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The Mitzi Moments In The Fabelmans That Actually Happened In Real Life

Steven Spielberg has captured the hearts and minds of filmgoers around the world with his fantastical films that provide a window to the imagination. In 2022, Spielberg explores a territory new to even him — autobiography. "The Fabelmans," coming to theaters November 11, is a drama based on Spielberg's real life growing up a cinephile in New Jersey, Arizona, and California. The semi-autobiographical film stars Paul Dano as Burt, based on Spielberg's father Arnold, Michelle Williams as Mitzi, based on Spielberg's mother Leah, and Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy, a stand-in for Spielberg himself as a youngster. Spielberg hopes audiences pick up on life lessons about parents through the film.

The film is semi-autobiographical, meaning some of the story in the movie has been dramatized, but Spielberg based a lot of the fictional Fabelman family characteristics on his real-life family. Fans will be curious about which moments in the film happened in real life. One character in the movie, Mitzi, based on Spielberg's mother, does some pretty over-the-top things. In a case of truth being stranger than fiction, Spielberg revealed some of the Mitzi moments that were based on moments from his real life involving his mother.

Michelle Williams was honored to play Mitzi, the character based on Spielberg's mother, Leah

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg revealed a pair of moments in the film "The Fabelmans" that happened in his real life. Striking comparisons to Peter Pan, Mitzi climbed a tree on a family camping trip and even bought a monkey as a household pet for the Fabelman family because of her youthful spirit and imagination. Spielberg confirms these moments are based on things his mother, Leah, really did. "Leah was fun and really gushy with her kids. Not a typical parent. She was just her own independently fierce spirit," said Kristie Macosko Krieger, the producer behind "The Fabelmans" who started off as Spielberg's assistant in the 1990s and eventually went on to produce several films for him.

Michelle Williams was shocked and honored to be asked to play the character based on Spielberg's mother. She said, "To not only be asked to play a part in one of his movies, but to be asked to play his beloved mother ... it's like being taken inside somebody's heart, to be trusted with this most personal material." Since the film is deeply personal to Spielberg, Macosko Krieger said, "We all felt protective of him. We knew that he was putting his heart out there for people to see for the first time." Spielberg was said to have had a lot of emotional moments on the set of the film.

Michelle Williams loved working with the monkey that her character brings home, based on something Leah really did

Michelle Williams told Entertainment Weekly that Steven Spielberg shared endless stories with her about his mother, Leah, so she could channel that into Mitzi for "The Fabelmans." She said, "The more that I knew her, the more I wanted to know her. She was just one of those people whose spirit fills a room." She continued saying that she loved playing the character because she was so three-dimensional and fully fleshed out. Mitzi wasn't just a mother, Williams said, "She is a woman in her own right and that's what just blew me away, was what a feast they had written for her."

Williams also had great things to say about the monkey that played The Fabelmans' pet. The monkey's name is Crystal, and she'd been working in films for the last 25 years. Williams said it was incredible to work with Crystal, and Williams even said, "She is amazing. She taught my baby how to do a high five." Maybe in the future, Williams' child will be making a movie about the experience of meeting Crystal the monkey on a film set in their real life.