Steven Spielberg remembers the first time he saw Michelle Williams and Paul Dano dressed as his parents on set for The Fables.
During an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbertwhich aired Thursday, the Oscar-winning filmmaker explained how a “routine” first day of filming turned into an emotional one.
“Mark Bridges (costume designer) came up to me and said, ‘I’ve got Paul and Michelle here in their hair and makeup and costumes,'” he recalls, adding that he had seen them separately in their costumes, but not together. “I turned around and there were my mom and dad, and I just burst into tears. I didn’t even think about it, it just happened.”
The award-winning film is based on Spielberg’s childhood as he grew up as an aspiring filmmaker. The film follows the journey of Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle), but along the way he discovers a shattering family secret and uses his passion for film to help reveal the truth.
The Saving Private Ryan director and producer said Williams and Dano quickly offered him love and support at the time: “Michelle ran over and hugged me. Paul came after me – he is very tall – hugged me around my shoulders and just held me.”
“I had given them [Williams and Dano] speeches long before the first day of shooting. I got all my tears out of writing the scripts with Tony Kushner,” Spielberg added. “I am a pro. [I told them,] ‘Don’t worry about me. You don’t have to take care of me. It’s my job to take care of you and guide you to great performances.’ And it was not to be.”
The Fables has been nominated for seven Oscarsincluding best photo.