After his celebrated adaptation of West Side Story, Steven Spielberg returned this year with The Fabelmans – a semi-autobiographical story about his own journey as a director. During a recent screening at the DGA Theatre, he sat down with Martin Scorsese to discuss his latest work.
Spielberg said (via Deadline): “I’ve been very private about my private life, and I’ve never gone public with my private life until now… What I thought was that if I had to make one more movie, if I had to tell one more story, what would that story be? And that’s why I decided to put this into production.”
One of the major artistic influences in Spielberg’s life will always be John Ford, the master of American westerns. He decided to include Ford in The Fabelmans and had an actor in mind, but someone suggested David Lynch for the role, and “a lightbulb went off”.
While telling Scorsese about Lynch’s response to his proposal, Spielberg revealed: “He said he was not an actor, and had other projects, and John Ford was so great, what if he didn’t come up to those standards? He was just kind of shy about it.”
Eventually, Spielberg asked for Laura Dern’s help, and Lynch came around: “He says, ‘I decided I am going to do this under one condition…I want to get the costume two weeks ahead of time to live in.’ I said, ‘You mean you are going to wear it? He said, ‘Yes, every day.’ The hat, the [eye] patch everything. And he showed up in a pretty ratty costume.”