The Front Runner Movie Poster

Trivia for The Front Runner

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  • Molly Ephraim and Kaitlyn Dever previously appeared as sisters on ABC's "Last Man Standing."
  • Sarah Paxton who plays Donna Rice was born in 1988, the year the events depicted occurred.
  • The film premiered at TIFF (Toronto international Film Festival) in Canada in September 2018.
  • Reunites Mike Judge and Toby Huss who worked together on the animated series King of the Hill (1997).
  • It reunites J.K. Simmons and Alfred Molina who worked with each other on Spider-Man 2.
  • Ben Bradlee who's portrayed in this movie by Alfred Molina was also portrayed by Tom Hanks in The Post and Jason Robards in All the President's Men. Also his son Ben Bradlee Jr. was portrayed by John Slattery in the film Spotlight.
  • Hugh Jackman was invited by the real Gary Hart to stay at his home while the two of them got acquainted. Since Hart's wife was recovering from hip surgery and the two of them were sleeping downstairs, Jackman was actually allowed to stay in the master bedroom and sleep in Hart's own bed.
  • Bill Burr noted in an interview how convincingly angry Hugh Jackman looked in one particular scene that it he instantly thought he was with Wolverine and initially felt genuine fear. Murphy can be seen dropping his notebook on the ground in response, which wasn't planned in the original script. This candid reaction was left in the final cut.
  • Oddly, the Film never mentions, shows or recreates the famous incriminating dock photo of Donna Rice in a mini skirt and sitting on Senator Hart's lap. Though published by the National Enquirer, it was a big nail in Hart's political coffin.
  • The film was made with only technology that was available in the 80's.
  • Joe Trippi, a relatively minor character in this film, was later the campaign manager for another rise-and-sudden-fall candidacy - Howard Dean in 2004.
  • The real-life Donna Rice (now using Donna Rice Hughes as her married name), the woman with whom Gary Hart was alleged to have had an affair, was given a private screening of the film a few months before its release. (To this day, Hart and Rice Hughes deny they had an affair.) In interviews about the film, Rice Hughes has credited Sara Paxton with an authentic portrayal of her 29-year-old self, has said she appreciates how the film's director and co-writer, Jason Reitman, treated her character with compassion and dignity, and observed that as a 60-year-old grandmother, watching the film moved her to "great compassion" for the 29-year-old person that she was.
  • The film chronicles the reversal of fortune of Gary Hart's going from the Democratic "front runner" to dropping out of the 1988 presidential race because of allegations of marital unfaithfulness with Donna Rice--which they both continue to deny. In another kind of reversal involving the film and the people it chronicles, Rice went on to marry a businessman named Jack Hughes, a name that is nearly the reverse of the actor who portrays Hart in this film, Hugh Jackman.
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