Monday night’s screening of Sony Pictures Classics’ “Truth” at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences marked a one-year anniversary from the date when production for the Cate Blanchett–Robert Redford drama first started.
“I got a Facebook reminder today about it,” noted producer Brad Fischer on the red carpet. “It took us seven years from when we first came up with the idea. But the first day of shooting is by far the most memorable single thing about it.”
Blanchett admitted that the power of American politics and the story (which follows the unraveling of Mary Mapes and Dan Rather’s careers) made the movie an irresistible — and challenging — project.
“It’s very tricky to portray someone, warts and all,” she noted. “The influence of American politics is so pervasive, so I wanted to be very sensitive to that.”
The screening came two years after Sony, at the very same venue, premiered “Blue Jasmine” — in which Australian star Blanchett portrayed another New York-based American. “I never think about my nationality when I’m acting,” she mused.
For writer and new director James Vanderbilt, the event had a surreal feel. “I am in outer space right now,” he allowed.
As he introduced the film, a humble Vanderbilt acknowledged his good fortune in casting acting icons Blanchett and Redford, joking, “After winning an Oscar for ‘Blue Jasmine,’ the smartest thing to do would be to work with a first-time director.”
The film is based on Mapes’ memoir, “Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power,” which explores the 2004 “60 Minutes” story that used unverifiable documents to allege that then-President Bush had been given preferential treatment to land a spot in the Texas Air National Guard in 1968 and avoid serving in Vietnam.
Cast members Elisabeth Moss, Dennis Quaid and Stacy Keach also attended the screening.
“Truth” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and the Sony Pictures Classics film opens on Oct. 16.
Monday night’s screening was presented by Ketel One Vodka.