Two Pennsylvania natives, turned Oscar nominees, collaborate on 'Don't Look Up'

ByAlicia Vitarelli KABC logo
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Two Delaware Valley natives nominated for Oscar for 'Don't Look Up'
The film "Don't Look Up" is up for four Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay. The concept for the story was a collaboration between two Delaware Valley natives: Malvern's Ada

LOS ANGELES -- The film 'Don't Look Up' is up for four Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay. The concept for the story was a collaboration between two Pennsylvania natives: Malvern's Adam McKay and Abington's David Sirota.

They both share a passion for growing up in the Philadelphia area. And now, they share an Oscar nod.

"I'm drinking from my Charles Barkley mug," Sirota said "That's a picture of me and Charles Barkley from 1986."

Sirota joked you can take the boy out of Philadelphia, but you can't take the Philadelphia out of the boy.

In 1985, Sirota and Bradley Cooper both played for the East Abington Little League Team. This year they are both nominated for an Oscar.

They hadn't seen each other since their childhood baseball days, but that changed at the recent Oscar Nominees Luncheon in Los Angeles.

Sirota showed the Little League photo to Cooper.

"He's like, 'Let me see the picture. I can't believe it. This is just taking me back, all the way back to childhood.'," he said.

Their reunion also ended with an epic selfie.

Fast forward to high school and Sirota's best friend at William Penn Charter School is Adam Goldberg, creator of ABC's hit show "The Goldbergs."

"There's a named character of me who wears a Sixers jersey in the show," Sirota laughed, of his first brush with stardom.

Years later, Sirota would become friends with Malvern's Adam McKay. Their collaboration on "Don't Look Up" starts with Sirota's suggestion.

"I said it really does feel like there's an asteroid headed towards Earth, and nobody cares," he said.

He said McKay responded with this: "Now, wait a minute. I wonder if there's a movie idea there."

Now, their script and the film are heading to the Oscars.

"That is not a life plot twist that I ever expected," said Sirota.

Besides that Oscar nod, Sirota says he and McKay also share a love of Action News.

"As a thank you gift, I literally sent Adam two t-shirts and a mug from 6abc," said Sirota. "Also true story, my phone ringtone was the Action News theme song."

Once in the 8th grade, Sirota shadowed our late, beloved Gary Papa for the day.

"I have always remembered that as part of my journey into journalism," he said.

The 94th Oscars will be broadcast live on ABC on March 27 starting at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT. Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes are hosting.

Check out the full list of nominations for the 2022 Oscars here.

Mark your calendar: March 27 is Oscar Sunday. Special "On The Red Carpet" coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT and continues all day leading up to the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. After the last award is handed out, stay with "On The Red Carpet" for continuing coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscar news and information. Click here to download our CTV apps to watch "On The Red Carpet" wherever you stream.