Kill The Messenger tells the true story of Gary Webb (played by Jeremy Renner), a journalist who in the 1990s uncovered the CIA’s role in importing enormous amounts of cocaine into the United States. The cocaine was then sold throughout the country in an effort to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras rebel army in their efforts against the Sandinista government.
As he started digging deeper and getting closer to the truth, Webb was warned not to pursue the story, but pursue it he did, ending up with a mountain of evidence. The resulting expose was published in the San Jose Mercury News. While the journalist initially received tremendous praise for his work, he soon became the target of a vicious smear campaign by the CIA and rival newspapers that sought to discredit his work. It wasn’t long before he found himself not only having to defend his integrity, but also his own life and family.
Last week during the film’s press day, I had the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with Renner and his co-star Rosemarie DeWitt, who portrays Gary Webb’s wife, Susan. During our discussion, they spoke about how they became aware of the story that the movie is based on, the challenges of playing these real-life people, and of how this is the latest movie to deal with someone who gets severely punished for telling the truth.
Check it out in the video above, and be sure to catch Kill The Messenger when it opens in theatres this Friday!