clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

J.J. Abrams says his wife convinced him to stop with the lens flares

"Katie's told me to stop with a lot of things"

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Many directors employ visual signatures in their films, and J.J. Abrams has long used one that's easily identifiable: lens flare. But you may have noticed that lens flares were conspicuously absent in his most recent film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and that could be because his wife convinced him that he was overdoing it with that effect, Abrams said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week.

"She was right," Abrams said of his wife, Katie McGrath, who is a public relations executive. "There was one scene in Star Trek Into Darkness that you literally couldn't see what was going on." Abrams noted that the sequence in question was "a very important emotional scene," having begun his interview with Colbert by saying that he always tries to tell stories that will engage people emotionally.

"Alice Eve, the actress, was somewhere behind this crazy lens flare glaring," Abrams continued. "And Katie just looked at me and she said, 'OK, I think this is it. I think, at this point, you have to absolutely stop doing that.'"

It's likely that Abrams was referring to the scene in Star Trek Into Darkness which Carol Marcus, Eve's character, attempts to reason with her father, Alexander Marcus, who is played by Peter Weller. You can watch the clip in question in the video below, starting at the 1:27 mark.

Abrams appeared on The Late Show to promote 10 Cloverfield Lane, on which he served as an executive producer. For more on the film, which is a follow-up to 2008's Cloverfield, read our review.