‘Spotlight’ Premiere: Liev Schreiber Praises Film’s ‘Quality Journalism on Screen’

The Oscar buzz on Tom McCarthy’s newsroom procedural, “Spotlight,” began last month at the Venice Film Festival and continued at Tuesday’s New York premiere. But the writer-director isn’t letting all the talk go to his head.

Following pic’s Ziegfeld screening, McCarthy fielded questions about his Gotham Award-nominated film at midtown’s Harvard Club, where guests were treated to a wide array of drinks and appetizers as well as a live broadcast of game one of the World Series.

“I’m staying focused on getting the film out there,” the helmer said. “Right now I just want to get it in front of audiences and let everything else take care of itself.”

Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg repeated the exact same sentiment, but added that the film “truly lives up to the hype.”

After last year’s “Nightcrawler” racked up precursor nominations and landed several guild noms only to garner one Oscar nod, the topper was justifiably cautious speaking about his hopes for “Spotlight” come awards season.

“‘Nightcrawler’ was an amazing film and it got some award recognition, which was nice,” Ortenberg said. “Frankly I thought it deserved more, but the important thing is a lot of people saw that movie and loved it. I think ‘Spotlight’ will play to an even broader audience and could possibly receive more award recognition, but we will see about that.”

The Pic, about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation in 2002 into the priest pedophilia scandals and subsequent cover-ups within the Catholic Church, features an impressive ensemble of actors including Liev Schreiber who plays former Boston Globe editor, Marty Baron.

“I felt self-conscious about playing Marty,” Schreiber admitted. “I kept trying to justify why I was playing him. Luckily he trusted me. I think he felt like it was a forgone conclusion that I was the guy, so he was going to help me.”

As for the upcoming awards season, Schreiber made it clear that what he’s excited by is not kudos hardware.

“Quality investigative journalism is receding from our culture, so it’s incredibly important that we support it and put resources in it. To be able to put quality journalism up on screen is important. I think this film’s directing, writing and acting are high quality, but more than anything I think what this film is about is really reaching people and that’s all I really care about.”

Open Road bows “Spotlight” on Nov. 6.

Michael Keaton, Tom McCarthy and Open Road’s Tom Ortenberg at the “Spotlight” after-party
Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

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