Steven Spielberg is a name that has inspired and influenced generations and different age groups of people. Not only that, his movies through four decades have spanned several themes, path-breaking concepts and experimental genres. With adventure thrillers and science fiction movies like Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind in the 1970s, Spielberg’s directorial ventures in Hollywood began and since then there was no looking back. He started off with directing for the television and it was Universal Studios that offered him his first TV films and then the director’s chair for the horror-thriller, Jaws that became his first step to the showbiz world.
Here are some more lesser known facts about the renowned and highest-grossing director of Hollywood who has produced and written many of his films:
Empire of the Sun is his darkest film, said Spielberg
Christian Bale’s debut film, Empire of the Sun is believed to be Spielberg’s darkest movie till date. He said, “I made a movie to satisfy me, not the audience,” adding that “It’s as dark as I’ve allowed myself to get.”
His net worth has been estimated to be worth three billion dollars by Fortune and he is the highest-grossing director whose early film, E.T. is one of the highest grossing films of Hollywood, the writer-director chose not to take a single penny for his role in making Schindler’s List only because he believed that the money he would receive would be ‘blood money‘.
Raiders of the Lost Ark was an adventure thriller that motivated the film craftsman to create its sequel in the form of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as he strongly believed that if he did not create the sequel, somebody else will. These insecurities and “pangs of separation” as he called it, were responsible for the direction and creation of Temple. He was quoted saying, “I got a little bit jealous, and I got a little bit frustrated.”
Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. were different from how they are now known as
It was UFOs, political scandals and a whistle blower’s act of creating awareness about government’s move to conceal about aliens that formed the initial script of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. However, after much rewrites that also involved Paul Schrader of Taxi Driver fame that had been rejected by Spielberg and his team, after which the final script of the movie was penned down. E.T., meanwhile, was initially set to be a horror flick where aliens petrify a family living in the villages.
Steven Spielberg’s creativity is indomitable and unsurpassed. A movie adapted from H.G. Wells’ novel, War of the Worlds was originally intended to document the apocalypse of 9/11 and the aftermath of the tragedy that finally came out to be a family movie. He said about the film, “I never made War of the Worlds for a family audience, it was a very intense post 9/11 apocalyptic movie about the end of everything.”
He described the time between his graduation days and finally his degree for B.A. in Film and Video production in 2002 as the longest post-production schedule. To secure the degree, he submitted Schinder’s List as his student film.
Spielberg had to direct Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to apologize for Temple of Doom.
A director truly becomes a mastermind of films when he can critique his own work. Spielberg found his film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to be “too horrific” which is why as an apology for his second Indiana Jones film, he created the third one, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
As shocking as it may sound, Spielberg never drank a cup of coffee in his lifetime as he dislikes the smell of coffee. “I don’t drink coffee. I have never had a cup of coffee in my entire life. That’s something you probably don’t know about me. I have hated the taste since I was a kid.”
It is even more difficult to believe but is true to the T that Spielberg could not complete his education as he became the youngest director to be signed for a seven-year contract by Universal Studios for TV films and finally got his degree in 2002 at the age of 55. He was a victim to massive bullying in his school days because of his inability to read due to dyslexia which he was not diagnosed with until late.
Parent to seven kids
Spielberg first married Amy Irving, his actress from Close Encounters, who he started dating early on in her career, but separated after their professions started creeping in to their personal lives and later again revived their romance to get married in 1985 to get divorced four years later. Spielberg for the second time married Kate Capshaw, the lead actress in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and is a parent to seven children of the Spielberg – Capshaw family.
Apart from these, Spielberg is also known for his active contributions to video games – he was responsible for building on an idea for a WWII shooting game that came to be the first “Medal of Honor” game.
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Think you know your international politics? Maybe you’re more familiar with those topics that were once taught to you in school, like the First and Second World Wars, or more recently, the US Presidential elections. Today, one of the most prominent political figures in the world has to be Vladimir Putin. The President of Russia, now in his third term, a man who was responsible for bringing his country out of severe economic depression and making it a substantial player on the world political stage.
More recently, he was in the news for allegedly ordering a smear campaign against then-Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, instead siding with Donald Trump.Who is this man? And what makes him such a force to reckon with? Here are some ordinary and maybe not-so-ordinary facts about Vladimir Putin –
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on October 7, 1952 in a communal apartment block in what is now St. Petersburg. The Putins stayed on the fifth floor of the complex. Before Vladimir’s birth, the death of his two elder brothers, one still in infancy and the other due to diphtheria caused his mother a lot of heartache.
