LOS ANGELES—Getting nostalgic as he reminisced about his youth and the events that informed his most autobiographical film to date, Steven Spielberg fondly recalled Monday how his Jewish upbringing inspired him to make Jurassic Park. “Though lightly fictionalized, that movie was really an exploration of my childhood, during which I was often chased home from Hebrew school by a pack of velociraptors,” said the three-time Academy Award–winning director, laughing as described how in real life, unlike in the 1993 film, he made peace with the hungry predators one Friday by convincing them to come to his house for Shabbat dinner instead of ripping him to pieces and devouring his flesh. “I wouldn’t say those experiences defined me, but they made me very aware of my status as an outsider. You know, while my pterodactyl friends were out learning to fly and hunt, I would be home learning the Torah portion for my bar mitzvah. I’ll never forget this one Passover when I was dating a T. rex and invited her to my family’s seder. You should have seen my mom scrambling to find enough gefilte fish and brisket to feed her! Unfortunately, though, when you’re making a two-hour movie, some stuff gets left out.” Spielberg went on to add that another way his childhood was just like Jurassic Park was the fact that Wayne Knight always seemed to be hanging around.