From New York mayors former and present to chefs, fashion designers and a sizeable chunk of Hollywood, the Obama campaign has enjoyed a wealth of endorsements from famous personalities. His latest, though it may come from two celebs, is perhaps the most humble of all.
Actor Edward Norton, at the behest of Obama campaign manager David Axelrod, has created a seven minute film entitled We Hold These Truths, to “address the politics of the moment outside of the standard campaign ads and short cycle news media,” as he explained this week to Buzzfeed.
Norton teamed up with production company @radical.media and Moneyball director Bennett Miller after he saw Miller’s documentary work for last year’s Oscar telecast. Miller stuck to a simple style, with a series of talking heads, but this time instead of featuring celebrities expounding on the filmmaking experience, the focus was on Americans from all walks of life and what they thought of their country.
Norton spoke with Buzzfeed on Thursday to explain his drive to make the film:
“I don’t relate to the idea of leveraging celebrity for its own sake. I’m not a believer of do this pay attention to this because of who I am. Even though I support the President, to me it’s much more interesting to encourage people to engage than to suggest that people should model themselves on me and my views.”
Though the demography represented in the video may be wide, the views on display certainly lean liberal. Norton explained to Buzzfeed that this is because the request for participants said that it was a Democratic campaign. Still, some of the sentiments are universal: “The premise of this whole country,” explains an older lady, “is that you can better yourself, if you so desire.” These are words that have appeal across both bases, although it’s inevitably the President who gets endorsed in the closing remarks.
Given the glut of celebrity involvement in this election cycle, it’s worth noting that Norton himself doesn’t appear once in the film — something other celebrity endorsers could learn from (we’re looking at you, Donald Trump).
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