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Edward Snowden held a secret chat with the actor portraying him

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 19, 2015
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Many actors in biographical movies will interview the real people they're portraying to get a feel for their mannerisms and values. However, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is going the extra mile to make sure that he's correctly representing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone's upcoming movie. The star has revealed to The Guardian that he held a secret, four-hour meeting with Snowden in Russia to understand the fugitive. How secret? Gordon-Leavitt was not only advised to avoid recording the conversation, but (for a while) to avoid even acknowledging that it took place -- not surprising when the US likely wants to watch Snowden's every move.

Gordon-Leavitt isn't saying a lot about what happened during the chat, but he believes that Snowden acted out of a genuine concern that American mass surveillance was going too far. There's no guarantee that the sit-down will lead to a truly accurate movie, of course. You've probably seen at least a few "based on a true story" dramas that take a lot of poetic license, some of them from Stone himself (see the controversy over JFK's conpsiracy-laden plot). Still, it hints that the movie producers are making at least some effort to faithfully depict Snowden and the motivations behind his leaks.

[Image credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Motion Picture & Television Fund]

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