Only five years ago, iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg was diagnosed with dyslexia: a fact that shocked most in his video interview with the website Friends of Quinn. “It was like the last puzzle part in a tremendous mystery that I’ve kept to myself all these years,” he explained in the 10-minute sit down. It is an inspiring look into how success isn’t a lost possibility for those with learning disabilities.
“I never felt like a victim,” Spielberg explains in the clip. “Movies really helped me…kind of saved me from shame, from guilt, from putting it on myself, from making it my burden when it wasn’t my burden. I think making movies was my great escape, it was how I could get away from all that.”
And Spielberg isn’t alone in Hollywood, either. Several prominent folks, including Henry Winkler, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Anderson Cooper are just a small number of people who have been open with their diagnoses.
It seems for many of them, the creative outlets of acting, directing and the like helped them cope with their disability in a way that reinforced that they were more than what they couldn’t do as easily as others. “When I felt like an outsider, movies made me feel inside my own skill set,” explained Spielberg. In an interview with The Child Mind Institute two years ago, Bloom echoed the sentiment, explaining that “Creativity is the key for any child with dyslexia, or for anyone for that matter. Then you can think outside of the box. Teach them anything is attainable. Let them run with what you see is whatever they need to run with.”
Spielberg’s story is an inspiring one–and a great reminder for children that feel stupid or as though they are outcasts due to their disabilities–and a reminder that from great hardships come great drive, and sometimes, even greater success.
Without it, movies such as The Goonies would not exist. When speaking about that particular film, Spielberg divulged that the bullying he faced as a child inspired the story behind the beloved 1985 classic. “I was a member of the goon squad,” he explained–proof that his own friendship with a group of fellow outcasts allowed him to so honestly create the ragtag team most movie fans know, love, and quote excessively.
A word of advice for all children out there, feeling as though their dreams may be dashed given their own personal struggles? Carry on. “Take this obstacle and make it the reason to have a big life,” said Bloom. Inspiring words, indeed.
[Photo Credit: DailyCeleb]
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