'Deepwater Horizon' makers say authenticity a priority for film

Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:17pm EDT
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By Jeffrey Hodgson

TORONTO (Reuters) - A top priority for a new movie about the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was ensuring it accurately depicted the disaster that killed 11 workers, its director and main actor said.

"Deepwater Horizon", which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday evening, focuses on the hours before and after the rig explosion on April 20, 2010 that led to the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history.

Directed by Peter Berg, the film stars Mark Wahlberg as Mike Williams, the real life worker who was one of the last people to escape from the burning rig.

"We wanted to preserve the authenticity of that experience. Eleven people died. It really happened. It's not just a piece of entertainment," Berg said in a red carpet interview ahead of the premiere.

"We tried to be as natural and not slick whenever we could."

The film received a standing ovation after its screening at the festival, with cheers when the spotlight shone on the real Williams, who attended the event with his wife and daughter.

Wahlberg said that because the cast was portraying real people, they felt additional pressure to get it right.

"We just made sure that we maintained creative control and we stayed true to the actual events and honoring the 11 people that lost their lives," he said in an interview.   Continued...

Actor Kurt Russell arrives on the red carpet for the film Deepwater Horizon. REUTERS/Mark Blinch