Steven Spielberg’s new film The Post is expected to be a heavy awards contender come Oscars time next year. Of course, that’s the case with most films directed by Spielberg, but The Post boasts the kind of all-star cast and weighty material that the Academy loves. Meryl Streep plays Katharine Graham, the country’s first female newspaper publisher, and Tom Hanks plays Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. The film explores the unprecedented battle between journalism and government as the White House attempted to block the publishing of the Pentagon Papers.
Hanks, a two-time Oscar winner and one of the most beloved figures in all of Hollywood, is not blind to the parallels The Post has with today’s “fake news” era. He’s proud of the film’s relevancy and has no intention of screening the picture at the White House anytime soon. As he told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview:
“I don’t think I would. Because I think that at some point — look, I didn’t think things were going to be this way last November. I would not have been able to imagine that we would be living in a country where neo-Nazis are doing torchlight parades in Charlottesville [Va.] and jokes about Pocahontas are being made in front of the Navajo code talkers. And individually we have to decide when we take to the ramparts. You don’t take to the ramparts necessarily right away, but you do have to start weighing things. You may think: ‘You know what? I think now is the time.’ This is the moment where, in some ways, our personal choices are going to have to reflect our opinions. We have to start voting, actually, before the election. So, I would probably vote not to go.”
Hollywood, a traditionally liberal environment, has been particularly vocal in their opposition to Trump and the GOP at large. Hanks, who is still one of the most bankable stars in the business, has never been shy about his left-leaning political ideologies. Similar to the 1971 standoff depicted in the film, he believes that media is under attack once again today.
“There used to be this concept, [as the later Senator] Daniel Moynihan used to say: ‘You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.’ Facts are irrefutable. Well, it turns out people are saying: ‘No, facts are not irrefutable. We can decide whatever facts that we want, that we would like.’ Right now, without a doubt, there are people in power trying to — if not quash or stop the right to publication, [then at least] denigrate it to the point [where] they are saying there is no truth to it whatsoever. And there are stories out there that are the truth, [in] organs of the Fourth Estate like the New York Times and the Washington Post.”
The Post will hit theaters on December 22.