Giamatti was excited about playing Zapruder and uncovering more about the man behind the historical figure - a chance that audiences will get once the film hits theaters on October 4.
Paul Giamatti stars in the upcoming movie Parkland, centering on the events at Parkland Hospital on the day of the Kennedy assassination. The movie is due to be released in just a few short days on October 4. In it, Giamatti takes on the role of Abraham Zapruder, an American clothing manufacturer, who ended up being at in the wrong place at the wrong time and became the accidental chronicler of the assassination. In the below interview, Giamatti talks history and authenticity and explains how the filming process was different this time and why.
Giamatti takes on the role of accidental journalist Abraham Zapruder.
“I’m interested in American history and I’ve always been interested in this event in particular, so I was very aware of who he was, but I knew nothing about him” Giamatti says, when asked about his reason to choose the part of Zapruder. “So there was something cool about the idea of playing him, because he’s such a strangely anonymous figure, but so important.”
Giamatti gained most of his knowledge about Zapruder specifically from the movie and the script was a huge help. He also shares that watching recordings of Zapruder and communicating with his family was quite helpful research. However, Giamatti made a point of not disturbing the Zapruder family’s privacy.
The movie sees Giamatti team up with Zac Efron in the role of Jim Carrico, one of the doctors at Parkland.
The movie was directed by first timer Peter Landesman, whom Giamatti thoroughly enjoyed working with, according to his interview. The actor describes Landesman’s directing style as “confident,” saying that “If he hadn’t told me he was a first-time director, I wouldn’t have thought it.”
“He’s super confident,” Giamatti continued. “He’s a confident guy. He’s done a lot of real stuff in his life. So I think that he was prepared. I don’t think a movie set scared him that much, he’s done a lot of other really intense things with himself. ”
As for the experience of acting, Giamatti remarked on how “weird” and surreal some of the recreations felt to him. It seems like Parkland will offer an account of events, that’s fairly close to the truth – enough to make the actor ever-so-slightly uncomfortable. In what has become a year full of biopics and historical films, some of which have missed the mark completely, Parkland might actually offer moviegoers not only new information, but a never before seen perspective on one of the most memorable events in American history.
Watch a clip of Giamatti as Zapruder.