How Paul Walter Hauser landed ‘Richard Jewell’ role, hardest scene

This story requires our BI Prime membership. To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content. The actor Paul Walter Hauser talked to Business Insider about landing the lead role in Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell.”Hauser said he did not audition for the…

How Paul Walter Hauser landed ‘Richard Jewell’ role, hardest scene

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Service Insider talked to Hauser about getting the function (which really wasn’t that hard– Eastwood didn’t even want him to audition), the research study he did to play Jewell, and how improv with Sam Rockwell on set led to an explosive scene.

Hauser: Correct.

paul walter hauser clint eastwood claire folger Warner Bros

Paul Walter Hauser, left, and Clint Eastwood on the set of “Richard Jewell.”.
Claire Folger/Warner Bros.

Guerrasio: However when you remain in Thailand, did you speak with anyone on the set or Spike, just to use as a sounding board?

Hauser: I need to have been hush-hush, however I definitely confided in 3 or 4 cast members on the movie and requested for their advice. I believe they all thought I was doing the right thing. There’s no assurance you are going to deal with master filmmakers like Clint and Spike. And now that I have actually seen the film and the reception it has had, holy cow, did I ever make the right decision.

Guerrasio: To dive into the character, was the research study and preparation similar to what you made with Shawn Eckardt for “I, Tonya”?

Hauser: I would state it was the precise very same amount of research study. It was viewing some video footage, speaking to a few of the people who knew him. With Shawn Eckardt, I tracked down the man who turned him in to the FBI.

Guerrasio: Oh, wow.

Hauser: I absolutely did it without telling anyone. But with Richard Jewell, it was simpler due to the fact that Bobi Jewell [Richard’s mother, played by Kathy Bates in the movie] and Watson Bryant [the attorney played by Sam Rockwell] literally flew out to Warner Bros. and had a three-hour meeting with us on the lot. I would say the more difficult part wasn’t getting information; the harder part was simply understanding what to focus on for the sake of the real story at hand. Because in some cases, as an actor, you get pestered with a lot details, you need to pick.

Richard Jewell

Richard Jewell testifying to your house Judiciary Committee that the FBI had tried to embarrass him.

Hauser: I knew I had to get the voice down.

Hauser: I think my finest performing is always when I have one or 2 individuals to get truly intimate and friendly with off set and bring that relationship on set.

Hauser: That scene was crazy because there was a scripted version, and we did it, but it wasn’t feeling exactly.


Paul Walter Hauser
Richard Jewell
Clint Eastwood

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