THE FIFTH ESTATE
A Global Response: Supporting Cast
To capture the clashing points of view that quickly
surrounded WikiLeaks, "The Fifth Estate" features a
diverse cast of characters beyond Julian and Daniel who
are, in turn, brought to life by an accomplished cast.
Representing the U.S. government response to the
leaks of secret American documents are three fictional
characters based on composites of U.S. government
insiders: White House Deputy National Security Advisor
Sam Coulson, played by Anthony Mackie ("The Hurt
Locker"); Under Secretary of State Sarah Shaw, played
by three-time Academy Award nominee Laura Linney;
and James Boswell, Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs, played by Academy Award nominee Stanley
"My character is the link to the White House who has to report to the president about what's happening in
the media and he has to figure out how to handle these leaks and what official statements to put out," Mackie
Linney, who garnered an Oscar nomination in Condon's "Kinsey," then worked with him on the pilot
for HBO's "The Big C" (for which she won a Golden Globe), relished the chance to work again with Condon. "Bill
loves a challenge, so he creates a fantastic environment to work in," she says. "What's so interesting about this
story is that people have so many different, conflicting, passionate feelings about Assange, about WikiLeaks and
about all that they've ignited. So Anthony, Stanley and I get to represent the counter point of view in the film to
Tucci felt similarly. "I like that the film doesn't really come down on one side or the other, and that it presents
the story as very complex and as not finished," he says.
"Everyone is grappling with all of this still and that makes
for some really interesting storytelling."
Another POV on WikiLeaks comes from the professional
journalists at the UK's The Guardian newspaper,
who found themselves both colluding and clashing
with Assange after they convinced him to utilize the
mainstream press to funnel this massive story to the
public. Ultimately, a trio of the world's most respected
newspapers -- The Guardian, The New York Times
and Germany's Der Spiegel -- would attempt to verify,
investigate and publish stories based on WikiLeaks documents.
To bring the real Guardian journalists to life, Condon cast three highly regarded British actors. David Thewlis,
recently seen in Steven Spielberg's "War Horse," plays renowned investigative reporter Nick Davies, who wrote
many of the big stories at the height of the WikiLeaks revelations; Peter Capaldi, recently cast to play the new Dr.
Who, is Alan Rusbridger, the current editor of The Guardian; and Dan Stevens, of "Downton Abbey" fame, is Ian
Katz, deputy editor of The Guardian.
Rounding out the supporting cast are Swedish actress Alicia Vikander ("Anna Karenina," "A Royal Affair") as Anke,
Daniel's skeptical girlfriend; and acclaimed Dutch actress Carice van Houten, most recently seen as Melisandre
on "Game Of Thrones," as Birgitta Jonsdottir, the Icelandic poet, artist, activist and Member of Parliament who
was among the first to offer support to WikiLeaks.
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