Edward Snowden’s Long, Strange Journey to Hollywood 3
When I told Wizner that Stone said he bought Kucherena’s book to gain access to Snowden, his voice climbed a few octaves again. “Virtually every single other person who’s met with Snowden, and there have been dozens of them, have just gone through me, and we’ve hooked it up,” Wizner said. He listed some names, which included the film director Doug Liman, as well as the actors Jared Leto and John Cusack. (Cusack took Snowden Cool Ranch Doritos, as well as DVDs of “Network” and “Dr. Strangelove.”)
当我告诉维茨纳，斯通说他购买库切列纳的图书改编权是为了接触到斯诺登时，维茨纳的声音再次提高了几个八度。“几乎每一个见过斯诺登的人——有几十个这样的人——都是通过我联系的，我们都能安排好，”维茨纳说。他列举了一些名字，包括电影导演道格·利曼(Doug Liman)，以及演员(Jared Leto)和约翰·库萨克（John Cusack，他给斯诺登带了多力多滋清爽牧场玉米片[Cool Ranch Doritos]以及《社交网络》[Network]和《奇爱博士》[Dr. Strangelove]的DVD）。
Wizner, who is 45, has been at the A.C.L.U. since 2001. Before Snowden, he tried to bring several suits to increase oversight over the intelligence community. Wizner likes to say that he spent a decade banging his head against a wall, and then Snowden came along and brought that wall down. Snowden had not only revealed the scope of the surveillance apparatus, but also that top government officials routinely misled the public about it. Since becoming Snowden’s advocate, Wizner has become a figure of not insignificant geopolitical importance. Those revelations have since formed a critical backdrop for legislative reforms, and there are few things that irritate Wizner more than claims that threaten to tarnish Snowden’s character and their common cause.
It would not be a stretch to say that for Wizner, Kucherena has become a bit of a liability. Since 2013, the Russian lawyer has announced that Snowden landed a job at a major Russian website — news that turned out to not be true — and has supplied the news media with photos of his client enjoying his new life in Russia, attending an opera at the Bolshoi Theater and cheerfully hugging a dog named Rick. (Rick later turned out to be the dog of one of Kucherena’s friends.) Now Kucherena had sold a novel to Stone, making it seem as if the director had to pay a Russian fixer to have access to Snowden — or worse, that Snowden was somehow under the lock and key of the Russian authorities, lent to Stone for a Hollywood movie.
Wizner’s counterefforts in the United States have been successful. Former Attorney General Eric Holder, once a fierce critic, has acknowledged that Snowden performed “a public service.” President Obama has called for the reform of phone metadata collection, and last June, Congress passed the U.S.A. Freedom Act, a law that directly resulted from Snowden’s leaks. Snowden has come to be seen as a levelheaded activist. According to Wizner, he leads a free existence in Russia, making appearances via live video and publishing op-eds against Russia’s human rights violations. “I think people are inclined to believe that Russia would never let him stay there unless he was paying for it in some way,” Wizner said. “But it’s just not true. Not only is he not cooperating, but he’s actually being critical.”
维茨纳在美国的反制措施取得了成功。曾经激烈批评斯诺登的前美国司法部长埃里克·霍尔德(Eric Holder)承认，斯诺登实施了一项“公共服务”。奥巴马总统(Obama)呼吁改革电话元数据收集。去年6月，国会通过了《美国自由法案》(U.S.A. Freedom Act)，这一法案的直接成因就是斯诺登泄露的内幕。斯诺登慢慢被视为一个头脑冷静的活动人士。据维茨纳说，他在俄罗斯过着自由的生活，在直播视频中露面，发表抨击俄罗斯侵犯人权的评论文章。“我觉得，人们倾向于认为，除非他以某种方式给予回报，否则俄罗斯不可能让他待在那里，”维茨纳说，“但那不是事实。他不仅没有合作，而且还在提出批评。”
When I asked Wizner about Kucherena’s book, we were meeting at a cafe near his office in Lower Manhattan. “Maybe you should just characterize my facial expression — ‘He smirked,’ ” Wizner said. (Except that his smirk was mixed with a frown.)
According to him, Snowden has not read Kucherena’s book. “The thing is, Ed has much bigger fish to fry,” he said. “If you had people calling for your assassination, you’d be annoyed. If you were facing life in solitary confinement, you’d be concerned. If someone wrote some book in Russia that no one is going to read, it doesn’t register.”
Wizner was reluctant to discuss Kucherena’s role in Snowden’s life, but he conceded that it was somewhat unorthodox. “It seems like the ethical rules governing the attorney-client relationship may be somewhat different in Russia,” he said. “It would be very unusual for a lawyer in a high-profile case to provide exclusive photos of his client to newspapers or write an unauthorized book and sell it to Hollywood.”
Kucherena and Wizner have never met. Whatever uneasiness there may be, Kucherena spoke warmly about his American counterpart. “We are on the same team!” he told me. “Ben works in America, I work in Russia. If he wanted to write a book, I would have no problem.” Wizner told me he has no plans to write a book about Snowden, fictional or otherwise.
“Mission accomplished,” Stone announced.
We had met in the lobby bar again, the day after he filmed Snowden, and the director was in better spirits. The shoot took place at Kucherena’s dacha. The day went long. Stone’s idea was to interview Snowden and capture an affecting moment that would give the film its dramatic ending. But the first takes were stiff. “Ed is used to answering questions on a level of intelligence,” Stone said. “But I was interested in the emotional, which is difficult for him.” Stone ended up doing nine takes. At one point, they took a break and went for a walk around Kucherena’s property. By the end of the day, Stone decided that he had gotten Snowden to go as far as he was going to. “He was cooperative,” Stone said. “He wanted to make it work. But as an actor — he’s not used to that. I mean, he’s not an actor. And I don’t think he became one that day.”
