Star Apps: Michael Cuesta
When Michael Cuesta (“L.I.E.,” “12 and Holding,” “Homeland”) signed on as director of “Kill the Messenger,” starring Jeremy Renner as Pulitzer Prize-winning San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb, he was already familiar with Webb’s controversial story. What he didn’t yet know was how much he had in common with the late investigative reporter, who exposed the CIA for engaging in cocaine smuggling to fund Nicaraguan Contra militias. “Gary Webb wasn’t what people imagine journalists to be, like snobby intellectuals,” he said. “He loved The Who and Mott the Hoople, was a hockey player and a motorhead.”
(Credit: Focus Features)
This is your second time directing Jeremy Renner, with the first instance being “12 and Holding.” What’s it like working with him? He’s just a fantastic actor. He’s instinctual. I think he communicates so much with no words. Being a photographer, which I was originally, I just love to capture that face, which communicated so much of an inner life. And the trust that you feel when working with another artist — I knew he trusted me, and I trusted him. So when we worked together, I knew that it was going to be a seamless collaboration. We have a similar sensibility about movies and about how to approach something in the most honest way.
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