Michelle Williams on Playing Steven Spielberg's Mother in The Fabelmans: "I Loved Being Her"

michelle williams in the fabelmans
Michelle Williams on Playing Spielberg's Mother

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When director Steven Spielberg called actress Michelle Williams to ask her about playing Mitzi Fabelman, the character based on his mother in his autobiographical film The Fabelmans, Williams remembers begin in shock.

"It still amazes me," she says in an exclusive clip on Town & Country (watch above). "He started telling me about his life and family. And then I realized, about a half an hour in, that he was asking me to play his mother. And the answer was yes." Spielberg recalls, "I just went with a complete gut feeling that I hope she likes the script. And I sent it to her."

Mitzi Fabelman is based on Spielberg's mother, Leah Adler, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 97. Of playing Mitzi, Williams says, "I loved being her. I loved loving my family through her. The way that she lived, the exuberance and the courage she lived with, are things I don't ever want to part from."

Seth Rogen calls Williams's role as Mitzi "a freakishly good performance." Rogen plays Bennie, a surrogate uncle to Sammy (and more, but we won't spoil), in the movie. "When you're with someone like that, you watch them, and you see what they're doing. My instinct was to take her lead, honestly."

Spielberg won the Golden Globe for Best Director for The Fabelmans, and the film also won Best Motion Picture (Drama) at the Globes. The cast, including Williams, was nominated for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture at the 2023 SAG Awards. Many expect to see the film competing in many categories at the 2023 Academy Awards (nominations are announced tomorrow morning).

Spielberg's The Fabelmans is now available to own on digital, and will be on Blu-Ray and DVD February 14 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment:

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