Who is Kathleen Kennedy? Why is She so important to the Star Wars Saga? If you would have asked me that a few weeks ago I would have had no idea how to answer you. After a short interview with Kathleen Kennedy at the Global Press Event for Star Wars: The Force Awakens I know how important her role is.
Kathleen is an Eight-time Academy Award® nominee and is one on the most respected and successful producers in the film industry. Personally hand picked by George Lucas in 2012 to lead Lucasfilm LTD, Kathleen Kennedy has carved the way for the next generation of Star Wars films.
During our interview we talk Star Wars, Family, and The BFG
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Q : What is your Star Wars story? How did it start for you?
I was actually in film school when I saw Star Wars for the first time. So as you can imagine, it was just jaw-dropping, mind-blowing. Everybody in film school was talking about it. You realize that there was so much possible beyond anything you could imagine, once we all saw that movie.
Q : I have a nine year old daughter who loves Star Wars. For this movie, with Rey being a prominent character. Did that decision, to have a female lead, come early in or was that later?
Yeah. It was right from the beginning. It’s something that J.J. Abrams and I started talking about day one. It was really important to us. We both have daughters, so, very important.
Q: Do you think the directors of Star Wars films talk to the director about making it personal?
To me. Well, I think that what has always been, George Lucas created this from a very strong personal point of view. When he made this movie New Hope in 1977, obviously he was a young man coming out of film school and he he had something to say.
He didn’t step into New Hope and decide that he was gonna make some huge blockbuster movie that we would be sitting here 40 years later talking about. So I think that that’s what I’ve always recognized with any of the filmmakers I work with is the, really good ones, they wanna find something of themselves as a reason to tell the story. So they’re looking for something that they wanna infuse into the characters and the storytelling and the emotion of the piece. J.J. did the same thing with this movie.
And as a producer, I love recognizing that in somebody and then helping to find the resources to nurture that and guide that. And when somebody can’t find that, then I get a little concerned because if somebody’s just gonna go through the motions of making a movie without having that personal connection, then usually they’re not gonna be able to excavate what’s emotionally powerful in Star Wars, or in any movie for that matter.
Q: Regarding kids and being such a big film producer in Hollywood, do you have tips for moms that are trying to balance all of this work in life?
Well, as you can imagine I get asked this all the time, and what I end up saying is you just, instinctively know how to make those choices. At least that’s what I’ve ended up doing is in the, in the heat of the moment. I weigh what is the right thing to do. Obviously nine and a half out of the ten times it’s the family.
The BFG – Summer 2016
Q: With Rogue One wrapping up and you have B.F.G. coming in the Summer 2016. So what’s it like shifting gears from, from this to that?
The BFG is something that I had spent years off and on developing. I must say many, many conversations with Steven Spielberg who I kept saying, “This is really right for you.” And then, within I would say a month after I decided to take over Lucasfilm he called me up and he goes, “You know, I read the script again and I really wanna make the movie.”
Not only having Steven Spielberg involved in this, but the fact that technology has caught up with making the film is, really quite spectacular. What he’s doing with this is gonna be pretty mind-blowing.