Yahoo! TV Q&A: Kathleen Robertson talks about 'Seal Team Six' and not getting it wrong
Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden US Traffic Code: 9877
Kathleen Robertson stars in the upcoming National Geographic Channel film "Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden" as Vivian Hollins, a CIA analyst who describes herself as "obsessed" with Osama bin Laden. Robertson's also appeared in projects as varied as Starz's "Boss," with Kelsey Grammer, "Psycho Beach Party," and "Beverly Hills, 90210." Robertson writes and produces as well as acting -- and Yahoo! TV spoke to her earlier this week about all three, plus controversial footage, ratings, and the importance of research.
Let's just get the question that you're sick of out of the way. It seems like everyone on the production has been asked to defend the timing of the "Seal Team Six" premiere, with it so close to the election. Did that come as a surprise to you, that this was considered an issue?
There's a couple of talking points which are a little surprising, one being footage of the actual president in the movie … I don't really know how you make a movie about this, about the raid on Osama bin Laden, without the president being a part of that conversation.
…The president was always part of this film, would have to be, given the subject matter, and it's literally a few shots in the movie, that I think are actually incredibly effective. You know, the night that it happened, the president was speaking at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and you know, the footage is of him giving that speech, knowing what he knew was going on, and it's actually I think really powerful, and very moving.
And then the other thing, which is the timing -- the only people that can answer that is the network. They clearly chose to air this movie at a time it would be the most topical, because they're interested in having ratings, and they want as many people to watch this movie as possible. I think the criticism of somebody saying, "If it's not political then why don't you air the movie two days after the election," to me is absurd, because why would they not want as many people watching this movie as possible - that's their intention and that's their goal.
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We finished filming in February; it takes time to cut a movie, and edit it, and re-edit it, and do ADR [i.e., looping] -- I was always told from the very beginning that the movie would be released around this time, so it's something to talk about for people, but yeah, it's a little weird. And it's always funny to me when they ask actors these questions, because we of course have absolutely no say in when our projects come out, or how they're edited, or any of those things.
But it's interesting that this is, like, the talking point.
That never would have occurred to me, and then I'm looking at the headlines about you guys being asked about that. That's probably not what you prepped for when you were doing press.
It's always kind of that way; there's always something that ends up being the thing that people want to talk about around a certain movie or a certain television show, so: it's okay! A lot of people watch it; that's all that matters.
Did you feel more pressure than usual to "do justice to" the story here, since it did actually happen and it was such a watershed event historically?
I think you do, and I think that -- I've worked on several films that were based on true-life events, and you do feel a different level of responsibility, and especially with a film like this, I felt that there's a delicacy, a sort of sensitivity that you have to have, about the way that it's executed and the way that these human beings are being portrayed. My character in the film is not directly based on the actual woman who was involved because at the time [we didn't have] that information, so this character I play is sort of a composite of her. The information we had at the time was what we used.
But with a movie like this in particular, you just have to hope that all of the families and all of the people who lost loved ones in 9/11 -- this event obviously for them is larger than you or I maybe can relate to, and you just hope that -- not necessarily that the film brings closure, but obviously the event brought some sort of closure. We would hope, anyway. So, you just hope that nobody's offended, and people feel that the SEALs and the intent of the CIA are portrayed in a way that feels accurate and that feels real, and that was always the intention, from the very beginning.