‘As­sange asked me not to make film’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOVIES -

Early in the process of mak­ing The Fifth Es­tate, Cum­ber­batch emailed As­sange hop­ing that they could meet. He got no re­sponse un­til the day be­fore shoot­ing be­gan, when As­sange sent the ac­tor an e-mail beg­ging him not to do the film.

“I was just do­ing the last fit­tings for the wig and make-up and stuff, and this very eru­dite, charm­ing and lu­cid and in­tel­li­gent e-mail (ar­rived), im­plor­ing my bet­ter na­ture to step away from the project that he thought would be ab­hor­rent and dam­ag­ing to his cause,” he re­calls.

Cum­ber­batch wrote back to say it was not a doc­u­men­tary, “it’s not a piece of ev­i­dence ad­mis­si­ble in a court… It is just a film. It’s not go­ing to be able to shift per­cep­tion.”

One re­sult of the ex­change was that Cum­ber­batch be­came As­sange’s ad­vo­cate on the set, de­mand­ing that his point of view be aired when oth­ers had had their say. – The Wash­ing­ton Post

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