HBO has released the first teaser trailer for “Confirmation,” its film about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ (Wendell Pierce) confirmation hearing and the sexual harassment allegations levied against him by his former colleague from the U.S. Department of Education, Anita Hill (Kerry Washington).
The teaser is full of dramatic punches from Pierce and Washington, who both clearly believe they are in the right and telling the truth. Washington’s Hill says vehemently, “He is not the victim!”, while Pierce’s Thomas states that the entire hearing is “a circus, a high-tech lynching.”
The movie doesn’t set out to comment on who is telling the truth and who is lying — the producers are leaving that up to the viewers to decide.
“As we had our conversations individually, as I talked to Kerry, I completely believed Anita Hill. As I talked to Wendell, I completely believed Clarence Thomas. And as I talked to Greg, I completely believed and supported what Joe Biden was going through at the time,” director Rick Famuyiwa told the 2016 TCA winter press tour back in January. “And so it was really about just the honesty of what human beings going through this situation had to deal with.”
“As an actor, you’re always searching for the humanity of the character, and that was something that I hope people don’t prejudge the film because of [Thomas’] reputation. … I realized that the only way that I was going to be able to play the man was to be authentic and true to his humanity and his experience,” added Pierce.
“And the situation just gives you a wealth of things to play: ‘What did I do? Do I even remember it?’ ‘At the pinnacle of my career, something comes from my past that challenges it.’ … I didn’t think of him as a political figure. I thought of him as a man about to lose the greatest opportunity he ever had.”
“Confirmation” premieres Saturday, April 16 on HBO.