Character study: West Vancouver’s Gabriel LaBelle slips into Steven Spielberg’s teenage shoes for director’s own story
It’s one thing to work with Steven Spielberg, but it’s a whole other thing to play a teen version of him, as West Vancouver’s Gabriel LaBelle found out when the legendary American filmmaker cast the 20-year-old actor in his semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans.
LaBelle plays Sammy, a teenager in love with movies and filmmaking whose world is changed forever after he spots a family secret in the background of a home movie he is editing.
“Something directed by that guy is one thing, and then for it to be about his life and to play him and be surrounded by that company, yes, it’s incredibly nerve wracking,” Gabriel said recently over lunch at a Gastown restaurant with his father, actor Rob LaBelle, and Postmedia.
The company Gabriel speaks of is headlined by acting heavyweights Michelle Williams, Paul Dano and Vancouver native Seth Rogen. It is also worth mentioning the film, which just recently won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture — Drama, was co-written by Spielberg and Tony Kushner.