Topher Grace Q&A: ‘Truth’
"To know we're doing a journalistic thriller with the grandfather of all those movies is 'All the President's Men,' and also one of my personal favorite films," explains actor Topher Grace during our recent video chat about why he wanted to join the cast of "Truth." He co-stars with Robert Redford, who headlined that 1976 Best Picture nominee, so "to know he was going to be in" the new project as "an ode to those films… I want to know where to get in line."
Grace also reveals that "there were so many reasons" to be involved including the script written by James Vanderbilt (who also directs for the first time) and working with two-time Oscar champ Cate Blanchett. He says he would "honestly like to do a bad movie" just to work with her.
Blanchett plays Mary Mapes, a news producer for "60 Minutes Wednesday" (aka "60 Minutes 2") while Grace is Mike Smith, a researcher on her team. In the middle of the 2004 election, they air a story about President George W. Bush and the preferential treatment that saw him avoid Vietnam by serving in the Texas Air National Guard. However, the evidence used to prove this came under attack and CBS ultimately apologized and fired Mapes, who wrote the book on which this film is based.
Oscar-winning director Redford ("Ordinary People") portrays legendary newsman Dan Rather. There is a scene late in the movie where the two characters are discussing why they got into journalism, and Smith says it was because of Rather.
Grace admits he had a similar reaction to Redford: "To be able to work with him and just having that opportunity, and then to be doing it in a film that's my favorite type of Robert Redford film. There's very little acting that day that I say how much I looked up to him, because it's true."
He first became well known in 1998 as the lead on the long-running Fox comedy series "That 70s Show." Steven Soderbergh then gave him his first movie role in "Traffic" and he shared in the SAG Award for Best Ensemble of 2000.
Grace's films since then have included "Mona Lisa Smile," "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton," "In Good Company," "Spider-Man 3," "Valentine's Day," and "Interstellar."