For our fortieth anniversary, the editors of Rolling Stone have interviewed twenty artists and leaders who helped shape our time. Over the next four weeks, every day, we’ll be debuting exclusive audio clips from the Q&As, giving you unparalleled access to some of the most important personalities in history.
Today we present the man who helped reshape Hollywood forever, and one of the most influential visual artists of the past three decades: Steven Spielberg. Throughout his two-time Best Director Oscar-winning career, Spielberg has made sharks scarier than serial killers, aliens adorable and the Holocaust an entertaining cinematic experience. Plus, Indiana Jones kicks ass. To salute he who keeps us eating the popcorn, we feature four audio excerpts of Steven Spielberg talking to our own man of the movies, Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers, about the next generation of filmmakers, growing up with a camera’s eye and not meeting Alfred Hitchcock. To read the complete interview, be sure to pick up your own copy of our fortieth anniversary issue, on stands now.
Spielberg, who helped revolutionize Hollywood, talks about the next wave of revolutionaries — the YouTube generation: “This whole thing about reality television to me is really indicative of America saying we’re not satisfied just watching television, we want to star in our own TV shows. We want you to discover us and put us in your own TV show and we want television to be about us finally…”
Every time you watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you’re sharing Spielberg’s pain: “I was a scared kid…I think I was born a nervous wreck, and I think movies were one way to find a way transferring my own private horrors to everyone else’s lives. It was less of an escape and more of an exorcism…”
Spielberg discusses the youthful aesthetics that went into making his early films: “My films reflected how much fun I was having being a movie director. I wasn’t taking myself seriously…”
Evidently, Alfred Hitchcock prefers thrillers about psychos and birds to that of sharks: “I was only on two Hitchcock sets. Ironically, I was thrown off both of them. And they were a decade apart…”
Check back tomorrow for the next installment of our twenty-part audio interviews, featuring some of the most iconic and influential pop culture figures of the last 40 years. Want a hint at tomorrow’s interviewee? He told us this:
“The trouble with rock music is that it tends to trivialize things unless you’re very careful. I find it’s much easier to write love songs than it is to write about the times we live in.