Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Dan Rather, Mary Mapes | Clip | TimesTalks


so much for coming I gather that there
are people waiting as early as 3 o’clock this afternoon so for the time I think
start with you because I gather you were the first of the two of you to sign on
to the project and i gather it came to you pretty soon after you want your
Oscar for Jasmine presumably a lot of scripts are coming your way in that
moment as always but even maybe more so at that moment so I want to start by
asking what was it about the script that really compelled to you and to you I
can’t remember a lot about what happened after I am but I went straight onto the
set of Todd Haynes film Carol and I am very very slow reading scripts and I i
got a call during filming from my agent you look really who said you know you
got this script true that I know I know ameliorated and civil if you don’t
raided by tomorrow then moving on so that was you know we have a red rag to a
greedy ball and so i i read it at one city and its people see the film it
really does go like a freight train and it was a revelation to me I mean I knew
about the bush God’s story and I knew of dan Rather but I didn’t know about Mary
you know as a as a human being nor of the fallout of the so-called scandal and
the character particular that intrigues you are the sort of but with what was
the character than just see you say that I always the character for sale or in
this case of your life person is why the last point of entry for me as an actor
it’s always the subject matter I played characters that have died on page 9 you
notice it because I wanted to be part of the project yeah and I don’t know whether that’s
comes from a background of these are you know that sense of ensemble but yeah it
was it was really to do with the subject matter and even though it seemed to be a
very specific american story I thought I felt it had sort of interest global
interest because it’s really is about as Mary describes in the crucible of you
know politics and corporate Western cultures and politics which is often
very unhealthy unsafe remix yeah well I ask you the same question i mean i think
people obviously know they’re very familiar with all the president’s men
but they may not know that you made another film in which you may be many
people do but you another family to play a journalist which is close and personal
really charming filled with Michelle Pfeiffer who this is as to my count
third film in which he play a journalist is that right yes there’s no other reason than where
there’s something to that for you is there something particularly do things
that really interesting about those kinds of roles for you or is that for
you also individual project that really
determines that a yes I’m interested in journalism because I can’t imagine our
society without journalism and so the idea of playing a journalist is
intrigued me why I think the idea of being an actor is my are being an actor
means that you are going to be playing a character than a buddy to story and
that’s that’s a pretty it’s a very attractive thing to have but also carry
some weight in this case with Dan and Mary was kind of a tricky thing with Dan
because I was gonna be playing somebody that was pretty well known and the question was how do you how do
you capture that person and not caricature that person would I go too
far where you you become it becomes obvious that you’re trying to character
terrorizes person rather than getting the essence of them so it’s just
basically understanding his style as mayor speech something inside him that
produced a certain kind of behavior that had it had kind of rare qualities to it
like dignity respect you seem to be going out of acres so anyway I trying to
find that without going to fire was the challenge but then again as an actor you
you like challenges and they’re working with somebody working with a fellow
actor who I so admire tape that was also a plagiarism it because we are going to
have to be working together we’re gonna have to represent a kind of bond a bond
that had to do with loyalty and a very serious I’m gonna shut up I know you not
rather and I said is there anything you want anything you want to tell me he
said yeah it was about loyalty says I was loyal to mary she was low to me
we’re allowed to each other but to me that was the bottom line and we were
loyal to our bosses but that was not returned in that sort of what the film
is about so I took that to heart but I work with Kate we’re going to establish
a bond that talks about loyalty and a lot of sexual tension I was going to say
exactly do you do that there was such fun to do they seem to be
going out of their way to make it clear that’s not what we were talking about
the bond between the characters that may be a good time to look at this lovely
clip from the film member when you used to say courage at the end of every
broadcast you remember that I remember do you remember the old why do they made
fun of him up so they did seriously no come on just don’t think I want used to store when they finally ran da
when this thing happened in 2004 I was sort of vaguely aware of it shouldn’t be
too much because it was open and shut case it was it was up and down over and
out so quick you since there was maybe more to the story but you didn’t know
what it was cuz it was shut down right then you go on about your way and there
i read Jamie script I really what he’s doing nothing more exciting to me than
telling a story beneath the story you think you know and this was a chance to
finally exposed that the deeper story under it which which had to do with the
clash between the clash between politics and journalism and politics sometimes
intruding on the truth or attempting to intrude on the truth I thought that was
a pretty good story and there are these wonderful characters to embody the story
certainly story of the script yes it was a really good script because what he did
was he dug down deep he went down into the bones of this story and we came out
I i think that the feeling I had as an actor that I was happy to make a
contribution as an actor to the story but on a more personal level I felt that
Dan and Mary suffered enormously over the years a lot longer we’re just actors
that we’re going to step in and play them and maybe do something that would
open things up that got shut down but these guys had to live with being shut
down for years and years and years so the idea of playing a role in a project
that will open things up and give them their day in court which I thought
they’d well-deserved was very appealing I think what made this story compelling
for me was of course the specific episode that the the story of the film
describes but I think that the film invites larger questions about you know media ownership
in the role of the investigative journalist and perhaps the erosion of
Investigative Journalism since 2004 which is why many eleven years ago I
think the landscape changed entirely in and certainly when this is set I think
