Director Clint Eastwood and stars of “Richard Jewell” appeared at a Tuesday night premiere of the upcoming movie.
» MORE: Photos of the premiere
» Kathy Bates earns Golden Globes nod for “Richard Jewell” role
Paul Walter Hauser, who stars in the title role, along with Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates and Sam Rockwell walked the red carpet before Georgia House Speaker David Ralston welcomed them onto the stage at the Rialto Center for the Arts.
“This film is the story of an unsung American hero,” Ralston said. “Richard Jewell should be a name we celebrate here in Atlanta and in Georgia.”
He noted that a plaque will be dedicated in Jewell’s memory at Centennial Olympic Park, where Jewell was working as a security guard the night a bomb exploded. His quick action saved countless lives but within days, investigators came to focus on him as a suspect. He was cleared about three months later; confessed serial bomber Eric Robert Rudolph is serving multiple life sentences.
The movie, based on a Vanity Fair article and the recently published book “The Suspect,” is a project Eastwood said he had “chased after for a few years.”
He called it “one of the great American tragedies I have seen in my lifetime.”
Joining Eastwood and cast members were Watson Bryant, Jewell’s longtime lawyer and friend (played by Rockwell) and his wife Nadya Light (played by Nina Arianda).
Richard Jewell’s mother, Bobi, played by Bates, charmed the audience.
“I would like to thank everyone for coming out tonight on Clint’s behalf,” she said. “I’m a Jewell but he is also.”
Olivia Wilde, who plays the late AJC reporter Kathy Scruggs, did not attend.