Steven Spielberg Opens Up About Parents’ Divorce

Steven Spielberg On ’60 Minutes’: Director Reveals How Childhood Traumas Resulted In Inspiration


Steven Spielberg appeared on Sunday’s edition of “60 Minutes” in support of the upcoming drama “Lincoln” and revealed how his relationship with his father, Arnold, has driven his creativity over the last five decades and 27 films.

“I did pin it on him,” Spielberg told Lesley Stahl about his parent’s divorce, which occurred when the director was just 19. In films like “E.T.” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” the fathers leave their families behind, an unsubtle reference to how Spielberg felt after his parent’s divorce. It was Spielberg’s mother, Leah Adler, however, who fell in love with her husband’s friend and pursued the divorce.

“I think I was just protecting her, because I was in love with her,” Arnold Spielberg said when asked why he didn’t set the record straight with his son.

As it turns out, that wouldn’t have mattered: Spielberg still blamed his father even after the truth was revealed. It wasn’t until Spielberg’s wife, Kate Capshaw, urged a reconciliation, that Spielberg reconnected with his father. That relationship has played out onscreen, in films like “War of the Worlds,” “Catch Me If You Can” and the upcoming “Lincoln”; the fathers are shown as complicated, tough, but ultimately loving and caring.

“I think one of the worst things that happened to me was my voluntary fallout with my father,” Spielberg said. “And then the greatest thing that happened to me was when I saw the light, and realized I needed to love him in a way that he could love me back.”

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Article previously published on Huffington Post.

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