Subscribe To How Involved Real Life Waco Survivor David Thibodeau Was With The Waco Miniseries Updates
In putting together Paramount Network's captivating miniseries Waco, the filmmakers John Erick and Drew Dowdle wanted to tell the Branch Davidians standoff story from the inside, as opposed to how it was covered by news networks at the time. What better way is there than talking to people who were actually involved, including survivor David Thibodeau, who wrote the biographical account A Place Called Waco that serves as half of the miniseries' source material? CinemaBlend recently spoke with the Dowdle brothers about Waco, and when I asked if Thibodeau offered any further assistance, John revealed he helped out across all areas of the production.
When putting together a dramatic take on a real-life tragedy like this, one should never aim to half-ass anything, and it was extremely important to John Erick and Drew Dowdle to make sure Waco was as genuine and authentic as possible. Luckily, David Thibodeau was not only available to offer his extremely unique insight into David Koresh's world, but he was also willing to really let all sides of the production team pick his brain for a fairly astonishing array of details that many people would have either forgotten or suppressed.
For Waco, the production team basically rebuilt the Mount Carmel Center that served as ground zero for the highly controversial conflict between the FBI and David Koresh's Branch Davidians group. It's a massive set that really gives Waco a sense of place for its troublesome characters to populate, and one of those characters is Rory Culkin, who portrays David Thibodeau himself. One imagines that Culkin and Thibodeau had some incredibly intense and interesting conversations as Waco was getting made, too. (Fun fact: of all the amazing cast members that star in Waco, Culkin was the one actor that John Erick and Drew Dowdle pursued, specifically for the David role.)
Not that David Thibodeau was the only person involved with the Mount Carmel fiasco that aided Waco's production. Former FBI negotiator Gary Noesner also played a big part in making sure everyone was on the right page, at least as far as the FBI elements were concerned. Noesner wrote the other book that Waco is based on, titled Stalling For Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, and Drew Dowdle explained to me the ways the ex-agent, who was removed from duty in the middle of the standoff, advised the cast and crew.
For everybody that watched Waco's premiere episode, it was obvious that everyone involved was invested in making it as close to the real thing as possible. Check out what the Dowdles told me about Taylor Kitsch's preparation process.