The comedy follows the aftermath of Joseph Stalin’s death as his closest officials all attempt to inherit power. Although “The Death of Stalin” was filmed prior to Robert Mueller’s investigation about politicians possibly conspiring with Russia, Iannucci said it fits in with the news today.
At a screening of the film (accompanied by a live orchestra) at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, Iannucci said there are lines in the film that closely resemble quotes from Trump’s officials that make headlines daily. “There are phrases in the film like ‘we’re in a new reality now’ just as Kellyanne Conway was on the television talking about alternative facts,” Iannucci said.
“In the film, they talk about a false narrative, just as Trump was talking about false news,” he added. “It’s just bizarre, this strange parallel.”
The similarities help convey the message Iannucci hopes viewers take away from the film. “I want the audience to feel there,” he said. “That this is happening now in front of you. It’s not happening far away in another country. It’s immediate.”
Andrea Riseborough, who proudly wore a Time’s Up pin, said comedy helps process the social commentary. “As a human being, I think it’s healthy to satirize our own society and sort of understand ourselves better,” she said. “We can look back at ourselves and think, ‘How do we keep making this mistake over and over again?’”
Rupert Friend, who plays Vasily Stalin, said although the movie portrays a dark period of time, there will still be plenty of laughs. “There’s a huge amount of liberties we take in this film,” Friend said. “We are making a film that is very much rooted in history, but we had a lot of fun with that history.”
“The Death of Stalin” hits theaters on March 9.