Steven Spielberg Missed Out On A Big Part Of The 1960s

Steven Spielberg says that he never smoked marijuana despite growing up in the 1960s.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

steven spielberg

If history books (and films and TV shows) are to be believed, there aren’t many people who made it out of the 1960s and 1970s without taking a toke or two. But, according to Entertainment Weekly, Steven Spielberg is one of those rare people, though that doesn’t mean he can’t still appreciate films like Pineapple Express.

During an interview at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, Spielberg was asked which of Seth Rogen’s marijuana-fueled films he enjoys best, and he replied that he sees those “stoner films” just like any other movie. “Well, having never been stoned, I don’t see them as stoner movies,” he said. 

The topic came up when the two were walking the red carpet together for their latest film, The Fablemans. The coming-of-age story is loosely based on Steven Spielberg’s life, with Seth Rogen playing Uncle Bennie, a close friend of the protagonist’s parents. Rogen said that the famed director would often say things like “My uncle did that all the time,” which made both of them feel like they were recreating real memories and transferring them to the screen.

However well the two got along on set, though, Seth Rogen admits that he is one of the only cast members who doesn’t have Steven Spielberg’s personal cell phone number. This isn’t due to a disagreement about weed, though – it’s because Rogen and his co-star Gabe LaBelle tend to “go full fanboy” on the director and pepper him with questions and adulation. 

Apparently, the appreciation goes both ways, and it appears that Steven Spielberg has seen a number of Seth Rogen’s films. After saying that he doesn’t see his movies as “stoner movies” in that red carpet interview, the filmmaker made a quip that he instead sees them “as movies about a police officer giving solid, sound advice to an impressionable person.” This quip is clearly a reference to 2007’s Superbad, which was written by Rogen and his friend Evan Goldberg, featuring the former as Officer Michaels.

The interviewer speaking with them on the red carpet then suggested that Steven Spielberg should host a viewing party, complete with his own live commentary on Seth Rogen’s filmography. Rogen himself thought this was a great idea, responding with his trademark laugh and a short but hopeful, “One day.” 

While Steven Spielberg came to fame in the 1970s, a heyday for pot smoking and the freedom to talk about it, he can’t say he ever had the inclination to blaze up himself. Perhaps he was trying to keep his mind clear so he could focus on filmmaking, his biggest passion in life, which he documented in his new film. 

The Fablemans explores the director’s youth and the things that led him to become a director. The fictitious Sammy Fabelman stands in for Spielberg, using films to understand his rather dysfunctional family. 

The movie has actually been somewhat in production since 1999, when Spielberg and his sister, Anne, wrote a screenplay for a film about their family history. Spielberg was worried that the film might portray his family in a bad light and hurt their feelings, however, so the project was put on hold until 2019, when Tony Kushner got involved.

Those two were then able to take the idea and tell the story Steven Spielberg had been wanting to tell in a different way – and apparently without the need for any pot to loosen them up first.