Jon Hamm and Paul Walter Hauser are standing by Clint Eastwood’s drama Richard Jewell amid allegations of defamation.
Bosses at Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, have expressed their determination to fight the threat of a possible lawsuit from the publishers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper over the portrayal of late journalist Kathy Scruggs and her colleagues in the film.
The movie, directed by Eastwood, focuses on the events surrounding the discovery of a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jewell, the security guard who found it and ushered people to safety, but became a suspect after a media report suggested he planted the bomb.
Journalist Scruggs, played by Olivia Wilde, broke the story, and in the film, it’s alleged she traded sexual favours with an FBI agent, played by Hamm, in order to get her story.
At a screening of the movie on Tuesday, the former Mad Men star defended the depiction of Scruggs and other journalists in the movie.
“It’s my understanding that the people making these accusations haven’t seen the film yet,” Hamm said. “I kind of feel like the irony in that is sort of ridiculous. Kathy is portrayed by Olivia in this film as she was, which is an incredibly nuanced individual. To reduce her to this one thing is not fair.
“I think that there were certainly suggestions of impropriety with her character, but there are also some suggestions of impropriety with the character that I play and that’s part of the tragedy of this story.”
Hauser, who portrays the now-deceased Jewell, has also defended the film, stating, “I think the feeling is that it (lawsuit) sorta came out of nowhere. This project has been around for about five years. It was a very famous screenplay. It had Leo (Leonardo DeCaprio) attached to it at some point. They could have done their digging.”
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