NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden made his first-ever appearance at Comic-Con International to endorse Oliver Stone?s dramatisation of his story in the forthcoming Snowden movie.
The Snowden panel took place in Comic-Con’s Hall H, where the director Stone was joined by the film’s stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, who play Edward Snowden and his longtime girlfriend Lindsay Mills.
Snowden had appeared live from Moscow via Google Hangouts Thursday night following the first public screening of the movie, to answer audience questions and as well interact with the cast.
?I don’t think anybody looks forward to having a movie made about themselves,” Snowden said at one point. “Particularly someone who is a privacy advocate.”
But he added that with Snowden Movie his message has potential ability to reach a large audience through narrative storytelling.
?I?m not an actor. I don?t think anyone in politics is really charismatic enough to connect with people on issues that are so abstract,? Snowden said. ?But (actors) can reach new audiences in new ways and get people talking about things that they don?t have time to read (or) to look for in the academic setting.
Snowden also praised Gordon-Levitt?s ?really amazing? performance in the movie, adding: ?Some of my family members have said, ?he sounds just like you.? If he can pass the family test, he?s doing alright.?
The 33-year-old former CIA contractor, who fled the country after releasing information about numerous government-surveillance programs, briefly appears as himself in the movie, re-enacting an appearance he made at a 2014 TED Talk.
The controversial movie was initially turned down by almost every major Hollywood studio, said Director Oliver Stone. But he never gave up and eventually found funding from France and Germany and domestic distribution from Open Road, which was responsible for last year’s Oscar winner Spotlight.
Stone revealed ?the reason he made the movie: “Snowden is a larger-than-life story of what is happening right now, under our noses and it affects the majority of you, in this audience.”
Snowden is the true story of real-life whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former government employee who leaked classified information, exposing the NSA’s monitoring of American civilians. Joining Gordon-Levitt and Woodley are other big names including Nicolas Cage, Timothy Olyphant and Zachary Qunito.
Snowden The Movie an Open Road Films release, hits theatres on September 16.