There are many instances of true stories are adapted to film where the subject of the film being depicted is no longer living. Such is the case with Clint Eastwood’s latest bio drama, Richard Jewell. The movie is about the security guard who was suspected for months of planting the bomb at Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Jewell discovered the bomb before it detonated and was able to clear out many spectators, saving many lives.
Richard Jewell died back in 2007 at the age of 44 due to medical problems related to diabetes, so the man behind the film never saw his name in lights at movie theaters across the globe. When CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb sat down to interview Clint Eastwood and the film’s star Paul Walter Hauser about Richard Jewell, they told him what they might have asked him if circumstances were different. Check it out:
Paul Hauser particularly has an interesting angle to this question. He told us that he’d want to ask Richard Jewell about an “over-idealistic” version of his life he envisioned for himself, and conversely, what the biggest pitfalls he had throughout it. Hauser described that he feels the answers to these questions really define a person. If he could have asked this, perhaps the actor may have been able to get inside Jewell’s head a bit more ahead of portraying him.
Clint Eastwood’s first question would be to ask him what it felt like to be falsely accused of the bombing. Yet, he felt like he’s still a better “interpreter” than “interrogator.” How might have the movie been different if Richard Jewell was alive? Or would it be the same? There certainly must be some pressure off when adapting a true story without having to face the person the film is about.
Richard Jewell is a story of heroism as far as its subject is concerned. The movie is already receiving high praise from critics, with an 84% “Fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes and a recent Golden Globe nomination for Kathy Bates, who plays Richard’s mom, Bobi Jewell.
The Clint Eastwood movie is facing some controversy from the Georgia newspaper that was involved in reporting on Richard Jewell when he was a suspect. Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs (played by Olivia Wilide) is portrayed as someone who offered sex in order to gain information for her story. The newspaper defended the late journalist’s image, calling the scene in the movie “extremely defamatory and damaging.”