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In this interview conducted for the Herald, I sit down with the iconic director to discuss the leaning into his own pop culture legacy for the new nostalgia-laden blockbuster.

If pop culture has a king, it’s Steven Spielberg. As the director of such timelessly iconic movies as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. and Jurassic Park, and the producer of countless other classics (including Back to the Future, Gremlins and The Goonies), Spielberg has arguably contributed more to the mainstream entertainment cannon than any other person.

It makes him uniquely qualified to direct Ready Player One, a new blockbuster that leans heavily into the pop culture nostalgia that currently permeates popular entertainment.

“Nostalgia’s always been a very powerful thing,” Spielberg tells TimeOut during an interview in Hollywood. “It’s what we return to. Reminiscing is huge. I’ve reminisced all my life. I may be the biggest reminiscer of my family. I think nostalgia is very powerful, it brings people together to share a memory. And collective memory sharing is a comfort, especially if the world is not in a happy phase of its development.”