“Kill The Messenger” is now playing.
Producer and star Jeremy Renner, was joined by Rosemarie Dewitt, Ray Liotta, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lucas Edges, Josh Close, Tim Blake Nelson, Michael K. Williams, Ricky Ross, Yul Vazquez, Michael Rose, Clay Kraski, Kai Schmoll, Jenna Sims, Director Michael Cuesta and producers Scott Stuber, Naomi Despres, Pam Abdy, Michael Bederman, author Nick Schou and composer Nathan Johnson.
We spoke with some of the cast on the red carpet. Read highlights below:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Tell me about your character?
I play Anna Simons, and I am the editor of the San Mercury news, which is a newspaper that Gary Webb writes for who is played by Jeremy Renner, and he brings me this incredibly huge story involving the CIA and the Nicaraguan contras and basically the CIA complicity in crack being brought into the US and distribute it on the streets. It’s such an exciting huge story that we hastily put it out there, and I think my character was in a bit over her head and didn’t quite expect the backlash that would come with that, and once it came, was pretty terrified of it, and backed away from the story and essentially backed away from Gary and what he was trying to do. It was sort of sad when you see in a film the way that his colleagues turn on him and is left alone.
Tell me your role preparation.
I tried to do as much research as I could. I read the book, Dark Alliance, which it was based on. I did as much research on Gary as I could, my character is based on a real woman, but the name is changed, so it’s not exactly her, but I researched her as much as I could, didn’t get to talk to her personally because she’s distanced herself form this whole situation, has moved on with her life. I was cast very quick before shooting so I wish could have had time to go to a newsroom and see how it works. I did what I could in the little time that I had.
Tell me about your character.
I play Ian Webb, Gary Webb’s son, he’s a relatively normal kid, he loves his dad, he loves hockey, he loves motorcycles. He gets his heart broken by his dad.
What did you do to research your character?
I didn’t do anything to research my character because there isn’t that much to read about Ian. If it was fun, if I had a good relationship with Jeremy on screen, then that would do the story of Ian justice because he loved his dad.
On September 27, the new film “Kill the Messenger” was screened for members of the Los Angeles community who experienced the crack epidemic firsthand in the 1980’s. This film explores the effects that the crack epidemic had on African Americans during that time. It also talks about the government’s role within this whole situation. After the film was screened, the attendees were interveiwed to get their initial reaction on the film as well as asked about their experiences during this time. Many of them said that this was a troubled time within the African American community and some even said that they are still feeling the after effects of the time period to this day. The main thing that these viewers had to say was that this movie was truthful and extremely successful in capturing the events of that time as well as them being proud that there is finally someone telling a story that many people do not know about. This is a story that they felt needed to be told. Watch the featurette below: