By most accounts, Steven Spielberg sounds like a lovely guy, so you would imagine that anyone who works with the legendary director would get along with him just fine. When they collaborated on the family movie Hook though, the filmmaker and actor Julia Roberts did not enjoy the best of relationships.
The Steven Spielberg movie was fairly divisive upon its release in the ‘90s, with many reluctant to see a different take on the original story of Peter Pan from the Disney movie. The film, which also starred Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Bob Hoskins, has an average rating of 6.8 on IMDb, one of Spielberg’s lowest rated movies.
Apparently, Julia Roberts was accused by some of being guilty of bad behaviour on set, leading to her co-stars referring to her as ‘Tinkerhell’. But, in an interview with Barbara Walters, Roberts claimed stories of her behaviour are a case of Spielberg and others misremembering the experiences they shared, and refuted the idea that she and the director found it difficult to work together.
“Steven Spielberg, I find quite confused in his recollection of me,” Roberts stated. “I never had a moment’s trouble, sorrow, reflection, anything on the set of Hook.”
“Unfortunately, I find him to be not as good at remembering the time we spent together, as I am,” Roberts added. It’s a rather confusing interview to be fair, but it sounds like Roberts was keen to play down any feud.
Conversely, actor Dante Basco, who played Rufio in the kids movie, had nothing but nice things to say about Roberts. Spielberg himself even admitted that Roberts “probably went through the most trying times of her life, and it was simply bad timing for all of us that she happened to start on Hook at that low point.”
It’s only natural that some people won’t get on when they work together, especially if someone is having a bad day, or lets their personal life get to them. Maybe that’s all that happened here, who knows?