The Fabelmans, the latest from Steven Spielberg, is not straight-up autobiographical; check out the title, for one thing. But it is semi-autobiographical, inspired by his childhood as a budding wannabe filmmaker growing up in postwar Arizona. It must be pretty cosmic recreating your youth, and according to Seth Rogen, who plays a character based on Spielberg’s beloved uncle, he did not exactly try to hold back the tears.
“He would cry a lot, openly,” Rogen told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’d show up on set and he would just see a certain piece of wardrobe or a certain piece of set dec[oration] or everyone coming together to recreate a certain thing. I saw him cry dozens of times throughout filming the movie, which was actually very beautiful and I think made everyone want to really honor what he was doing. You saw how much it meant to him and how truthful he was being.”
Rogen also talked about acting for one of the most successful and acclaimed directors on the planet. “I have friends who have worked with Steven Spielberg and it’s been surreal for everyone I know, but also, the added layer of it being such a deeply personal film, it was something that was not lost on anybody,” Rogen said. “There was a point that I went up to Michelle and was like, ‘You’ve worked with Scorsese, does this seem different than that?’ And she’s like, ‘Oh this is way different. This is a singular experience.’ Which I was glad she verified my feeling that that’s what was happening.”
The Fabelmans — which also makes room for a very different kind of filmmaker, David Lynch — hits theaters on November 11.