mary and and and found themselves and quite unchartered waters you know we we
we take the the blogosphere and you know went with it wasn’t even around if we
can imagine a time before today’s yeah yeah exactly and so that that whole kind
of viral internet opinionated which we we live with and you really have to
search through to find the the information the news because the opinion
is so enmeshed in embedded within that reporting it wasn’t the case back in
2004 and so I find that that very interesting to look back and such a
recent history and think gosh it as much as change so rapidly without us processing how we feel about it said
something I do find interesting is that you know not living in the states I live
in Australia and remembering the second the second bush election Bush carry
alternative campaigns is that i very much more far received the information
maybe that’s why I murdoch I I received the information about the the Swift Boat
stuff but the bush God story which had long been socialized and in Texas but
nationally amongst journalistic circles I Mary wasn’t entertainment the only
journalist chasing that story that stuff died is as bob said very very quickly
and I think it’s very interesting now to look at why did one accusation win and
the other 16 countries well I think some people would argue that it’s possible
the way that that story went down did not help its credibility were given a
lift off for their many people locally critiquing the story as well yeah I mean
I don’t think the film tries to answer but it’s only asks questions I mean
hopefully the films of provocations otherwise be propaganda if put something
forward that asks the audience to maybe at least
think about it to the point where they would ask questions about it that’s
about the best you can do you you can’t do that by the way we’re at it until the
president’s bed at like to make one point about the difference is very
transparent of the spill all the prisons been both stories were about to
reporters fighting against the odds to get the truth out and the odds were
enormous because they had to do with the whole administration whole political
administration that ran the country and in all the president’s men to reporters
were working so hard but they had the support of your editor in the newspaper costs with Dan and Mary they did not
have the support I think the film brings that our audiences to decide how they
feel about it but it feels to me like a story that needs to be told about how
what kind of controls corporations put over free speech the yooper the truth I
mean to get all the details of the movie things I do you like about the movie is
it it doesn’t sort of raised that possibility but it doesn’t try to sort
of suggested that is the mean and only factor that was at play in the way that
things went down but I do think that that’s probably sort of an aspect of it
that people have thought less about the other things that the story down so I
like that about it and of course with all the presidents and then there wasn’t
the question of whether there there wasn’t a question of whether there
was journalistic Arab place so there was no reason to lose their their bosses
support you know him saying he wasn’t there wasn’t immediately that same
outcry of missteps but I said you’re saying about the difference and they’re
still i mean you know surely the journalist’s role in any functioning
democracies to ask questions but the film points to perhaps there is some
parts about society that they aren’t open for you know those questions to be
asked to rate line in the film where there and says to the young reporter
Mike Smith he says when you stop asking questions that’s when america lose its
primary and down onto faves if they’re ready and willing after both of you experienced so much
criticism professionally in public to have a movie like this and of course the
film depicts you both very very heroically and so I just thought I’d
start by asking if you know given the way that the story did end up sort of
imploding for many reasons whether either of you do you feel like you made
mistakes during the production of this segment journal Science crude or if the
test is your story until you can make no mistakes in perfectly then very low
quality journalism integrity will get out I think the question is not what
mistakes you made it gather and store period obviously the darkest period of
my own we made mistakes we didn’t do things perfectly skewed by the truth and
what made this possible had been corporate entity supportive as
reporters through civil rights period was held up a just reporting during the
whole Vietnam War period during the widespread criminal conspiracy know who
all those period of the standard you make no mistake in producing story and
you never get to the truth you never get out now what happened this story because
what we was true because it was truth very powerful people did not want the
public to know they couldn’t handle attackers on the facts on the process I
think we did make mistakes I do think we had to rush to get it on the air or not
do it all which is a very unfair because you’re gonna get scooped that was the
concern no because sixty minutes was preempted twice once by the Billy Graham
crusade and also by a doctor feel special so it sounds like a joke but that’s true
so so we had the choice of either putting it on in five days or never
mentioning it for the course of the campaign when we watch a clip from the
movie actually and then that might raise some questions whether clip from the
movie something better than average each other investigation CBS was to appoint an
independent panel to take a look at how the stories together and I’m gonna
announced it apologize but the story on here interests you to apologize he didn’t ask dan surrender Jesus story had refused a CBS can’t
afford the risk to his reputation he knew even before we went down there just
wanted a prompt start worrying about me know that’s not going to happen we gotta
protect yourself now what happened 10 years ago one
particular story details that story it’s much more about starting a new and
broader conversation but what the role of journalism in particular
investigative journalism should be democracy such as that’s the overarching
important which is extraordinary well done flawed process including what we didn’t
do the documents the facts of the story the true story the film deals with
reason I think it does echo to read more important today than
even that time world do you want a form of journalism there’s a parade to ask
tough questions of power do you want or do you not want american journalism to
speak truth to power which blows his secrets that matter 14 secrets that matter the people in
power whether Democrat Republican remote if they want to keep something secret
journals job is not going doors and say what’s going on in there and ask tough
questions questions now report that we have to decide as a people we were kind
of investigators in florida is bound to be sometimes more than others or do we
not

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