Steven Spielberg Casts Judd Hirsch, Jeannie Berlin, Robin Bartlett and Jonathan Hadary in Film Based on His Childhood (EXCLUSIVE)
Steven Spielberg has added a new generation to the fictional family at the center of his semi-autobiographical film, which has the working title of “The Fabelmans.”
Oscar nominees Judd Hirsch (“Ordinary People,” “Independence Day”) and Jeannie Berlin (“The Heartbreak Kid,” “Succession”), and veteran stage and screen actors Robin Bartlett (“Mad About You,” “American Horror Story”) and Jonathan Hadary (“Veep,” “Girls5eva”) will play the older relatives of a young, aspiring filmmaker — played by Gabriel LaBelle (“The Predator”) — who is loosely based on Spielberg’s experiences as a kid in Arizona.
Hirsch, Berlin, Bartlett and Hadary are joining a high-powered ensemble cast led by Michelle Williams and Paul Dano, who are playing versions of Spielberg’s late mother and father; Seth Rogen, who is based on Spielberg’s favorite uncle; Julia Butters, playing the stand-in for Spielberg’s sister; and Sam Rechner, Oakes Fegley, Chloe East and Isabelle Kusman, who are playing high school classmates.
Spielberg co-wrote the screenplay with regular collaborator Tony Kushner (“Lincoln,” “West Side Story”), and both men are producing the film with Kristie Macosko Krieger, backed by Amblin Partners. Production is currently underway, with a release planned for 2022.
Hirsch earned an Oscar nomination for his role as a therapist in 1980’s best picture winner “Ordinary People.” He started his career on the sitcom “Taxi,” for which he won two Emmys, and he earned Tony awards for his performances in the Broadway plays “I’m Not Rappaport” and “Conversations with My Father.” And, he perhaps most famously played Jeff Goldblum’s doting father in the 1996 blockbuster “Independence Day.”
Berlin can currently be seen on HBO’s “Succession” as the tough-as-nails news director of the fictional cable network ATN. She earned an Oscar nomination for playing a jilted wife in Elaine May’s “The Heartbreak Kid,” and she’s appeared in HBO’s “The Night Of,” Woody Allen’s “Café Society,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” and Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret.” She is represented by ICM Partners and Mills Kaplan Entertainment.
Since the 1980s, Bartlett has played a string of memorable roles, including the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” two seasons on the horror anthology “American Horror Story” and 46 episodes as Paul Reiser’s sister on “Mad About You.” Her Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include “Angels in America,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “Yentl” and “The Seagull.” She is represented by Gersh.
Hadary has starred in ten Broadway productions, from the groundbreaking AIDS drama “As Is” to the go-for-broke musical comedy “Spamalot”; he earned a Tony nomination for his performance as Herbie opposite Tyne Daly in the 1989–1990 revival of “Gypsy.” Most recently, he appeared as billionaire prison magnate Sherman Tanz on HBO’s “Veep” and as sleazy manager Larry Plumb on Peacock’s “Girls5eva.” He is represented by BRS/Gage.