A ‘Good’ night at the Arclight

<i>Variety</i> concludes 2006 screening series with CIA epic

WHAT: “The Good Shepherd” unspooled Tuesday at the Arclight, capping off Variety‘s 2006 screening series.

WHO: Helmer-thesp Robert De Niro and writer Eric Roth. The Q&A was moderated by Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart, with introductory remarks by prexy/publisher Charlie Koones.

COLD WAR MENTALITY: “What drew you to this subject matter?” Bart asked De Niro.

“I’m a child of the Cold War,” De Niro said. “East vs. West, spy vs. spy, KGB, CIA. All that stuff is fascinating and scary, and when I read Eric’s script it had all of the elements.”

FACT VS. FICTION: “It’s more like a projection of the mythology of the way the CIA at this time in history was perceived. It’s not a literal translation,” explained De Niro.

Roth added: “I would say 90% of it did happen, and I dramatized other things, and in some instances I combined things, but it is a historical accuracy of the inception of the CIA and the people who helped it to begin.”