Is David Lynch in ‘The Fabelmans’?

Spoilers ahead for Steven Spielberg’s coming-of-age drama

Steven Spielberg takes us through his inspiring adolescence in semi-autobiographical new film The Fabelmans, in cinemas now.

Loosely based on the director’s childhood and then early years as a young filmmaker, the coming-of-age drama follows Sammy Fabelman (Gabrielle LaBelle) who starts making films after being inspired by the train sequence in 1952’s The Greatest Show On Earth.

His aspirations also unfold truths about his dysfunctional family, played by Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Julia Butters and Judd Hirsch.


The film received seven nominations at this year’s Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Spielberg and Best Original Score for John Williams.

Does David Lynch have a cameo in The Fabelmans?

David Lynch
David Lynch. CREDIT: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

As reported back in February last year, David Lynch makes a cameo appearance in The Fabelmans. In the film, Lynch plays famous film director John Ford (The Informer, Stagecoach), who influenced Sammy to become a filmmaker.

The scene where Sammy meets Ford is based on Spielberg’s real-life encounter with the director when he was aged 15. In the scene, Ford, played by Lynch, asks Sammy to point out the horizon on various paintings of western landscapes around his office.

When Sammy points to the horizon in the lower and upper thirds of the frame, Ford says: “Now remember this! If the horizon’s at the bottom, it’s interesting. If the horizon’s at the top, it’s interesting. If the horizon’s in the middle, it’s boring as shit. Now, good luck to you. And get the fuck out of my office.”

In a four-star review, NME wrote: “Both Dano and Williams are on Oscar-worthy form, starting out as a sugary sweet couple before their picture-perfect household crumbles. The great storyteller has been careful in interviews to remind us The Fabelmans is only semi-autobiographical, but everything cuts so deep that you’re left wondering if Spielberg left any of the truth out at all.”

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