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  • Writer's pictureDuke Daniel Pierce

Steven Spielberg Recalls Time as Cassavetes PA in Award Speeech

Spielberg with "The Fabelmans" Cast at The Golden Globes, Photo Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Last week brought many glad tidings to our alumni family at the Golden Globes, with Jennifer Coolidge (Class of 1982) and Julia Garner (Specialized Training 2008) taking home the coveted statuette, as well as alumni Cecil B DeMille’s (Class of 1900) continued historical significance being honored through the “Cecil B. DeMille Award” which is bestowed upon recipients for their “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” A few of the past prominent recipients include Robert Redford (Class of 1959), Denzel Washington, Lauren Bacall (Class of 1942), and Clint Eastwood, with this year’s award going to super-star-comedian-turned-actor Eddie Murphy. However, there was another Academy shout-out that may have gone unnoticed. When Steven Spielberg approached the mic to accept the “Best Drama Motion Picture” award after thanking John Williams, he riffs off the cuff, saying, “Quentin [Tarrantino] said to me when he gave me this award… that John Cassavetes would be proud. He said that because I was John Cassavetes’ PA on one of his movies. I got them coffee. I got them anything they wanted. I ran around that set which was like a 16-millimeter camera and a lot of noise. And whatever they wanted, I ran out to delis and got’em stuff. And that’s why I treat my P.A.’s so kindly. Because I know what it feels like.”

If there was no John Cassevetes (Class of 1950), would Steven Spielberg have made it to where he is? Maybe, maybe not - he probably would have found another PA job, but it's safe to say movies like The Fabelmans may not have been made. Watching the film, you feel Cassavetes’ style and presence in action, coming to the same conclusion that Tarrantino did. John would be proud.

Watch the full speech below and spot Judd Hirsch (Class of 1962) in the background!


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