Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kurt Russell on 'Deepwater Horizon,' Hollywood Retelling True Stories

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kurt Russell on 'Deepwater Horizon,' Hollywood Retelling True Stories

Article excerpt

Kurt Russell defends retelling 'Deepwater Horizon'


TORONTO - Kurt Russell doesn't believe in "too soon" when it comes to true-story dramatizations.

"What would be the proper time?" the actor asks when pressed about the release of his film "Deepwater Horizon."

The Hollywood action flick plunges head first into a retelling of the hours before the BP oil rig explosion in 2010 -- an environmental tragedy off the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers.

Turning the event into a movie has rankled some observers who claim Hollywood is capitalizing on a tragedy.

Russell says they're right in some respects, but they aren't considering the bigger picture.

"I think what's important is the story you're telling," he says.

"And if this one doesn't honour those people, then I don't know what does."

Timeliness can be a touchy subject for Hollywood producers, who are often looking to recreate a storyline ripped from the headlines. Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" faced similar criticism when it arrived in theatres five years after 9/11.

In "Deepwater Horizon," Russell plays Jimmy Harrell, the offshore installation manager of the rig and one of the survivors of the event. Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, an electronics technician who's ostensibly framed as the hero.

Overall, the film is presented as a tribute to the men who lost their lives on the ill-fated oil rig.

But it's also a big fall action movie from Peter Berg, director of "Battleship" and war drama "Lone Survivor," which itself ran against criticism for its loose interpretation of a real-life story.

"Deepwater Horizon" appears to stick closer to the facts, but still finds its glory in some intense fiery moments with men in peril. …

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