Steven Spielberg Cried First Time Seeing Fabelmans Actors in Costume


Steven Spielberg reveals he cried the first time he saw The Fablemans actors Michelle Williams and Paul Dano in costume based after his parents.

Steven Spielberg reveals his emotional response to seeing The Fabelmans actors Michelle Williams and Paul Dano in costume for the first time. While the characters are under the guise of a different surname, Spielberg based The Fabelmans largely after his own life and early filmmaking career, with Williams and Dano playing the semi-fictionalized versions of the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s real parents.

As the film gears up for its Oscars season run, Steven Spielberg sat down for an interview with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss The Fabelmans.

In discussing the experience of bringing his family’s story to the screen, Spielberg reveals he cried the first time he saw The Fabelmans actors Williams and Dano in costume, having an emotional flashback to his real-life parents and blown away by how closely they looked. Check out Spielberg’s full description of the experience:

“Mark Bridges [The Fabelmans costume designer] came over to me and said, ‘I’ve got Paul and Michelle here in their hair and makeup and costumes. I turned around and there was my father and mother, and I just burst into tears. Just like that. I didn’t even think about it. It just happened. Michelle ran to me, hugged me. Paul came around the back of me — he’s really tall — hugged me around the shoulders and just held me.”

Related: The Fabelmans Cast Guide

How Will The Fabelmans Do At The Oscars?

The Fabelmans characters at a theater and behind a camera.

Being his most personal film, The Fabelmans was a bit outside Spielberg’s typical dramatic range. This worked out swimmingly for Spielberg, as the coming-of-age drama went on to receive widespread critical acclaim. The Fabelmans went on to receive seven Oscar nominations. These nominations included Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Actress for Williams, Best Supporting Actor for Judd Hirsch, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, and the coveted Best Picture.

Everything Everywhere All At Once directors The Daniels could pull an upset on Oscar night, but thus far Spielberg is the favorite to win best director at the 95th Academy Awards, especially after his Golden Globe win. In a category otherwise filled with first-time Best Director nominees, Spielberg is by far the most veteran force within the category. The Fabelmans is in many ways a celebration of Spielberg’s own early cinematic journey, so giving Spielberg the Oscar might feel as much a lifetime achievement award as a best directing award from the Academy.

As for the other categories, it is less clear how The Fabelmans will fare. Once thought to be the Best Picture favorite, The Fabelmans has recently been beaten out by Everything Everywhere All At Once at several major awards ceremonies. This bodes well for Everything Everywhere All At Once’s Oscar chances, but with the power behind The Fabelmans, the big win at the 95th Academy Awards is still sure to be an interesting race.

More: The Fabelmans True Story: How Accurate It Is To Spielberg’s ChildhoodSource: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert


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