PoetsIN Talks to Stanley Kubrick’s Daughter


Giving our PoetsIN group members opportunities to try out different forms of writing is important to us; and what better way than to allow Squeakypeewee01 the chance to interview Katharina Kubrick, the legendary Stanley Kubrick’s daughter. 

Katharina Kubrick is an established artist, jewellery maker, and film set designer. She has helped to run the art class on the male side of a prison and also oversees the Stanley Kubrick exhibition that is currently touring the world.


What was it like growing up with a man like Stanley Kubrick?

He is the only father I’ve had so I can’t really compare it. He is actually my step-father. My mother married him when I was 4. We moved to California at that age. He sat me on his lap, I was this little German girl, and he said ‘Call me Daddy…’ And he has been my dad until the day he died.

Stanley was quite Victorian, but a very good father. Always caring and had time for me. He had great levels of concentration, so if I disturbed him, it was no bother. He didn’t want us to be lazy. The most important thing I think was that he instilled in all of us was to find something in life that you love to do, and then pursue it. If you don’t like it, try something else. So that’s a philosophy Kath has tried to live by. I have 2 half-sisters and they we born when we lived in California.


Did you have a hero or someone you looked up to when growing up?

What? Apart from the Beatles you mean? (She laughs) Well, not specifically. There were so many people coming into and out of our lives, all the time, that there was always somebody to look up and admire.

I’ve always been a bit of a wildlife and nature freak, so when I was younger Jacques Cousteau was the David Attenborough of the time, except he was more into the sea. I was always glued to the television to watch his adventures under the ocean.

Every time Stanley researched a movie, we would always have lots of people round who were pertinent to the research. When we were doing Full Metal Jacket we had lots of army type people come home. But personally I’m not aware of any specific hero as such.


How did you get involved with the film industry? Was it an easy option because of Stanley?

 Oh, no. When I was at school, I wasn’t the most academic of kids and I’d been to 13 schools, so I didn’t really have a chance to knuckle down. Given my artistic family, I was always a fiddler of paints and glue etc.

At various stages I wanted to be an airhostess and a vet, but I’m a bit squeamish so vet was out, and I don’t really like to fly so being an airhostess wasn’t an option either.

At 19 I had a crisis of confidence and I didn’t know what to do.

Stanley started working on Barry Lydon and the whole family went to Ireland, he wouldn’t let me stay behind. Once in Ireland I was set to work taking photographs of various locations, which was actually a blast. For the first time I was working with the art department. And seeing what everyone else was doing. I thought, this is cool, this is about art, film, architecture, costume etc. with all this, I thought, this is what I want to do.

(Katharina has worked on many films including ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ and ‘The Dark Crystal’)

I had to develop rhinoceros hide as the world of film was very male dominated. I had to work twice as hard as it was a very sexist time in the industry. I have a theory; you can’t have a mean spirit if you want to create something beautiful.



Do you have a favourite artist or somebody you can relate to with your art more than anybody else, and why?

My mother is my favourite artist, simple. Because a) her paintings are beautiful and b) because she has taught me everything I know. But in the world out there of painters, I totally freak out over the 16th-17th century of Dutch masters. Vermeer does it for me, they are my heroes.


Where do you see your future going now?

 That is a good question, I am in an interesting place in my life, single, live on my own with my two gorgeous dogs. I paint, I teach painting, and I do commissions on jewelry making for people.

I think it’s just more of the same I’d like to do, maybe some travelling.

The Stanley Kubrick exhibition is travelling the world so I have taken over the running of that.

And, I don’t know… Stay healthy and live long. Meet somebody nice… I wasn’t planning on being single at 62 (She chuckles).

Every day is different and I try and do positive things. The most fulfilling thing is when someone comes to an art class who has never really done much since they left school, you try and get them hooked. As long as you can see and hold a tool, you can create something.


What would you like to see improved at HMP Peterborough regarding art?

 I’d like to do some jewelry making and build up the supplies in the art department.

I’d really like to show some art DVD’s to explain some art techniques. I must have a look and see what’s out there.



To finish, do you have any other comments or final thing you would like to add? (For us prisoners)

I think because you guys are not going anywhere, try to experiment with different ways of expressing yourself. Artistically, or through words. Find something that fills your soul and something that wants to make you expand on it and broaden your horizons.

Don’t think there is a wrong way to do anything creative; there is never a wrong way. There’s your way because everybody is unique.


(Thank you for this opportunity and we hope to see much more of you in this establishment.)

Our thanks to Katharina and Squeakypeewee01. You can see more of Katharina’s art over on her website by clicking here.


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  • Commenter's Avatar
    Jim Lamb — July 3, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Paul & Sammie … Wonderful interview. Been a Kubrick fan a long time. “Barry Lyndon” is my favorite. Quite fond of “Paths of Glory,” “2001,” and “Dr. Strangelove” as well. Thank you for the quality interview. Katharina is definitely a gem. Loved learning more about her. Again, thanks—jsl

  • Commenter's Avatar
    admin — July 4, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Thank you, Jim. We are both huge fans, too. Thank you for leaving a wonderful comment. Katharina is a wonderful woman!

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