Kathleen Kennedy, a producer who began her career in Hollywood working with Steven Spielberg on E.T., is the current president of Lucasfilm and, arguably, Hollywood’s most powerful woman. Kennedy has produced over 60 movies over her career, and altogether her movies have earned over 120 Oscar nominations. Her big break came working as an assistant to producer John Milius, who was producing Steven Spielberg’s 1941. Spielberg hired Kennedy away as his own assistant, and soon Kennedy was working with Spielberg and Lucas on Raiders of the Lost Arc. For Spielberg’s next film, E.T., Spielberg asked Kennedy to produce, the first of many projects they’d work on together as producer and director.
In 2012, Kennedy would get a call from George Lucas, asking her to replace him as head of Lucasfilm. With Kennedy at the helm, The Force Awakens quickly became one of the most lucrative films in history, and the first Star Wars movie to feature a female protagonist. “I have loved being pretty anonymous, you know,” says Kennedy. “There’s nothing I like more than to have one of our movies run, and then I go to the ladies’ room and listen to everybody talk about it.” Those days of lurking unrecognized, she admits, are probably over.
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