To make Snowden more comfortable, Stone worked with a minimal crew. Some were meeting the whistle-blower for the first time and still seemed a bit star-struck. “Suddenly this little creature comes teetering in — so fragile, so lovely, such a charming, well-behaved, beautiful little man,” the cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle, told me. “He’s like an old soul in a very young body. He’s got fingers like violins.” Filming Snowden reminded Mantle of shooting other men with outsize reputations and slight builds. “It’s like Bono or Al Pacino,” he added. “Those guys are teeny-weenies. But if you isolate him into a frame, he can be as big as anybody else.”
为了让斯诺登觉得更舒服，斯通把工作人员精简到最少。有些人是初次见到这位泄密者，依然有点见到大明星的感觉。“突然，这个小伙子晃着身子进来了——那么柔弱、那么可爱，那么一个充满魅力、彬彬有礼的漂亮小伙儿，”电影摄影师安东尼·多德·曼特尔(Anthony Dod Mantle)对我说，“他就像一个年迈的灵魂活在一个非常年轻的身体里。他的手指像小提琴。”拍摄斯诺登让曼特尔联想到其他一些名气超大、身材较小的男星。“就像博诺(Bono)或阿尔·帕西诺(Al Pacino)，”他补充说，“那些人都是小个子。但是如果你把他单独放在镜头里，他可以和任何其他人一样高大。”
Mantle shot Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” and “127 Hours,” but “Snowden” proved to be a special challenge. Convinced that making the film on American soil would be too risky, Stone decided to film in Germany, where Borman was able to score some tax subsidies. With roughly 140 script pages to shoot in 54 days, the crew sprinted from Munich to Washington, to Hawaii, to Hong Kong, and then back to Munich. Often, Mantle wouldn’t get to see locations before he had to film in them. To cut costs, the suburbs of Munich had to stand in for rural Maryland and Virginia, with German extras cast as Americans. “Thank God the Germans act like Americans,” Stone said.
曼特尔拍摄过丹尼·博伊尔(Danny Boyle)的《贫民窟的百万富翁》(Slumdog Millionaire)和《127小时》(127 Hours)，不过拍摄《斯诺登》被证明是个特殊挑战。斯通认定在美国领土上拍摄这部电影太有风险，所以决定在德国拍，博尔曼能在那里搞到一些税收补贴。为了在54天时间里拍完约140页的剧本，剧组马不停蹄地从慕尼黑赶到华盛顿、夏威夷、香港，然后返回慕尼黑。曼特尔通常在拍摄之前没去看拍摄地点。为了节省经费，只好用慕尼黑郊外充当马里兰州和弗尼吉亚州的乡间，由德国临时演员饰演美国人。“谢天谢地，这些德国人演得很像美国人，”斯通说。
The production itself resembled a covert operation, with a code name (“Sasha” had stuck) and elaborate security protocols. Worried that “Sasha” would be of interest to the N.S.A., Borman and Stone avoided discussing production details by phone or email — “It was all handwritten notes and long walks in the park,” Borman said — and kept the script on air-gapped computers, ones that have never been connected to the internet. If it had to be mailed, Borman would mix up the pages into four packages, which he would send with four different couriers to four different addresses. “Maybe nobody gave a [expletive],” Borman told me. “Or maybe the N.S.A. is laughing at us like, ‘Look at those idiots — of course we copied everything that came through DHL and FedEx!”
For the actors, the frenetic schedule and paranoia on set added to the mood of the production. “Snowden himself was in the midst of a stressful situation, so the fact that our shoot was a little bit that way, I think, helped,” Gordon-Levitt said, before catching himself. “Making the movie was obviously a walk in the park compared to what he did. But just to have those little emotional touch points can help when you’re acting.”
Committed to inhabiting Snowden’s robotic speech pattern, Gordon-Levitt lifted the audio from “Citizenfour” and played it on repeat while he slept. He also worried that some of the dialogue felt heavy-handed. “Oliver is very into making his point,” the actor said, “as he should be. I really admire him for that. But I felt like it was my job to be like, ‘O.K., I want to make the point, too, but this is a human being and not just a mouthpiece.” Stone found Gordon-Levitt’s approach too “documentary-ish” at times. “I was trying for the dramatic side as much as possible,” Stone said. Fitzgerald was ultimately flown in to the set to execute last-minute rewrites.
By late spring of 2015, Stone was close to wrapping when his mother, Jacqueline Goddet Stone, died at 93. She had called him in Munich, but Stone felt he couldn’t risk leaving. “To go to L.A. would have cost us three down days,” Stone told me. “I knew she was going to pass, but I thought I could make it.” Stone remained on set during the funeral and kept shooting.
2015年春天快要结束的时候，斯通的母亲杰奎琳·戈代·斯通(Jacqueline Goddet Stone)去世了，享年93岁；当时斯通的拍摄已接近尾声。他在慕尼黑曾接到母亲的电话，但斯通觉得不能冒险离开。“如果我去洛杉矶，我们就要停工三天，”斯通告诉我。“我知道她就要去世了，但我觉得来得及。”葬礼那天，斯通还在片场继续拍摄。
Stone’s trip to Moscow to film the real Snowden was the last bit he needed to complete the film. But he was still worried — that the footage would be leaked, that critics would eviscerate it, that Snowden wouldn’t like it. “I want him to vet it,” he said. He was heading to New York to begin editing and planned to return to Moscow at the end of the summer to show Snowden a rough cut. “O.K., my dear,” Stone said, getting up to leave. “See you in New York.”
Then he disappeared for six months.