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DICK

Watergate

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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