In the limited series “Gaslit”, Julia Roberts and Sean Penn play

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Some collaborations are well worth the time and effort. Julia Roberts and Sean Penn starred as married couple Martha Mitchell and John N. Mitchell in Starz’s new Watergate drama Gaslit, based on the Slate podcast Slow Burn: Watergate, for the first time in their illustrious career. At Monday night’s premiere at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the pair walked the red carpet arm-in-arm, telling VF that working together made the experience of exposing 1970s scandal to modern audiences that much better. significant. On the Gaslit red carpet, Roberts said, “It’s the together part.” “For me, that’s the real key.”

Penn echoed the sentiment, telling VF that he and Roberts have been waiting years to collaborate. “We had known each other for a really long time and some projects had come together,” Penn told VF. “Then we had to do something so rich the first time around.”

“There is literally no Martha without John – the good, the bad, the sad of that statement,” she continued. “And so to have my sandbox partner like this guy, it was a dream come true.”

Gaslit takes a fresh look at the Watergate scandal, centering the key players whose voices have always been cast aside – people like Martha Mitchell and Frank Wills, the black security guard who helped catch the Watergate intruders. . “People know about the Watergate scandal, but they don’t know who did it,” said Patrick Walker, who plays Wills on the show. “They didn’t know it was a black man. Many people don’t know the inside story.

Roberts also said her understanding of Watergate was turned upside down after becoming involved with the series. “I think I learned everything,” Roberts said. “I was the Watergate school of Alan Pakula, All the President’s Men. It was really the sum of my parts, so it was a brave new world for me.

Like Walker, many of the Gaslit actors were shocked to learn more about the facts as they filmed the series. “Same tension and paranoia as All the President’s Men, The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor, but being closer to what the story was, it’s actually dumber and dumber,” said said comedian Patton Oswalt, who plays Richard Nixon’s pal Chuck Colson. “The real things were so inept and clumsy. It was so embarrassing. It looked like a bunch of guys doodling on a napkin in a Wendy’s and saying, “So that’s how we overthrow democracy, I guess.”

Diving in meant going beyond the usual cast of characters associated with Watergate and highlighting new perspectives like that of Judy Hoback, the accountant who served as a crucial investigative source during the Watergate scandal. She is played in Gaslit by Tony nominee Marin Ireland. “You never learn her name in All the President’s Men,” says Ireland of Hoback, who was only known as “the bookkeeper” in the seminal ’70s film. “Judy, she’s an American hero.”

Betty Gilpin, who plays Mo Kane Dean, the shrewd wife of Watergate whistleblower John Dean (Dan Stevens), spoke with VF about the importance of relaying well-worn stories from a different angle. “I think we like to pretend in American movies and television, in particular, that we show the full story of a national wrong, mistake, or atrocity, but only through the eyes of the heroes who have restored everything, and so kind of apologizing to us for blame,” Gilpin said. “I think it’s a very candid portrayal of what happened and the voices that were cut in real time.” Martha Mitchell was telling the truth from the jump, and Frank Wills, who was the security guard who discovered the Watergate burglary, he changed the course of history, and I never knew his name until the show.

Like Gilpin, Penn hopes Gaslit will paint a more honest portrait of what happened during Watergate – and that with the series delving into the characters of Martha and John Mitchell, viewers will learn something from the mistakes of the past. “I’m older than the young woman to my left,” Penn said, referring to Roberts, “and it was an obsession, the Watergate hearings — I watched. That side is much more accessible to me. I’m starting to understand the politics of it a lot more from those personal stories. “I think, for both of us, the fact that this story is still so timely — to echo things and be able to be a part of them,” Penn said. , looking at Roberts, “we are grateful.”

Like Gilpin, Penn hopes Gaslit will paint a more honest portrait of what happened during Watergate – and that with the series delving into the characters of Martha and John Mitchell, viewers will learn something from the mistakes of the past. “I’m older than the young woman to my left,” Penn said, referring to Roberts, “and it was an obsession, the Watergate hearings — I watched. That side is much more accessible to me. I’m starting to understand the politics of it a lot more from those personal stories. “I think, for both of us, the fact that this story is still so timely — to echo things and be able to be a part of them,” Penn said. , looking at Roberts, “we are grateful.”

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  • In the limited series “Gaslit”, Julia Roberts and Sean Penn play
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