On any film recounting historical facts that
is cast with such a blend of veteran and young performers, you
would expect to find a mix of ideas, thoughts and remembrances
about the actual event being documented. "Dick" and
Watergate are no exceptions.
"I've always been a news addict," says director Fleming,
"but when this was news I was ten years old, and the only
thing Watergate meant to me was that the hearings pre-empted 'I
Dream of Jeannie' in the middle of the day. I gained a whole new
perspective during the research for this film."
Dave Foley is also old enough to remember the hearings and the
aftermath of the scandal. "I was very obsessed with Watergate
as a child, which is really sad when you think about it,"
he says. "I used to go home after school and watch the hearings,
and I thought John Dean was a great guy because I hated Nixon.
Once I got this part I studied Haldeman's diaries, watched the
Discovery Channel a lot and just ingested everything I could about
the whole affair."
Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams bring a totally different
perspective to things. "In history class, we didn't really
learn anything about Nixon and Watergate," admits Dunst.
"And even though this movie is a spoof, you do learn a lot
about the subject and realize that the weird things that happen
in the movie really did happen in real life. Hopefully this movie
will entertain kids and also teach them something about this important
part of our history."
"I knew what I had been taught in school," says Michelle
Williams. "It wasn't much, but I think that worked out best
for me. My character is really unaware of the details of what's
going on around her. I think it was important to keep that innocent
outlook, so I didn't do much research. That's all going to change
once we're done, though. It's pretty fascinating."
Director Fleming thinks that the whole Watergate scandal has gotten
more absurd as time has passed. "As we started looking into
it and doing research," he says, "we thought it was
a very bizarre story. The more we dug into it, the more we realized
that it's an irreverent piece of our history and that the behavior
of the people in that administration was extremely irreverent."
By making "Dick" and exposing the Watergate affair for
what it was, was Fleming's goal to entertain or educate? "I
think you can be completely oblivious to Watergate and still find
the movie incredibly hilarious," he says. "And if you
learn something historically significant out of it, all the better."
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