Once upon a time, Vladimir Putin was actually married. He and Lyudmila Putina tied the knot in 1983 and were together for over 30 years. They divorced back in 2014. They have two daughters together, Maria Putin and Katerina Tikhonova, an acrobatic dancer.
Putin was named TIME Person of the Year. His mugshot was on the cover of the magazine, shot by renowned photographer Platon. That image of Putin went on to win the World Press Photo of 2008. Legend has it that the Platon was so enamoured by Putin, that he spent over $2000 calling up his acquaintances and boasting about his experience!
At the age of 11, a young Vladimir Putin began training in judo, much to his mother’s chagrin. He went on to earn his eight black belt in 2014.
Putin is actually an avid animal lover. He held a nation-wide competition to name one of his dogs, and settled on Buffy. His Akita Inu he named Yume. His admirers have gifted him a number of animals, including a Siberian tiger, a dwarf horse and a goat.
The Russian President is one for adventure sports. While he is not ruling the country, he is out in the wilderness swimming, riding horses, hiking and keeping himself fit in nature.
Putin was once a part of the KGB, the Russian Secret Service. He even rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
His paternal grandfather, Spiridon Putin, once worked as a chef in the house of Lenin, and even in the house of Stalin. He was also a great influence in Putin’s life.
Apart from being fluent in Russian (obviously), he is also well versed with German. When Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel visited his country, he acted as her translator. However, Putin isn’t that great with English, though he learnt bits and pieces during his time with the KGB.
Putin never cared for religion, and considered himself an atheist during his younger days. But then after his wife met with an automobile accident, and there was a fire in his house, he turned his sights on God. Now, he is a devout follower of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Thanks to his love for all things sports, he managed to convince F1 boss Ecclestone to bring F1 racing to Russia.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
Probably known as one of the most successful rulers in history, his Mongol empire stretched out from modern day Europe to China, the largest that we have ever seen. Thanks to his many military raids, he managed to become extremely wealthy. However, Genghis Khan was as rich as he was generous. According to history, whenever he conquered any territory, the loot would be noted down and then distributed to his soldiers, officers and their families. So in truth, he was more of a real estate holder than actual wealth.
The Microsoft founder will one day become the first trillionaire of the modern world. It is reported that he is worth nearly $79 billion! Yes, with a B. And his success also extends to his philanthropy, where he and wife Melinda Gates use their influence to make the world a better place and are trying to eradicate diseases in developing nations.
Another historical figure who ruled during the golden age of the Moghul Empire. It is said that Akbar I actually had 25% of the world’s GDP during his time. He was a man of great influence, almost as much as his affluence. He build some of the most beautiful structures that still stand as testament to his glorious rule.
It seems that conquering and looting nations is the only way to become a wealthy man. Another historical figure who can probably be considered one of the top five richest men in history is Augustus Caesar. His worth, in today’s figures, is estimated to be $4.6 trillion! He conquered all the productive, prosperous lands, including Egypt that made him so rich.
You probably haven’t heard of his name, but this guy had a lot of wealth. He ruled Timbuktu back in the day and was leader during the time of the gold flow. The shiny metal was in high demand, as it is to this day, and he was sole collector of the fortune. Historians say they can’t even estimate his wealth, because it is way beyond counting.
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One of our favorite shows, ever, That 70s Show was last aired a decade ago, in May of 2006 (can you believe it?!) The show was about a bunch of teenagers growing up in the 70s, a time when American society was just opening up and evolving into something more “modernized”. The cast itself was brilliantly put together, and each character lived up to expectations. All have moved on, some to A-list careers, but they still remain friends to this day, the closest being Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who are now married with 2 children.
Here are some super awesome facts on your favorite TV show that you probably didn’t know about already…
The “stoner circle” is one typical of a group of friends sitting for a session of pot smoking. Due to censors, the show couldn’t actually show a joint being passed around, so smoke was let off in the room and the camera went around the circle, though each character really did act stoned and even a noob could tell you that it is the epic puff, puff, pass way of doing things.
Kurtwood Smith, who plays Red Forman was the only member of the cast who is actually from Wisconsin and probably grew up in the same era that the show is about. And, the character of the Forman patriarch was supposed to be played by Chuck Norris, but he was too busy with Texas Ranger. Looks like Smith did a pretty good job, though we never saw the foot up anyone’s *ass!
Mila Kunis, who played Jackie Burkheart was only 14 years old when she got the part, though she lied to producers and said she was 16 at the time. Danny Masterson, who played Steven Hyde was the eldest kid in the circle, 22 at the time. So, when the show actually ended, Kunis was then 22 years old!
