Kathy Bates ‘hit the big time’ working with Clint Eastwood

Kathy Bates finally felt like she had “hit the big time” when she worked with Clint Eastwood on Richard Jewell.The 71-year-old actress, who began her career in Hollywood back in 1970, told Deadline that despite a long and successful career, she only fe…

Kathy Bates finally felt like she had “hit the big time” when she worked with Clint Eastwood on Richard Jewell.

The 71-year-old actress, who began her career in Hollywood back in 1970, told Deadline that despite a long and successful career, she only felt like she’d “hit the big time” when she got the chance to work with the Oscar-winning director.

“I said to Clint, ‘I’ve been doing this for 50 years, but I finally feel like I hit the big time,’” she recalled. “And I don’t mean with all the marching bands and the confetti, I mean, working with another incredible director, and doing a story that matters.”

Bates, who won an Oscar in 1990 for her terrifying portrayal of obsessed fan Annie Wilkes in Misery, confessed that despite working with filmmakers such as Rob Reiner, James Cameron and Sam Mendes, she was starstruck and “extremely nervous” when meeting Eastwood.

Recalling her first-ever encounter with the 89-year-old, Bates said she asked him why he wanted to make a movie about Richard Jewell, the security guard who was wrongly accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

“At first he looked up with those eyes and I thought, ‘Oh God, here we go.’ Then he said, ‘Well, I think it’s a movie I’d like to see.’ He was so angry at how Richard had been treated. He felt this was an American tragedy, and that it needed to be told,” she explained.

Bates, who plays Jewell’s mother Bobi in the movie, insisted that her portrayal was not an impersonation, but was inspired by her real-life character.

“We sat and talked for two or three hours and I recorded her voice,” she shared. “I had to, as an actor, create a character of Bobi, otherwise it would have been robotic. You can’t just go in and try to mimic somebody.”

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Kathy Bates joins Clint Eastwood’s The Ballad of Richard Jewell

Kathy Bates has joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s upcoming drama The Ballad of Richard Jewell. According to editors at Deadline, the Misery actress has been cast in the role of insurance claims adjuster Bobi Jewell, the mother of Richard Jewell, a s…

Kathy Bates has joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s upcoming drama The Ballad of Richard Jewell.

According to editors at Deadline, the Misery actress has been cast in the role of insurance claims adjuster Bobi Jewell, the mother of Richard Jewell, a security guard who was wrongly accused of planting the bombs he found in a bag during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her casting comes days after it was revealed Vice actor Sam Rockwell would be playing the lawyer who defended Jewell in court, and Paul Walter Hauser, who recently had roles in I, Tonya and BlacKkKlansman, would be portraying Jewell.

In 1996, Jewell was hailed a hero for being the first to discover the suspicious abandoned backpack containing three pipe bombs and alerting the authorities, saving hundreds of lives. That soon changed when he was accused of planting it in the first place. He maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal and was finally cleared by FBI investigators after 88 days, but his reputation and health were forever damaged. Jewell, who became a police officer, died in 2007 at the age of 44 after suffering from severe heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

The project will be directed and produced by Eastwood, while other producers include The Wolf of Wall Street co-stars Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio, who had both originally been attached to appear in the drama.

Billy Ray, who penned the screenplays for Captain Phillips and The Hunger Games, will write the script based on a Vanity Fair magazine article by Marie Brenner.

In addition to Eastwood’s film, Bates, who was most recently seen in Bonnie and Clyde drama The Highwaymen, has also been cast alongside Lil Rel Howery in Home, a drama about an ex-felon who returns home from prison and has to confront his past.

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