The Most Fascinating Bits from Stanley Kubrick’s Daughter’s Reddit AMA


It’s always interesting to see a cultural icon through the eyes of someone who knew them personally, behind closed doors. Yesterday Stanley Kubrick’s daughter Katharina (the little lady pictured here) and grandson Joe answered cinephiles’ questions in a Reddit AMA. Among the surprising bits of trivia we discovered about the legendary filmmaker: he liked making tuna sandwiches and was an overprotective father who didn’t allow Katharina date until she was 16 years old. Click through for more highlights!

On how Kubrick spent his downtime: “Between films he did a lot of reading, caught up with viewing the videos of American football games that his sister used to send him. He was always working on improving print qualities, hiring directors to shoot the voice overs for films that had to be dubbed and checking on how his films were doing in other parts of the world. He never stopped tending his babies even once they were out in the world.”

On the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey: “One of the reasons Stanley famously didn’t explain the film was that everyone who saw it would then think there was only one way to experience it. My personal opinion is that who you are is how you perceive it, so religious people will see it completely differently from atheists.”

On how Kubrick’s version of A.I. would have differed from Spielberg’s: “I think Stanley’s A.I. would have been a darker vision and one of the reasons he wanted Speilberg to direct it is that he was aware of that. He always wanted to have more bums on seats.”

On whether Kubrick cared that he never won a Best Director Oscar: “I think he was a bit miffed but who wouldn’t be, but he won many other prestigious awards that he would send to his mum.”

On Scientology rumors surrounding Kubrick’s death: “Firstly, Stanley had a massive heart attack at home during the night and was found by my mother. We were told it was instantaneous. As to Vivian, we don’t know whether she was or wasn’t a Scientologist during the making of [Eyes Wide Shut]. Certainly [Tom Cruise] had nothing to do with it. I don’t think their relationship had anything to do with the underlying themes of EWS, which is a story that Stanley had been interested in doing for 30 years.”

On Kubrick’s intended message in Eyes Wide Shut: “He obviously thought that it was a subject matter close to anyone who’s ever been in a relationship of whatever persuasion. I don’t know what his intentions were, I know that he wanted to do it for over 30 years, and that when he first found the story he decided along with my mother that they weren’t old enough or wise enough to deal with such a powerful subject matter.”

On Kubrick’s difficulties with Shelley Duvall on The Shining: “Stanley was very calm on set, and normally he would pull an actor away from the set and talk to them privately. In this instance it was late, they were running out of time, there was a miscommunication and tempers were frayed. Everyone has turned it into a ‘Stanley beats up on his actors’ story. I’m not saying it wasn’t a hard shoot, but that’s filmmaking for you… He was very concentrated as you can imagine with so many people to organize and concentrate on his movie, he needed to be. Shelley had a very difficult role as she had to be hysterical and be crying nearly every day. There isn’t a film that’s ever been made where there aren’t tensions and disagreements but on the whole Stanley was very calm on set.”

On Kubrick’s love of conspiracy theories: “I once gave him a book, can’t remember the title, about all the weird and wonderful conspiracy theories out there. He was once convinced that a Chinese restaurant that we used to go to was a cover for some dastardly espionage activities! He thought the M’aitre D, was far too intelligent a man to be running a restaurant. We laughed and teased him as we chewed our egg rolls.”