Even though his in-person graduation was canceled due to the pandemic, senior Ben Montero still found a way into the spotlight when his graduation speech grabbed the attention of actor John Krasinski.
Promising to host a graduation on his YouTube show SomeGoodNews, Krasinski asked seniors to send in videos of graduation speeches. Montero, a theatre studies senior at The University of Texas from the Rio Grande Valley, sent in a video on Twitter with hopes of becoming a commencement speaker at the graduation. Amazed by Montero’s interest in filmmaking, Krasinski not only invited Montero to be a commencement speaker for the graduation, but also surprised him with an appearance by director Steven Spielberg in a Zoom meeting.
“I felt like we had to highlight you,” Krasinski said to Montero in his “SGN Graduation …” YouTube video posted on Sunday. “You’re such an incredibly intelligent kid. An ambitious kid. A positive kid, and so that’s all the things we need on this show and in life.”
Krasinski said he brought Spielberg onto the show because Spielberg has always inspired him. Montero had the opportunity to ask Spielberg about how to pursue dreams during a challenging time.
“A real dream is something that not only hangs on to you, but you will hang on to it, and it will power you through every obstacle that people and (the) environment will throw against you,” Spielberg told Montero in the video. “March on.”
Montero said on Twitter that speaking with two filmmakers he loves encouraged him to revive his childhood dreams of screenwriting. He told Krasinski on Twitter that he will write a screenplay by the end of the year.
“Thank you again @JohnKrasinski and @SomeGoodNews for making a college kid so happy and giving me an unforgettable graduation experience,” Montero said on Twitter. “I’ll forever hold this in my heart.”
Disclosure: Martinez knows Montero through attending The University of Texas.