Steven Spielberg explains how his parents pushed him to make a film about their life before their death.
Ahead of the launch of his semi-autobiographical film ‘The Fabelmans’, the Oscar-winning filmmaker – known for iconic hits like ‘Jaws’, ‘ET’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ – joked The Hollywood Reporter that his late parents “harassed” him to bring the family project to life.
“They were actually nagging me, ‘When are you going to tell that story about our family, Steve?’ And so it was something they were very interested in,” the director said.
In 2017, Spielberg’s mother, Leah, a concert pianist and painter, died at age 97. His father, Arnold, an accomplished engineer, died in 2020 at age 103.
He continued, “I started thinking seriously, if I were to do a movie that I haven’t done yet, something that I really want to do on a very personal atomic level, what would it be? And there was only one story I really wanted to tell.
Directed and co-written by Spielberg, the upcoming film inspired by his childhood and the end of his parents’ marriage, follows a young man named Sammy Fabelman who uncovers a heartbreaking family secret and explores how the power of movies can help him see the truth, according to the movie’s diary line.
The film, which Spielberg says is his “first coming-of-age story,” stars Michelle Williams and Paul Dano as characters based on his parents.
“My life with my mom and dad taught me a lesson, which I hope this movie will pass on a bit,” he told the outlet. “That is, when does a young person in a family begin to see their parents as human beings? In my case, because of what happened between the ages of 7 and 18, I started to appreciate my mom and dad not as parents but as real people.
Seth Rogen, who plays family friend Benny in the film, told People last month that filming was “a very emotional experience” and that Spielberg “cried a lot on set.”
“It’s very directly based on his life and pretty much everything that happens in the movie is something that happened to him,” Rogen said.
“While we were filming, I was like, ‘Did this happen in real life?’ and the answer was ‘yes’ one hundred percent of the time,” he added.
“The Fabelmans” hits select theaters Nov. 11 and will premiere nationwide this Thanksgiving.
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