Love was in the air! During the filming of the show, Laura Prepon who played Donna Pinciotti, was datinf Danny Masterson’s brother. Though Michael Kelso and Jackie Burkheart were steady as a couple on-screen, off-screen actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis had their own separate lives. Mila has famously said that it was long after the show was over that the two began to hook up as friends with benefits, which slowly turned to love. Now, the two are married with 2 kids!
FEZ, played by Wilmer Valderrama, is actually a short-form for Foreign Exchange Student. No one really knows his full name throughout the show, neither from where he comes. Jackie is the only character who calls people by their names, while everyone else refers to the other by their last names.
And last but not least, there would never have been the name, “That 70s Show”. Originally, the writers wanted to name it after song titles by The Who – Teenage Wasteland or The Kids Are Alright. Due to copyright issues, they settled for their simple title, which, as you would have it, created history.
Why are the gods so cruel? The rest of us mere mortals struggle while they try to keep a straight face with their mockery, there are some who are born and bred lucky. Celebrities of the past not only raked in millions of dollars for playing a few roles here and there, but managed to spawn some of the most gorgeous kids of our generation. Growing up in the lap of luxury, little stress marks show on any of their blooming faces, and the best of beauty products are always within reach of their manicured hands. We welcome the celebrity kids who grew up as gorgeous as their parents, and are all set to become the famous ones of our time…
She was born into a wealthy family in Beverly Hills and studied at Malibu High School where she was the captain of the volleyball team and also competed in horse riding. Gigi Hadid has now made a career as a fashion model and has been the face of a number of top fashion magazines at the age of 21. She even descends from a line of royalty on her father’s side, and her mother herself was a great model of the 80s. Her siblings are equally just as gorgeous as she is – fellow model Bella Hadid and brother Anwar.
Her mother was the smiley face of the movie Legally Blonde and her father was the heartthrob of the 90s. Ava Philippe managed to catch all the right genes of both her parents who met on the sets of Cruel Intentions and Reese Witherspoon famously told him, “You’re my birthday present”. Ava recently made her public debut with her mom on the red carpet, and the press noted that they looked like siblings! Let’s watch what comes next with this celebrity kid…
The offspring of Hollywood’s coolest couple, Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose grew up in a chilled out home environment that probably didn’t have much of schooling and punishing. She was allowed to be her own person, and at the young age of 13 was even open about her fluid sexuality. Now, the young star is already starring in a yet-to-be-released movie opposite Natalie Portman and has posed for a number of international magazines.
Recognize the last name? That’s the baby of the Real Slim Shady! Eminem has had many achievements in his fantastic career as one of the greatest rap artists ever, but this seems to be his best yet – his daughter Hailie. Can you believe it, the girl is turning 20 this year? He even wrote a rap song on her called Hailie, and has mentioned her numerous times in his tumultuous lyrics. She is currently a student at a top university and carries on her life away from the spotlight. Probably one of the most regular star kids out there, right?
Madonna was the pop star of the 80s and continues to be a respected legend in the music industry. However, her personal life has been anything but stable. She moved from man to man of varying ages, and managed to have three kids in the process – one is David who she adopted from Malawi, the other is a teenage son Rocco who she recently lost custody of and the third is Lourdes Leon, a daughter who has turned out to look exactly like her mom did at her age, and so gorgeous at that. She recently came into the spotlight after she accompanied her to a Alexander Wang show at NYFW.
When you have a supermodel mom, you better look like her! That seems to be just the case with Cindy Crawford’s little girl, Kaia. She’s barely 14 and already modelling for a number of fashion magazines. Her innocent look, gorgeous hair and doe eyes are winning her a lot of positive attention from her mom’s colleagues in the fashion industry.
Her parents were the power couple of Hollywood and have been in the news for their public shenanigans as well as their work. Now their younger daughter, Hailey, sister to model Ireland, is taking her charming Baldwin looks to the red carpet. She was earlier known as a starlet and socialite, and also short-term girlfriend to Justin Bieber. Now, she is a model in her own right and is ready to make her catwalk debut.
Her mother is a deadly actress and her father is one of those actors that casts a spell wherever he goes. Now Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke’s little girl is all grown up and is already starting a storm in Hollywood. Rumours were rife that director Sofia Coppola walked out of a project because Maya wasn’t cast as the lead. She also just landed herself a prime deal as the face of one of London’s top brands.
Let’s round up our list of celebrity kids with one of rock’s most favorite frontmen – U2’s Bono and his baby girl, Eve. She is nearly 25 years old now, but she has already been a part of big projects – starring in an Emmy nominated series and playing the lead opposite Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton. Watch out for this one!