Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison for sexual assault just hours before the red carpet premiere of “The Oath,” and actress Nora Dunn didn’t hold back from talking about it.
“I feel sorry for him, for what he did with his power. He abused it, and he destroyed something, and he destroyed our trust,” Dunn told Variety on the red carpet at the ArcLight Hollywood theater in Los Angeles. “He presented something who he wasn’t, and it’s a psychopathic personality. He has spent all these years covering up being two people.”
“The Oath” takes on somewhat controversial material itself. The film follows the effects of a contentious oath of loyalty to the U.S. president put forth by the government to ensure support from American citizens. As the deadline to sign the oath nears, one family with conflicting political views must get through Thanksgiving dinner without killing each other.
Star Ike Barinholtz, who is making his feature film directorial debut with “The Oath,” said the family-centered theme is one of the most important aspects of the movie. The idea for the plot first came from a Barinholtz family Thanksgiving just a couple of years prior, during which he got into a heated argument with both his mother and his brother about the 2016 election. The argument was intense, even though all three were voting for the same person, so he couldn’t imagine what it was like in a household of opposing political beliefs.
“I think we have an obligation as not just Americans but as fathers and daughters and husbands and wives and brothers and sisters to try our best to not let these external forces, that we can’t necessarily control… permanently sever our family ties and our friendship ties,” he said during a panel following the screening. “I would be remiss if, when we come out on the other side… we kind of cut everyone loose that we don’t agree with.”
As such, the film tries to represent both sides of the political spectrum equally, beginning with the red and blue lettering of the title sequence itself, something the film’s producers said they were extremely cognizant of from the beginning.
“Everybody seems to watch one network or the other, and that’s the only information they get, but that’s just dividing us even further,” said producer Sean McKittrick. “I’d like an audience to think about maybe taking a step closer together politically. Otherwise, it’s just going to keep getting worse.”
Producer Ray Mansfield agreed: “We make a concerted effort with the films we’re producing to show various perspectives so that anybody that’s watching the movie can see their perspective reflected. And that’s something that’s really important to us because we think it’s important first of all to hear multiple sides, but also so that any audience coming can connect with the film and won’t write it off,” he said.
However, actress Tiffany Haddish made her own beliefs about the film’s politics clear.
“It’s a possibility that this could happen…It’s a little bit scary,” she said. “I know it’s a dark comedy, but I feel like it’s a scary movie.
“The Oath” is set to hit theaters Oct. 12.