The life of blacklisted Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo was celebrated on Tuesday in Los Angeles where the film’s stars Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren took to the red carpet to talk politics and equal pay.
(BLEEKER STREET MEDIA) – The film about screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, simply called ‘Trumbo’, had its premiere in Hollywood, where he was blacklisted back in 1947 after being jailed for his political beliefs.
‘Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston plays the writer, who won two Oscars for ‘The Brave One’ and ‘Roman Holiday’ and famously penned ‘Spartacus’.
Speaking on the red carpet, Cranston said “People are still alive who knew the man. In this case, we were very fortunate his daughters are alive and well, his daughter-in-law is alive and well and so their help was instrumental on this and I told them ‘Look, I’m not going to try to do an impersonation of your father. I just want to try and get the essence of your father and at the end of it, you go ‘yeah, I think you got him’, then I’ve won.’ And that’s all I tried to do.”
The film is directed by Jay Roach, who is best known for his comedy franchises ‘Meet the Parents’ and ‘Austin Powers’. He was keen to point out although there were witch hunts back in the 1940’s, the same processes were still happening today.
“It happens in our country and around the world these days over terrorism. We’ve just had an incredible committee investigation which spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours on interrogation and ended up proving not much and that was a very similar thing to what happened back then. Those were the kind of tools that you use when you want to use propaganda to whip up hysteria is fear and fear is easy to exploit,” he said.
British actress Helen Mirren plays Trumbo’s accuser, failed actress turned gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. “I don’t think I would have survived Hedda very well, I have to say,” she said when asked if she would have survived during that period. “Hedda would have gone for me with all guns blazing, I think, not for political reasons but just because I think she just would have thought that I was just too badly behaved in general, I suspect.”
Mirren also joined the argument about equal pay in Hollywood at the event, saying “So the whole issue of what you get paid and how and when is all couched in mystery and I think because it’s couched in mystery for a long time, they got away with paying women maybe less than they deserve, but in the end you should only be paid what is rightful, what you deserve and it seems crazy that people are paid such vast sums sometimes but on the other hand, they deserve it because their films make vast sums so isn’t it fair that they should get a percentage of that?”
‘Trumbo’ shows how the writer continues to do what he loves despite the blacklist. Cranston said that he, like many actors, understood that battle to keep pursuing your dreams no matter what.
“I wanted to be an actor because I loved to act and I was willing not have anything of material value in my life in order to do that and things turned but my most precious achievement professionally was when I was 25 years old and became a professional actor and that’s all I did from that point on. That’s still to this day my proudest moment, probably, professionally,” he said.
‘Trumbo’, which has already been shown at the Toronto and London film festivals, goes on release in the US on November 6.