10 things you didn’t know about Stanley Kubrick
1. You’ve been saying his last name wrong: It’s pronounced Cue-brick, not Koo-brick.
2. He wanted to be a drummer: Specifically a jazz drummer, until his dad bought him a Graflex camera for his 13th birthday and he never looked back.
3. He was fired by Marlon Brando: Kubrick was supposed to direct Hollywood’s bad boy in ONE-EYED JACKS, a “Western-by-the-sea” (and Lynch’s inspiration for the name of the Canadian poker/sex club in Twin Peaks, I’m guessing?), but they clashed big time. Kubrick told Brando, “I don’t know what this picture’s about.” Brando told him it was about money. Kubrick left without shooting a frame and Brando took over as director.
4. He had a favorite tree: Not just a specific kind of tree, but an actual tree in Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire. He’s buried beside it.
5. He loved TV: Particularly Seinfeld and The Simpsons, but since he lived in England he had VHS tapes sent to him from the US.
6. His daughter is in four of his films: Even though no professional actor has ever appeared in more than three of Kubrick’s films, his daughter has cameos in 2001 (as Heywood Floyd’s daughter), BARRY LYNDON (as a young party guest), THE SHINING (as a ghost) and FULL METAL JACKET (as a TV reporter).
7. He never won an Oscar: And neither did anyone who ever acted in his films (except for Peter Ustinov for SPARTACUS, which Kubrick disowned). Despite shooting hundreds of takes, Kubrick was notorious for never praising his actors or crew for fear it would make them complacent.
8. He had a trademark secret serum: Called CRM-114 in DR. STRANGELOVE and Serum 114 in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Yeah, it only appears in those two films, but it’s enough to inspire fans to name a spam-filtering system, a rock band, an amplifier in BACK TO THE FUTURE and an episode of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” after it.
9. He loved animals: While he was shooting FULL METAL JACKET, a family of rabbits was accidentally killed. Kubrick got so upset he canceled the shoot for the rest of the day. He was also known to bring his pets (he owned a bunch of cats and dogs) to set and into editing rooms so he could spend time with them.
10. He was a critical failure: It seems crazy to imagine that 2001, LOLITA, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, BARRY LYNDON,THE SHINING and FULL METAL JACKET were all panned by movie critics when they were released, only to be revered by fans and critics alike a few years later. (One reason why you should never let a bad review dissuade you from seeing a film.)