Actor Sebastian Stan says Trump is ‘more accessible than we want to admit’

Actor Sebastian Stan says Trump is ‘more accessible than we want to admit’
Actor Sebastian Stan says Trump is ‘more accessible than we want to admit’

Donald Trump is “more accessible than we care to admit,” said actor Sebastian Stan after immersing himself in his young years in New York during research to prepare for his role in “The Apprentice.”

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“A lot of his behavior and his personality is much more relevant than we care to admit,” said the Hollywood star, who has been praised by critics for his incarnation of the US presidential candidate.

The film, presented at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, sparked huge controversy and threats of legal action from the ex-president, notably for a scene in which Trump rapes his wife, Ivana.

But much of the film depicts a young Trump as a nervous, naive outsider coming from the outer boroughs of New York and trying to find his place in the cutthroat, elitist world of Manhattan that he knows little about.

For Sebastian Stan, who was born in communist Romania and only moved to the United States at age 12, this vision of Trump struggling to find his place may resonate.

“My mother told me that I had to become someone,” the 41-year-old actor told AFP.

“There was a lot of shame when I grew up, coming from Romania… there was the idea of ​​keeping quiet and blending in,” he explains.

The actor’s career has exploded in recent years, thanks in large part to his role as James “Bucky” Barnes in the Captain America trilogy and other Marvel films.

The actor saw a parallel between his mother’s message and the intense pressure put on Donald Trump and his brothers by their father Fred who was particularly harsh.

Non-stop listening

At the beginning of the film, Donald Trump fails to convince his father that he can make a bold hotel deal.

Rather, it was Roy Cohn, a lawyer with powerful political contacts, who believed in the potential of the young promoter and took him under his wing.

If Donald Trump is initially a little uncomfortable with the lawyer’s desire to “violate some technical details”, he quickly adheres to the murky methods of his mentor and even surpasses them in his quest for glory.

The film shows how “anyone who grows up in America” can be corrupted by the capitalist society that rewards greed, cruelty and ambition, the actor judges.

“Nothing is ever good enough. You watch people succeed but there is always better, you always have to have more,” he adds.

Sebastian Stan prepared for the role by devouring every interview, watching every video, and obsessively listening to audio recordings of Donald Trump from the late ’70s to early ’80s.

He listened to all of this “non-stop”, while driving, walking, shopping or “in the bathroom”.

This role forced him to gain weight even if certain scenes required the installation of prosthetics.

And then there’s the controversial rape scene. It takes place after an argument during which Ivana, Donald Trump’s first wife, belittles him because he has become fat and bald.

In real life, Ivana accused Donald Trump of rape during their divorce proceedings before withdrawing her accusations.

Sebastian Stan said he was not troubled by the preparation for this scene.

For him, “the most complicated scene, the one that always scared me” was the one in which Donald Trump mourns the loss of his older brother Freddy, who died of alcoholism at 42 years old.

Donald Trump genuinely cares about Freddy and Ivana, before his humanity is dulled by the power and wealth that consume him.

“It’s interesting how we don’t want to remember that from him,” notes Sebastian Stan.

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