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‘She Said’ Star Andre Braugher on Portraying Real-Life New York Times Editor Dean Baquet: “A Father Figure”

at Universal’s She saidAndre Braugher plays real-life journalist Dean Baquet, former executive editor of The New York Times who helped spearhead the newspaper’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein. While this is the first time the actor has played a historical figure who is still alive (he previously played Jackie Robinson and union member A. Philip Randolph, for example), Braugher didn’t feel like he had to meet Baquet to capture the spirit. from the publisher.

“Sometimes when you play real people, there’s a tendency to get bogged down in their actual mannerisms, and what you imagine their actual attitudes to be compared to the script, and I think my greatest loyalty goes to the playwright. [Rebecca Lenkiewicz, who penned the screenplay] in collaboration with the director to figure out what we want to try to interpret,” says Braugher. THR. “I felt that the Dean of the script was very much a father figure, a mentor, a friend, a guide across treacherous borders, and that’s what I tried to play. I’m not blessed with the ability to be a chameleon, so it’s really about the instincts I take from the person, and all of that was done secondhand through documentaries or YouTube videos, and not so much over lunch or that kind of staff. membership. I felt like I had captured Dean’s spiritual essence. My feeling throughout the movie was that Dean is looking out for these journalists who are going through immense pressure in the course of delivering the truth. That guided me throughout the role.”

She said follow Times journalists Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) as they investigate Weinstein and speak with the women who accused the producer of sexual assault and harassment. Braugher credits the work of director Maria Schrader (Heterodox, I’m your man) for capturing not only the immense bravery of these women, but also the cost it took Kantor and Twohey to bring the story to the public.

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“If it weren’t for the courage of the women who stepped up to tell this story, this would be a very different place, a very different workplace, a very different world,” Braugher says. “I think it’s an important movie, and I think it’s going to resonate a lot with women, and I hope it’s going to resonate a lot with men.”

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Coming from television, the actor’s credits include brooklyn nine nine, men of a certain age Y Homicide: Life on the street —Braugher found Schrader’s directing methods quite unconventional.

“It’s part of his genius, but we never rehearsed,” he explains. “We just started shooting, and there was a general outline, like, ‘You go here, you go here, and you’re sitting here and there.’ And that’s pretty shocking coming from television, where you have rehearsal time and everything is scheduled. [with] three cameras. The most shocking part, which I thought was actually liberating in her way, because it was new to me, [was that] we just started acting. Mistakes will be made, but there’s a spontaneity I felt in the movie that was quite refreshing. That was, for me, the most challenging part.”

This story first appeared in a December standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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