‘Nightline’ talks ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ controversies with Kathryn Bigelow

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Kathryn Bigelow and her screenwriter, Mark Boal, are now deep in the middle of the awards season push. Hot on the heels of the very well received first critics’ screenings of their “Hurt Locker” follow-up, “Zero Dark Thirty,” Bigelow and Boal are doing a big sit-down with ABC’s “Nightline” on Monday night.

The film, starring Jessica Chastain as a CIA agent, chronicles the U.S. manhunt for Osama bin Laden, culminating in the Navy SEAL raid on his hideout in Pakistan.

Among the topics that Bigelow and Boal are addressing are the accusations that the filmmakers got improper access to classified documents in their preparation for the film. Boal tells ABC’s Martha Raddatz that he thinks it’s a bit of election year politicking.


“It was surreal and bizarre to have – I mean there were major players in the Republican party characterizing the script and the movie before I had written a word, and I found that just really baffling,” Boal says in a clip of the interview released by ABC News.

Critics and awards season bloggers have been raving about the film’s Oscar chances since the first post-Thanksgiving screening.

Two years ago, Bigelow sat down with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” in advance of the Oscars, and that ended up working out pretty well for her. She became the first female filmmaker to walk away with a best director Oscar, and “Hurt Locker” won best picture.

So why did “Nightline” get the story and not “60 Minutes”? It may have something to do with the fact that Bigelow used footage from ABC News’ original video of the Bin Laden compound in Pakistan to reconstruct the home for her film.

“Everything that we could find from that video we replicated,” Bigelow tells Raddatz, “frame after frame after frame, and found tile that was identical to that, and built the house with every conceivable piece of information that we could find we replicated.”

It’s a method not dissimilar to that her ex-husband, James Cameron, whose attention to detail characterized on his own Oscar-winner “Titanic.”



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