Art & Entertainment

Gabriel LaBelle Found It 'Incredibly Intimidating' To Work With Steven Spielberg (IANS Interview)

Hollywood star Gabriel LaBelle plays Sammy Fabelman in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated directorial 'The Fablemans'. He said that working with the great award-winning filmmaker was "incredibly intimidating".

Golden Globes 2023: The Fabelmans bags Best Picture, Drama
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Hollywood star Gabriel LaBelle plays Sammy Fabelman in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated directorial 'The Fablemans'. He said that working with the great award-winning filmmaker was "incredibly intimidating".

'The Fabelmans' is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Spielberg, who co-wrote and produced it with Tony Kushner. The film is a semi-autobiographical story loosely based on Spielberg's adolescence and first years as a filmmaker, told through an original story of the fictional Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker who explores how the power of films can help him see the truth about his dysfunctional family and those around him.

It stars Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy, alongside Michelle Williams and Paul Dano among many others.

Asked if he found it intimidating to work with Spielberg, LaBelle told IANS: "Yes,incredibly. You know being in any movie is very intimidating. You do not want to do a bad job but this is directed by Steven Spielberg. He has a high bar for the quality of films he makes."

"He has expectations and you want to live up to that. He knows what he is looking for and you just want to honour that story and tell his story in the best way you can."

"This movie is about his life. You do not want to ruin Steven Spielberg's life," he added.

So, did that add to the pressure? The 20-year-old actor said: "Yes. It was incredibly intimidating. So you just use that as a fuel to do the best you can and dedicate as much time as possibly you can to making that film."

'The Fabelmans' has been nominated in the upcoming Oscar 2023. It is contending in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design and Best Original Score.

"When I first read the script I was so impressed. It's the greatest thing I have ever read. Tony Kushner, a great Pulitzer prize winning playwright, and Steven Spielberg the greatest filmmaker of all times Michelle Williams and Paul Dano will be acting in it and John is going to be making the music.. I am not surprised that they all did really good jobs in making this movie and I am just happy for the ride," he said.

Talking about getting into the skin to play Spielberg in the film, LaBelle had about a month of preparation.

"I expected him to sit me down and tell me 'This is what it means to be me.' He didn't do that at all. I had to find him. I had to ask him 'how much of the script really happened to you' and he said 'all of it'. I was like 'OMG, so just' I asked him as many questions as possible and what it was like for him, what his perspectives were, relationships - just understand him and why he's telling this story and what this story means to him. So, we broke down the script and it's themes."

"I used his experience to influence my preparation. Then because as a child, he documented his parents, he filmed his family, so often, I got to watch some of that footage. I could see how he walked, stood up, and what his smile was. Physically I could resemble him and emotionally I could resemble him but in terms of behaviour I was free to do what I want which was a really incredible experience."

'The Fabelmans' is produced by Reliance Entertainment. The film was re-released in India on February 10.

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