Steven Spielberg, one of the most bankable directors in Hollywood, has announced that he is no longer interested in action films, despite a resume thick with adventurous blockbusters.
Starting in 1975 with Jaws, Spielberg has been the brains behind many famous action-packed outings including the Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones franchises. With Daniel Day-Lewis and Lincoln around the corner, Spielberg said during an interview with 60 Minutes that the action genre no longer interests him.
“I knew I could do the action in my sleep at this point in my career,” Spielberg said, admitting that Lincoln is action-light. “In my life, the action doesn’t hold any … it doesn’t attract me any more.”
Spielberg also revealed that Lincoln, for him, was partially inspired by a reconciliation with his father, reports The Guardian. Spielberg’s films notably feature recurring themes of troubled father/son relationships.
“[President Lincoln] was the father of the nation in need of repair,” Spielberg said. “And in a sense, the movies I’ve made recently have reflected the positive relationships that my dad and I have enjoyed for 20, 25 years.”
The 65-year-old director also said that he tend to be a “nervous wreck” while filming, and uses his movies to exorcise his fears:
“It’s not really fear,” he said. “It’s just much more of an anticipation of the unknown. And you know, the unknown could be food poisoning. It’s just the kind of level of anxiety not being able to write my life as well as I can write my movies.” How doe she handle those fears? “There’s no better way than to tell a story about them and infect everybody else.”
The interview also revealed a rare look into Spielberg’s personal life, in which he admitted to being bullied as a child:
“I was a nerd in those days. Outsider. Like the kid that played the clarinet in the band and orchestra, which I did.”
He also confessed that part of the bullying stemmed from his Jewish heritage, and that he would often deny it:
“I denied it for a long time,” Spielberg said, admitting shame. “I often told people my last name was German, not Jewish. I’m sure my grandparents are rolling over in their graves right now, hearing me say that.” Then he discovered film-making at age 16, finding “a way to accept myself. … I found that I could do something well.”
Are you a fan of Steven Spielberg? Are you looking forward to Lincoln?