatre, and knew then that he would be a director.Getty
He once directed Joan CrawfordWhen Crawford was winding down her career, Spielberg was kicking his off. So one of his early gigs was directing Crawford in Night Gallery, a little-known, made-for-TV flick. Obviously, that was terrifying for him.Getty
He made 'ET' a family flickWhen ET was first conceptualized, it was supposed to be a horror flick. Spielberg had a different vision, one based on his own broken family, and inspired by his single mother. Getty
Spielberg's relationship with his dad was fracturedArnold and Steven Spielberg are on good terms now, but it took years for them to get there. Growing up, Steven blamed him for leaving his mother, something he eventually got over with time.Getty
He's never taken a dime from 'Schindler's List'Making the film was so important for Spielberg, that to this day he's never kept any of the film's profits, donating them all instead. Universal Pictures
'Schindler's List' is his only Best Picture winnerSurprisingly, this is the only movie that has ever won Spielberg an Oscar for best picture. Saving Private Ryan lost to Shakespeare in Love, while The Color Purple lost to Out of Africa.Getty
He's always wanted to direct James BondSpielberg has always wanted to direct the legendary British spy, but he's always been turned down for one reason or another. MGM
He has a pretty impressive squadTurns out famous directors hang out quite frequently. Spielberg and George Lucas are actually good friends, and they include the likes of Martin Scorsese and James Cameron as part of their crew.Getty
He has two famous god daughtersSpielberg wasn't just responsible for putting child actors Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow on the big screen, he also went on to become god father to both young women. Getty