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 defends Richard Jewell movie amid controversy

Kathy Bates is worried that the controversy over Richard Jewell has “clouded” the movie.The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, documents the real-life story of security guard Jewell, who was wrongly accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics…

Kathy Bates is worried that the controversy over Richard Jewell has “clouded” the movie.

The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, documents the real-life story of security guard Jewell, who was wrongly accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shortly after it was released in the U.S. in December, controversy erupted over the depiction of journalist Kathy Scruggs, played by Olivia Wilde, and her colleagues at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.

Lawyers for the publication even threatened legal action over the suggestion that Scruggs slept with an FBI agent to get information on the case, and Wilde stated on Twitter that she didn’t believe the journalist traded sex for tip-offs.

Bates, who has landed a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Jewell’s mother Bobi in the movie, discussed the furore in a new interview with Deadline and shared her sadness that the controversy has marred the release of a film trying to clear the security guard’s name.

“(It) really clouded, I felt, the film. I worried that it would affect how people would feel toward the film,” she explained. “As an actor, all I can say is I just really hope that it doesn’t turn people off from going to see it.”

Jewell died in 2007 at the age of 44, and Bates revealed his mother Bobi is sad that her son didn’t get to see the movie.

“She loves the film,” the 71-year-old shared. “And I have this feeling that she has been brought some relief. She just wishes that it could have happened when Richard was alive.”

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Clint Eastwood suffers his worst opening in 40 years with Richard Jewell

Clint Eastwood has suffered one of the worst box office openings in his career with his new movie Richard Jewell.The drama, which follows the story of the security guard who was wrongly suspected of planting a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, rake…

Clint Eastwood has suffered one of the worst box office openings in his career with his new movie Richard Jewell.

The drama, which follows the story of the security guard who was wrongly suspected of planting a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, raked in a disappointing $5 million (£3.7 million) from 2,502 cinemas across the U.S.

The drama marks the second-worst domestic opening for the 89-year-old filmmaker following Billy Bronco, which grossed just $3.7 million (£2.7 million) back in 1980, according to Variety.

Eastwood’s strongest opening weekends came from his other biographical dramas, such as 2014’s American Sniper, which starred Bradley Cooper and raked in $89 million ($66.7 million), followed by Sully, which opened with $35 million (£26.2 million) in 2016.

Richard Jewell, which had a budget of $45 million (£33.7 million), is currently embroiled in controversy after studio executives at Warner Bros. were threatened with a defamation lawsuit by officials at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the film’s depiction of its journalists, particularly Kathy Scruggs, who seemingly offers to trade sex with Jon Hamm’s FBI agent for information about the case.

Olivia Wilde, who portrays Scruggs, recently waded into the row by releasing a statement on Twitter in which she told her followers that she had “no say” in how the filmmakers portrayed her character.

“I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it’s important to me that I share my personal take on the matter,” she wrote. “Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had.”

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Olivia Wilde clarifies intention behind portrayal of controversial Richard Jewell character

Richard Jewell star Olivia Wilde has insisted it wasn’t her intention to suggest her journalist character traded sex for tips in the movie.Clint Eastwood’s new film tells the story of Richard Jewell, a security guard who discovered a bomb and ushered p…

Richard Jewell star Olivia Wilde has insisted it wasn’t her intention to suggest her journalist character traded sex for tips in the movie.

Clint Eastwood’s new film tells the story of Richard Jewell, a security guard who discovered a bomb and ushered people to safety at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. After initially being hailed as a hero, he became one of the most persecuted people in America after a media report, written by Wilde’s character Kathy Scruggs, suggested he may have planted the explosive in the first place.

One scene, in which Scruggs appears to trade sex with an FBI agent, played by Jon Hamm, in order to get her story, has sparked controversy, with bosses of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where Scruggs worked, threatening studio Warner Bros. with a defamation lawsuit over the depiction of their journalists.

On Thursday night, Wilde took to Twitter to praise Scruggs and clarify her intention behind the character.

“Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy ‘traded sex for tips’. Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had. That would be an appalling and misogynistic dismissal of the difficult work she did,” she wrote. “The perspective of the fictional dramatisation of the story, as I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information.”

