Vintage Celebrity Feud: Julia Roberts v. Steven Spielberg

Julia Roberts is one of those untouchable celebrities who manages to keep a pristine reputation despite a history of questionable behavior. But here at The Dishmaster, it’s always fun to remind my readers of celebrity feuds amongst Hollywood titans. One such feud happened in 1991 on the set of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Hook.’ Rumors circulated during filming that Roberts was extremely difficult to work with, and she soon developed the clever nickname “Tinkerhell”. When Spielberg was asked about the rumors during a ’60 Minutes’ interview, he slyly said, “It was an unfortunate time for us to work together.” The “difficult time” in question was Roberts’ decision to leave Kiefer Sutherland just three days before their wedding date, a choice that the press deemed to be related to some kind of a “nervous breakdown.” When Roberts got wind of Spielberg’s comment, she wasn’t pleased. She told Vanity Fair, “I saw that [interview] and my eyes popped out of my head. I couldn’t believe that this person that I knew and trusted was actually hesitating to come to my defense. It was the first time that I felt I had a turncoat in my midst.” But Spielberg didn’t back down. His representative issued a statement in response, saying, “It was just a tough time in her life. Fortunately, she went on to great success, and so did Steven.”

Did Steven Spielberg Instruct Michael Bay to Fire Megan Fox over Hitler Comments?

I’m not one of those Jews that takes personal offense to the colloquial mentions of Nazism or Hitler. Just don’t call me cheap, though — then I’ll kill you. Apparently, Steven Spielberg doesn’t share in my let-it-roll-off-my-back way of living. In the war of the words between Michael Bay and Megan Fox, Fox compared Michael Bay’s on-set antics to Adolf Hitler. According to Bay, Spielberg said, “fire her right now,” after hearing the comments. So is this true, or is this a desperate attempt by Michael Bay to erase the history of his consistent bad press? I’m not sure, but the time line seems suspicious. Technically, Fox wasn’t “fired,” but instead — her option was not renewed. To put it simply, the movie studio had the option of employing her for the the third film, and they chose not to. Had they wanted her (or had they “picked up her option”), she would have been contractually bound to return for the third installment. They chose not to renew her option at the eleventh hour, which was far later than when she originally made the comments. Translation? — I’m not sure I believe Michael Bay.

Steven Soderbergh Quits Film? — Does Success Make People Lazy?

Steven Soderbergh announced that he’ll likely quit the film industry, saying, “it’s time.”  “When you reach the point where you’re like if I have to get into a van to do another scout I’m just going to shoot myself, it’s time to let somebody else who’s still excited about getting in the van, get in the van.”  Can somebody please explain to me when successful people got so damn lazy?  First Billy Joel refuses to write new music, and then Phil Collins announces his retirement.  Doesn’t Steven Soderbergh have more work to do?  How many successful films did Steven Spielberg churn out before he got lazy?  Oh yeah — he’s still working.  I guess Spielberg likes his van.

Did You Know: Michael Crichton Created ER?

I came across this information today, and I had to post it. I confess that despite my inordinate amount of useless entertainment knowledge, I had no idea that Michael Crichton created ER. He created the series in 1993 while working with Steven Spielberg on Jurassic Park. Crichton said in an interview that he was shocked by the show’s success, but he attributed it to the real-life format, as a healthy alternative to the “Charlies Angelized” television shows that were on at the time. Crichton died of cancer in 2008 at the age of 66. The movies based on his books have grossed over $1 billion. That’s a lot of success for someone who died much too young.