Stanley Tucci made one of the great food movies (1996’s “Big Night”) and has even written two cookbooks. But right now all he has time for is an organic protein bar. “This evening I’ll have a martini. Don’t worry,” he assures us as he powers through a junket for “Spotlight,” which tells of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer-winning expose of the Catholic Church scandal in 2002. Tucci doesn’t play one of the reporters, including Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, but Mitchell Garabedian, a cranky but dedicated attorney who fought for years, amidst untold frustration, to bring the abuse to light.
You’re not playing one of the journalists here, but you have a history playing reporters on film, including “Joe Gould’s Secret” and “Winchell.” It seems that, along with the scandal itself, that would be a big pull for you too.
[Journalists] really are quite heroic in what they do. And their ilk is disappearing. It’s getting harder and harder to come by guys like that.
The long-form kind of journalism the Globe reporters practice in this film is going away as newspapers suffer through budget cuts.
It is, and nothing can take its place. John [Slattery, who plays managing editor Ben Bradlee Jr.] pointed out the other night that having cell phones and video taping things as they happen is really important. But that’s just happenstance. It’s not the same as someone taking the time and seeing something out and thinking, “I know there’s something wrong here, or there’s something right here, and I need to spend the time dissecting it.” That takes a lot of effort, a lot of resources, a lot of passion.
Of course there’s what they reported itself, which even now hasn’t been fully rectified.
It’s such an important story. The fact that it was a systemic problem that has been going on for decades — for centuries — and the collusion between the perpetrators and the Catholic Church and other outside powers is so profound. They protected all the wrong people — the perpetrators — instead of protecting the children. They didn’t try to stop the crimes or punish them. That is horrifying. That is absolutely horrifying, and unconscionable, and, let’s say, it’s un-Christian.
The film makes clear that there were some ostensibly decent people tied up in the conspiracy, who seemed to be deluding themselves that they weren’t part of the problem.
Because you don’t want to know. You don’t want to think about it. You think, “That won’t happen to me or to my kids.” And that’s all that matters. Or they think, “We must respect the Church because these priests are different from us,” when in fact that’s not true at all. They’re just like us. They’re just people, that’s all.