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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Joe and Valerie Plame Wilson Are 'Fair Game' at AFI

After the Washington premier showing of Fair Game ended at AFI Tuesday night - after the audience was obviously elated by this real-life Mata Hari-plus tale - Joe and Valerie Plame Wilson glided down the aisle to assume center stage (with Bourne director Doug Liman and NPR's Neil Conan). Joe started by saying, "I'm not an asshole, maybe just a tough mean son of a bitch." Valerie, glamorous in a shouldery yellow blouse, said to the audience, "I loved how you laughed - you get the inside jokes here!" And so it went for the next half hour or so. Liman said that because Plame Wilson could not divulge everything about her CIA past, he had to piece together some of the big picture. "It was actually the opposite of what this sort of film usually does," said Liman. "Where you have the big parts of the story but have to kind of make up what was said in the smaller moments. Here, they gave me those moments but I couldn't have the facts."
Liman said he was fortunate in the casting of Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. The screenwriter, Jez Butterworth, knew Watts and brought her the script - "days after she gave birth. Just read 10 pages," Liman pleaded. Her was right. Watts knew Penn from two movies they did together and Liman asked her to approach him with the same 10-pages deal. That was enough for him as well.
Plame Wilson explained that prior to her husband sending the famous op-ed to the Times that put everything in motion - writing that Niger did not sell uranium to Iraq - he tried his darnedest to get people to listen to him. The op-ed was not a rash decision, she said. We need to stand up and hold our governement accountable." She welcomed an accusation by a questioner that she was no longer covert well prior to being outed by the White House. "{I was a covert spy when this was perpetrated."
Liman urged people to tell their friends to see this film. "Word of mouth means the world to us."
Plame WIlson said she was able to speak to students from her alma mater, Penn State, the previous night. "I encouraged them to do public service, get a Eurail pass and just go."
Joe WIlson said what he did was not partisan. "Brent Scowcroft has been a good friend of mine for many years and he said that I would have done the same thing to a Democratic president."
It was a special evening to see two larger than life people. Go see Fair Game.

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