[WATCH] ‘Miss Sloane’ screenwriter Jonathan Perera on exploring ‘fertile ground’ of lobbying

“It seemed like very fertile ground for a script,” divulges screenwriter Jonathan Perera during our recent webcam chat (watch above) when asked about the inspiration for “Miss Sloane.” “We’ve seen the politicians front-and-center in shows like ‘The West Wing’ and various movies as well,” he adds. “What we haven’t seen are the power-players behind the scenes, trading in influence, pulling the strings.” Directed by John Madden, this EuropaCorp release stars Jessica Chastain as Elizabeth Sloane, a brilliant and ruthless lobbyist taking on the most powerful opponent of her career: the gun industry.

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With its intricate twists and turns, “Miss Sloane” would be an ambitious undertaking for any screenwriter, especially for a first-timer like Perera. The “research and planning phase took far longer than the actual writing phase,” he reveals. “It’s just a question of instead of jumping straight into the actual writing of it, just taking your time, making sure that you’ve worked out each separate strand of the story and kind of woven them together to form a cohesive whole.”

Related: Watch our interview with Jessica Chastain (‘Miss Sloane’)

At the center of the film is Elizabeth Sloane, a flawed and complex character who Perera admits was somewhat based on his own mother. “Being raised by a very strong, independent woman gave me a very good role model on whom I could base Miss Sloane,” he explains. “The more deceitful and manipulative aspects came from my research of the lobbying world generally, and just my desire to make the movie as entertaining as I could.”

Check out our full interview (which does contain spoilers above the movie) above for more about Perera’s work on “Miss Sloane.”

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