Movies helped Steven Spielberg cope with his dyslexia, the director of "Jaws" and "Schindler's List" said in a rare interview about being diagnosed with the learning disability five years ago.
"It was like the last puzzle part in a tremendous mystery that I've kept to myself all these years," Spielberg, 65, told the website "Friends of Quinn."
As a child, Spielberg said he learned to read two years later than his classmates, which made him subject to teasing and caused him to dread school.
That bullying made its way into Spielberg's work as a filmmaker -- the story for the 1985 movie "The Goonies," which Spielberg executive produced, was inspired by Spielberg's own friendships with a group of fellow outcasts, he said.
"I was a member of the goon squad," Spielberg said.
Spielberg also discussed going back to college in his 50s to complete the bachelor's degree he abandoned in 1968 to pursue filmmaking, and confessed that he takes more than twice as long as most of his peers in Hollywood to read books and scripts.
Spielberg gave the interview to Quinn Bradlee, author of the memoir "A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures" and proprietor of the online community for people with learning disabilities, "Friends of Quinn."
"I never felt like a victim," Spielberg said. "Movies really helped me... kind of saved me from shame, from guilt... Making movies was my great escape."
Spielberg's next film the historical drama "Lincoln," arrives in theaters Nov. 9.