Seth Rogen Explains Why Steven Spielberg Didn't Share His Phone Number on The Fabelmans Set

·2 min read
Seth Rogen Explains Why Steven Spielberg Didn't Share His Phone Number on The Fabelmans Set

Steven Spielberg will have your people call his people.

In The Fabelmans, which is loosely based on Spielberg's own childhood, Seth Rogen plays a character inspired by the director's favorite uncle. At PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly's photo and video studio at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, Rogen and costar Gabriel LaBelle explained why they weren't given a direct line of contact to reach the Oscar-winning filmmaker.

LaBelle, who plays Spielberg's younger self in the film, says the director has "so many stories" and "when you're exposed to him for that amount of time, you have to" ask him about them. Rogen, 40, adds, "And he's happy to talk about it. He does not seem like someone who's uncomfortable talking. He's naturally like an educator in a lot of ways. He's thrilled to share his knowledge with you."

"He's very much aware of the impact he has," says LaBelle.

"He knows how excited we are to hear him. He's very aware of it," Rogen adds with a laugh, as LaBelle says, "That's probably why he doesn't give his phone number to us!"

"Exactly," says Rogen. "That's why me and Gabe are the only ones who can't contact him."

RELATED: Steven Spielberg Chronicles a Childhood Love for Movies in The Fabelmans Trailer Based on His Family — Watch

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 10: (L-R) Julia Butters, Keeley Karsten, Chloe East, Gabriel LaBelle, Steven Spielberg, Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Judd Hirsch and Tony Kushner attend "The Fabelmans" Premiere during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 10, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 10: (L-R) Julia Butters, Keeley Karsten, Chloe East, Gabriel LaBelle, Steven Spielberg, Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Judd Hirsch and Tony Kushner attend "The Fabelmans" Premiere during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 10, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Michael Loccisano/Getty

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"If we wanted to have a Zoom meeting," LaBelle says, "we have to go through our manager to his assistant to him." Rogen joked that costars Paul Dano and Michelle Williams (who play characters based on Spielberg's late parents) have his number, but "we're not texting Steven."

Rogen also shares what drew him to the project, which he calls a "unique" Spielberg movie because of how personal it is to the director.

"I think in my head, I guess if I ever thought I'd be in a Steven Spielberg movie I imagined myself running from things or likely getting crushed by something or eaten early on. But this was so different," he says. "It was clear from the first conversations we had that it was ... especially personal and especially meaningful and especially complicated for him in a lot of ways."

"It was really unlike anything I've ever done, watching this brilliant man who you look up to be in the moment, figuring out how to tell his story," adds Rogen. "... I'll never have another experience like this."

The Fabelmans is in select theaters Nov. 11. It opens nationwide this Thanksgiving.