‘Mark Felt’ Director on How a ‘Heroic, Almost Selfless Task’ Took Down the Presidency (Video)

TIFF 2017: “I didn’t even know his name. I knew because that of his anonymity and his smallness, I knew it was a great story,” Peter Landesman says of Deep Throat informant

We know the name “Deep Throat” as the informant that helped take down President Nixon in the wake of Watergate. But with his new film “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House,” director Peter Landesman hopes you’ll come to know his real name.

“When I heard it was Mark Felt, I hadn’t any idea who he was. I didn’t even know his name. I knew that because of his anonymity and his smallness, it was a great story,” Landesman told TheWrap’s Steve Pond at the Toronto Film Festival. “The fact that someone this small took down the presidency meant that it was a heroic, almost selfless task. And then the anonymity of it for 30 years meant he did it for the right reasons.”

Liam Neeson portrays Felt, an FBI agent who helped reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal in 1974. Actor Tony Goldwyn (who plays FBI Intel chief Ed Miller) says we’ve seen this story from Woodward and Bernstein’s perspective and from Nixon’s, but never from Felt’s.

“To see it through the lens of the FBI, I thought was absolutely fascinating and incredibly dramatic, so I wanted to be a part of it,” Goldwyn said.

Landesman has been working on the script for nearly a decade and almost made the film in 2008, all well before the events of the current White House, but the biopics’s themes are still particularly timely.

“The relevance is supernatural, there’s no question. Human behavior is human behavior. There’s always greed, there’s always corruption, and there’s always integrity and heroism. I think those dynamics always exist,” Landesman said. “I was in search of a hero. I think we’re always in search of heroes, and he was a remarkable character.”

“Mark Felt” opens in theaters Sept. 29.