Instead of gag orders, he forces ball gags onto interviewers and bloggers.

J.J. Abrams seems like a nice enough guy. In interviews, he’s friendly, smiles a lot, and discusses story details and production anecdotes with the awkward shyness of an insecure little kid, which is endearing—better that than the smugness of, say, James Cameron. But can anyone with Abrams’ industry clout and success rate really be that kind? The skeptic in us says, “Fuck no”; we’re thinking the modern-day Spielberg is a bit more intimidating than he lets on.

When judges want criminals or lawyers to keep their mouths shut about cases, they issue “gag orders,” suppression orders that are commonplace in Hollywood, as well, though they’re often referred to as “embargoes” when given to the press. So what if—early on in his career, back when he was relatively unknown and able to build his own reputation—nice guy Abrams took the whole gag thing one step further and tied ball gags around interviewers’ traps, followed by a threat: “Don’t like how this feels? It’ll be much worse if you spoil my movie.”

Remember, this is the same dude who created the hit CIA show Alias, which featured many similar tactics; either he’s one hell of a researcher or he’s tried out a few forceful coercion maneuvers of his own.