Exclusive Interview: Scoot McNairy Talks Our Brand Is Crisis

Our Brand is Crisis the team looks in horror

This movie is a great look into the world of political consulting and what people will do to get their candidate elected. Was there anything about this world that you learned through the making of this movie that you didn’t know before?

Scoot McNairy: Kind of. I think what you said there is most important. What I learned about political consulting is that it’s about winning, and a lot of things go out the window, like in life. Whether you’re trying to get a job promotion or whatever, you kind of forget about why you are there or why you started playing baseball or why you got into politics. It was about changing the world, and in this film, Jane (Bullock’s character), she really doesn’t care if it’s changing the world. What she wants to do is win, and what’s beautiful about this film is that it’s really about, to me, politics as a backdrop to it.

It’s really about convincing people on your ideas, selling them an idea, and you get to see Sandra’s character realize that she wants to get back to doing what’s right and what’s the greater good. Instead, it doesn’t become all about winning, and I think that’s the most beautiful message in the film. Yes it is about campaigning, and those are elements to it, but the through line is somebody who relishes doing what is right and doing what is good instead of just moving ahead or getting on top or winning.

While this movie takes place in Bolivia, it could’ve taken place anywhere.

Scoot McNairy: Absolutely. This could have been a backdrop for any industry, and so politics worked out. It was a great fit, but with that being said it’s really just feels like a backdrop to the watching the characters evolve and learn.

Right, especially Sandra’s character. Everybody else in the movie doesn’t quite evolve.

Scoot McNairy: Yeah, they have kind of gone on a journey but they are kind of where they are. They are back to normal.

What would you say was most familiar to you about Buckley from the kind of people you’ve met?

Scoot McNairy: I’ve met people in my life think they are the smartest person in the room, and I feel like once you lock on to that they become the funniest person in the room. It was really fun for me to play Buckley because he does think he’s the smartest person in the room, but he’s in an environment that he doesn’t really know anything about and yet he won’t let that go.

He still tries to betray that he is the smartest person in the room, which lends itself to be funny. That’s something I really wanted to play with. I definitely know that I’m not the smartest person in the room when I walk in there, but playing that was incredibly fun and pompous. Even when he’s wrong he doesn’t acknowledge that he’s wrong.

It’s interesting because deep down we all want to be the smartest person in the room, but somewhere along the line we’re reminded that this is not the case at all.

Scoot McNairy: Yeah, and some of the times the smartest person in the room is the most hated person in the room, you know?

Regarding Batman V Superman, Jesse Eisenberg has commented that it will tackle sophisticated and important themes. What did he mean by that?

Scoot McNairy: I can’t really answer that, but I will say that this is one of the superhero films that I feel is more grounded in reality than any of the other ones. It is a comic book, but this film feels very, very, very grounded.

That concludes our interview, but we’d like to thank Scoot very much for his time. Be sure to check out Our Brand Is Crisis when it hits theatres tomorrow.