It's always interesting to see exactly what history is used (or avoided) in historical movies. Michael Shain of The New York Post reports that HBO clipped an embarrassing fraction out of their new Bill Clinton-Tony Blair movie:
The new HBO movie "The Special Relationship" -- about the friendship between Bill Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair -- is missing something: a scene about Monica Lewinsky.
The scene that showed Bill telling Hillary for the first time about his affair with Monica Lewinsky was shot but cut from the film at the last moment, according to actress Hope Davis, who plays the former First Lady in the movie.
"It felt very strange trying to shoot it," Davis told the celebrity-news Web site becksmithhollywood.com. "It was a very uncomfortable feeling."
The movie, starring Dennis Quaid as Clinton and Michael Sheen as Blair, covers the friendship between the two statesmen during the 1990s.
Originally, the movie contained a scene recreating the moment in 1998 when Clinton told his wife that his relationship with Lewinsky was more serious than he had led her to believe.
"In the end, it was not included, which was smart on their part," Davis says."I felt, the less said, the better."
HBO's head of films, Len Amato, said the scene was trimmed, but not cut completely.
"You don't need a lot of it to make the point for the story we were telling," he said.
"The Special Relationship" is set to air Saturday night.
Davis also said after "the less said, the better":
Everybody knows what would happen. It was a shame that they had to have gone through that in public.’
She admits she was ‘very, very intimidated by the idea of playing someone as well-known as Hillary Rodham Clinton.’ But her performance is superb. As far as Hillary’s response, ‘I doubt she’ll have time to see it. She is, after all, a very, very busy person. But I’ve been told that people from her camp who have seen it think she would be pleased with it. I think the film is really, really good, and tells an important story, examining how these personal relationships affect the public.’
HBO's synopsis of the film explains that their Clinton "shares with Blair his excitement over their unique opportunity to advance their center-left ideas and and bring genuine change over the next few years... and the next eight when Al Gore is elected." Boy, is that thought history.