Here Is Why ‘Jaws’ Gave Steven Spielberg PTSD and Anxiety
Steven Spielberg’s Jaws created a fear of sharks so deep within me that when I was a child, I thought a shark was going to appear beneath me in the deep end of the swimming pool. Then, my first trip to Martha’s Vineyard felt something like the scene of the crime and my fear kept me close to the shoreline.
These are all signs of a successful thriller movie. It’s almost 50 years since its release and the star of the film continues to fuel my fear of the open ocean.
But, after all these years, Steven Spielberg is coming clean about how he really feels about the 1975 film, and his response may surprise you.
How Steven Spielberg Really Feels About Jaws
“In my mind, the shark looked dumb,” he said to Directors Issue.
It wasn’t until he attended the first preview in Dallas and watched viewers scream at the screen that he realized he had a hit on his hands.
While Martha’s Vineyard residents hold a sense of pride in living at the setting of one of the scariest movies of its time, Spielberg admits that this film sent him into a tailspin of anxiety and depression.
How Jaws Made Steven Spielberg Sick
Spielberg revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he suffered from PTSD from shooting the film thanks to the countless script changes and animatronic issues.
“Spielberg detailed that he would have nightmares where he would be back (on) Martha’s Vineyard in charge of the shoot, which would give him anxiety after waking,” Screen Rant said.
Spielberg even had a panic attack at Boston Logan International Airport after shooting wrapped.
But all this PTSD wasn’t because he was scared of his own film. He was scared that the film was terrible, and his young career was potentially over.
Boy, was he wrong.
Imagine if Spielberg had the means to create a shark he, himself, was scared of. If the finished product was “boring” to him, I’ll stick with boring.