Wilde, who made her directorial debut with Booksmart earlier this year, admitted that she could not control “the voice and message of the film” as an actor and that her opinions about Scruggs might differ from the filmmakers.

“I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it’s important to me that I share my personal take on the matter,” the 35-year-old added.

Richard Jewell, released on Friday, will feature a disclaimer at the end, which reads: “The film is based on actual historical events. Dialogue and certain events and characters contained in the film were created for the purposes of dramatisation.”

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Jon Hamm defends Richard Jewell movie amid defamation battle

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 t…

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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Warner Bros. bosses fire back at Richard Jewell movie defamation claims

Warner Bros. bosses have fired back at defamation claims aimed at Clint Eastwood’s new movie Richard Jewell.The publishers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper have threatened legal action over the upcoming film, which follows the real-life ev…

Warner Bros. bosses have fired back at defamation claims aimed at Clint Eastwood’s new movie Richard Jewell.

The publishers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper have threatened legal action over the upcoming film, which follows the real-life events surrounding the discovery of a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Security guard Jewell, played by Paul Walter Hauser in Eastwood’s movie, saved many lives by evacuating spectators once he discovered the device, but was subsequently vilified by the press who suggested that he planted the explosive in the first place.

Bosses at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are unhappy with the way their journalists – especially the late Kathy Scruggs, who broke the original story that falsely suggested Jewell was a suspect – are portrayed as “reckless” reporters who use “unprofessional and highly inappropriate reporting methods.”

Lawyer Marty Singer urged studio bosses and director Eastwood on Monday to “immediately issue a statement publicly acknowledging that some events were imagined for dramatic purposes and artistic license and dramatisation were used in the film’s portrayal of events and characters”.

But Warner Bros. executives have slammed allegations that portions of the movie are defamatory, and insisted they would be standing by their portrayal of Richard Jewell, an “innocent man whose reputation and life were shredded by a miscarriage of justice.”

“It is unfortunate and the ultimate irony that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, having been a part of the rush to judgment of Richard Jewell, is now trying to malign our filmmakers and cast,” a statement added.

The film will feature a disclaimer which reads: “The film is based on actual historical events. Dialogue and certain events and characters contained in the film were created for the purposes of dramatisation.”

Richard Jewell will be released in cinemas on 13 December.

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Olivia Wilde defends depiction of journalist character in Richard Jewell

Olivia Wilde has defended the depiction of her journalist character in Clint Eastwood’s new movie Richard Jewell following criticism over the suggestion she slept with a source.The movie is based on the events of the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing in Atl…

Olivia Wilde has defended the depiction of her journalist character in Clint Eastwood’s new movie Richard Jewell following criticism over the suggestion she slept with a source.

The movie is based on the events of the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing in Atlanta, and focuses on the true story of security guard Jewell, played by Paul Walter Hauser, who saved thousands of lives during the incident, but is vilified by the press who falsely report that he was a terrorist.

Wilde portrays Kathy Scruggs, who was a reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and in one scene, her character offers to sleep with FBI agent Tom Shaw, played by Jon Hamm, for information about the bombing. Kevin Riley, the current editor-in-chief of the publication, criticised the film for its portrayal of the late journalist, stating that the suggestion she traded sex for information was “offensive and deeply troubling in the #MeToo era.”

Wilde defended the depiction of Scruggs in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Monday.

“I have an immense amount of respect for Kathy Scruggs… I feel a certain responsibility to defend her legacy – which has now been, I think unfairly, boiled down to one element of her personality, one inferred moment in the film,” she said.

“I think people have a hard time accepting sexuality in female characters without allowing it to entirely define that character,” the actress continued. “We don’t do that to men, we don’t do that to James Bond – we don’t say James Bond isn’t a real spy because he gets his information sometimes by sleeping with women as sources. This is very specific to female characters, we’ve seen it over and over again, and I think that Kathy Scruggs is an incredibly dynamic, nuanced, dogged, intrepid reporter. By no means was I intending to suggest that as a female reporter, she needed to use her sexuality.”

Richard Jewell is released on 13 December.

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