On Thursday night, Liam Neeson and Brian d’Arcy James turned out for the New York premiere of biopic “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House,” which also stars Diane Lane, Kate Walsh, Josh Lucas and Tony Goldwyn.
The film, written and directed by Peter Landesman, tells the story of how Mark Felt, played by Neeson, leaked information under the name “Deep Throat” to reporters from the Washington Post and Time Magazine from his position as the second-highest-ranking agent at the FBI during the Nixon/Watergate investigation. The pseudonym became part of the American lexicon — and Felt helped earn reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein a Pulitzer Prize and place in U.S. history.
“I love history. I love the Watergate story particularly,” said James. “I’m always really proud to be associated with stories that tell the truth and hopefully educate an audience and entertain, obviously.”
Although most Watergate narratives portray Woodward and Bernstein as the heroes of the story, “Mark Felt” shines light on how the former FBI associate director risked it all in an attempt to bring down President Richard Nixon.
Landesman, who is a former investigative reporter, claimed he did not feel the need to present a film that educates its audience, as opposed to one that aims more to entertain.
“No…I’m drawn to stories that matter,” Landesman said. “I’m drawn to stories that are hidden in the shadows. I’m drawn to things that we didn’t know, or thought we knew but didn’t really understand.”
Landesman added that he is particularly interested in telling stories of cover-ups and injustice.
“I wrote a lot about the horrible things that were being done to innocent people,” he said of his time as a war correspondent. “I don’t understand [why], it’s just the narrative I’m drawn to. I can’t really explain it.”
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