Spotlight is the Oscar nominated movie that focuses on the cover-up by the Catholic Church of the sexual abuse committed by its priests and how this information was discovered by reporters at the Boston Globe. The movie is based on a series of stories published by the Spotlight investigative team and is intense, accurately capturing the atmosphere of the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative reporting unit in the U.S.
Along with the entrancing movie, there are a number of facts about Spotlight that are sure to thrill fans.
1. Useless Daily reports that the name of the movie reflects the name of the investigative team at the Boston Globe, which is called Spotlight. They conducted a widespread investigation into child sexual abuse in Boston over the past few decades.
2. The real Jack Dunn, played by Gary Galone in Spotlight, criticized the portrayal of his character in the film because he was made to seem indifferent about the scandal. However, real-life reporters Sacha Pfeiffer (played by Rachel McAdams) and Walter Robinson (played by Michael Keaton) are confident in their recollection of the situation, in which Dunn tried to make the story as positive as possible.
“[Jack did] his best to frame a story in the most favorable way possible for the institution he is representing. That’s what Jack did that day.”
— eOne ANZ (@eOneANZ) February 1, 2016
3. To prepare for the role of Walter Robinson in Spotlight, Keaton tracked the real Robinson, took up residence near Robinson’s home and obtained audio and video of Robinson. When they first met, Keaton already knew Robinson so well that he did an impression of Robinson that freaked him out.
“How did you know everything about me, we just met?”
4. When Mark Ruffalo was preparing for his role as Michael Rezendes, he actually asked Rezendes if he could hear him yell at someone.
“Can I listen to you yell at someone?”
On the “Spotlight” set, Ruffalo asked the real Michael Rezendes to yell at someone so he could learn his voice. pic.twitter.com/k6GuxwzLzt
— Google Play (@GooglePlay) November 21, 2015
5. The first time Ruffalo met Rezendes, he made notes and recorded Rezendes’ voice on his iPhone so he could get Rezendes’ speech right for his part in Spotlight.
6. The real Walter Robinson visited the set of the Spotlight movie and was impressed to see the replica of his desk and computer, Keaton typing away with two fingers and wearing reading glasses just like him.
7. According to Mark Ruffalo, most of the reporters who uncovered the scandal were Roman Catholics.
8. History vs Hollywood reports that at first the real-life reporters thought there were 15-20 priests who had molested children, but ultimately, then number ended up being 250. In the movie Spotlight, this number was represented as 249.
“There were many, many other priests, we thought perhaps 15 or 20 at the time, who had done the same thing, yet the Archdiocese had covered up their crimes by making secret settlements… In the end, it turned out to be almost 250 priests in Boston who had molested children over several decades.”
9. In real life, the priest Rev. Ronald H. Paquin admitted to Sacha Pfeiffer that he molested boys until 1989, just as he said in the movie. He also said that he was raped by a Catholic priest when he was a teen.
“Sure, I fooled around. But I never raped anyone and I never felt gratified myself.”
10. According to the real-life Walter Robinson, the Catholic Church is as powerful as is portrayed in Spotlight. It had incredible political power and was able to pressure institutions like the Boston Globe.
“You had to be very, very careful because of its power, and in this case it meant for us getting documents.”
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]