This post contains spoilers for “The Fabelmans.”
When I first learned that David Lynch was going to appear in Steven Spielberg‘s heavily autobiographical picture “The Fabelmans,” my mind was racing. Here is one of the most idiosyncratic and mysterious American filmmakers we have ever had the pleasure of experiencing showing up — as an actor — for the king of populist cinema of the last half-century. When it came time to finally sit down and watch the movie, which currently is my favorite of 2022, I got so caught up in the drama and characters that I completely forgot David Lynch was in the film. So, seeing him stroll on screen, adorned with an eye patch and covered in lipstick marks as legendary Hollywood director John Ford, it was a true moment of elation in the theater.
I do wonder what it would have been like had I not known at all that Lynch was in “The Fabelmans,” where his presence just sprung up on me, and I had to quickly adjust. Well, one person who was suddenly hit with the knowledge of David Lynch was the star of the picture himself, Gabriel LaBelle. The actor, playing the Steven Spielberg proxy Sammy Fabelman, recently told Collider that he “found out a day before we filmed it” that David Lynch would be playing John Ford. As if being the lead of a Steven Spielberg movie who has to nail the final scene of the picture wasn’t pressure enough, now he has to play opposite a living legend while being directed by another one.
‘Just Pacing In A Corner The Whole Day’
Gabriel LaBelle was fully aware of the importance of this scene. This finale tells the story of Steven Spielberg’s brief but incredibly impactful meeting with John Ford, and even though he is a young actor, LaBelle could feel the weight of cinema history on his shoulders in this moment. He tells Collider about the day of the shoot:
“I just remember being really nervous, because I also want to honor John Ford and Steven Spielberg, and I really want that scene to work, and Sammy’s supposed to be s*****ing himself, and so I tried to make that as real as possible. So I’m just pacing in a corner the whole day as they do David’s coverage first, and all the wides. I’m just by myself the whole time, making it.”
That nervousness perfectly compliments the performance. Sammy Fabelman rarely comports himself to be the most confident and assured individual throughout the entire running time of the movie. So, when he is surprisingly face-to-face with one of his heroes, that energy would be in overdrive, stammering his way through trying to please this intimidating filmmaker.
As for LaBelle’s relationship with David Lynch himself, it was quite brief but featured a distinct sense of warmth not found in John Ford. He says:
“The only interaction David and I had, as people, was at the end of the scene. At the end of the day, he gets out of his chair, and he gives me a hug, and then he leaves.”
I don’t know about you, but few things would put me at ease more than David Lynch silently hugging me after a day’s work. I would feel like I’d accomplished something great. In Gabriel LaBelle’s case, he did.
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The post This Was The Fabelmans Star Gabriel LaBelle’s Only Out-Of-Character Interaction With David Lynch appeared first on /Film.
Source: Slash Film