Steven Spielberg was constantly moved to tears while on the set of “The Fablemans.” That’s the personality of this film. Naturally, to help him realize this project, he turned to reliable allies, such as co-writer Tony Kushner, with whom he worked on “Munich”, “Lincoln” and “West Side Story”. He also turned to Janusz Kamiński, the cinematographer who had worked on every Spielberg film since 1993’s “Schindler’s List.” However, he raised an eyebrow or two when he turned to someone he had never worked with before: Seth Rogen.
Rogen, known for his roles in risqué comedies, finds himself on the other end of a Zoom phone call with the legendary director. Spielberg shared that he was writing a “very personal film”, and that he wanted the “Knocked Up” actor to play Bennie. Rogen read the script, and he accepted the role – of course he did. The fact that Spielberg didn’t bother holding auditions and reserved the role for Rogen suggests that Spielberg saw something in the actor that reminded him of Bernie Adler, or that Rogen epitomized “fun and funny”, and “charismatic and loose.”
But take his appearance as co-founder of Apple Inc. Steve Wozniak in “Steve Jobs” as all the proof you need that Rogen can kill in dramatic roles, figuratively speaking. But still, his comedic experience tells everything. “I think coming from comedy, I’m actually used to working with people on very personal films as well as semi-autobiographical films,” he told Uproxx. He praised Judd Apatow: “So I really felt familiar in some ways being part of a scene that was so heavily based on real life.”
But there was one thing that made him a little uncomfortable.