News broke over the weekend that Donald Trump will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando on Sunday, an appearance that will mark the former president’s first major outing since exiting the White House. It will surely bring an avalanche of media and attention on the conservative gathering, something that Nick Loeb is ready for.
The filmmaker is hosting the world premiere of his film, Roe v. Wade, on Friday at the CPAC host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Orlando, and he’s selling tickets to funnel into marketing costs ahead of an April release on Amazon Prime, iTunes and PVOD. Loeb says he’s aware of how unusual it is to premiere a film two months ahead of its release but so much of his journey on the project has been atypical, if not controversial.
The film, which Loeb co-wrote and co-directed with Cathy Allyn, has been the subject of many headlines over the past two years due to its largely conservative cast and the mystery surrounding the plot. The story follows the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that guaranteed a woman’s right to abortion and Loeb stars in a lead role playing the real-life Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a prominent abortion doctor who had a change of heart later in his career. At Friday’s premiere, Loeb will be joined by cast members including Jamie Kennedy, Joey Lawrence, Robert Davi, John Schneider, Wade Williams and Mindy Robinson with Jon Voight and Stacey Dash possibly on hand as well, pending final confirmations.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with the 45-year-old filmmaker by phone from New York.
How did alignment come about with CPAC and why did you decide to premiere your film there?
I think this film deserved to have a premiere and, obviously, with indie films, we don’t have the money to buy advertisements. So, press is highly important to getting the word out. My preference would have been to do the premiere in New York, as I have a lot of media relationships around New York, but, unfortunately, all the theaters in New York and in L.A. are closed. Because the movie aligns with the conservative message, I reached out to CPAC to see if they would have any interest in holding it during the event because it’s in Florida and they’ve got a giant space that will accommodate social distancing. The actual event space that will show the movie can hold 1,500 people with social distancing. That’s huge, so I couldn’t turn that down. If I went and had a premiere in Orlando without CPAC, there wouldn’t be any press. It was a no-brainer for us.
Is Jon Voight giving a keynote or a speech at some point?
He’s supposed to introduce it. John is older now, he’s 82, and he’s a little nervous about Covid. We may just introduce him via Zoom. We want to make sure that he’s good. Some of the other actors are coming so I think it’ll be good.
Is it specifically a pro-life film?
It’s crazy you ask that. I think it’s up to your perspective, right? What we tried to do is really just lay out the facts of how Roe v. Wade came to be and how it was decided. People can take one view or another. I’ve had a lot of people who think it’s in the middle. We tell it from the pro-choice perspective because the story is told through the eyes of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who was the biggest abortionist of all time. He did more than 70,000 abortions. Why some folks may think it’s a conservative film or why it aligns with those views is because the protagonist actually converts. He starts off pro-choice and becomes pro-life through his journey. It’s a true story….
When you say that you had your own experiences with abortion, does that mean you had a partner who had an abortion?
In my 20s, I had two actually. I had two partners who both had abortions and it really had an emotional impact on me. As I’ve gotten older, the more regret I have. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have had them. It’s very bizarre, I have to tell you this. Every year, I have a dream of my children at the age they would have been now. I don’t know when it started — I think it was in my late 20s — I have dreams and it’s always weighed on me emotionally….
The above comes from a Feb. 23 story in the Hollywood Reporter.