Washington (CNN) - Actress Julianne Moore, who portrays former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the HBO movie “Game Change,” said she was surprised to learn how disorganized the McCain-Palin campaign was in 2008.
“I really had an assumption that things were more organized than they are,” she told CNN on the red carpet before a screening at the Newseum in Washington.
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“I think this campaign was notorious for being a difficult one and one that was pretty disorganized,” she said.
The movie won’t be shown to wider audiences until its 9 p.m. Saturday showing on HBO, but it has already sparked political controversy over its portrayal of the then-governor of Alaska and Sen. John McCain, who headed the Republican presidential ticket in 2008.
The movie has been criticized for focusing only on two chapters of the book “Game Change” by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Those chapters focus on Palin’s campaign as McCain’s running mate.
Palin and McCain turned down interview requests by movie director Jay Roach, so he said he used the reporting by Halperin and Heilemann along with voice recordings of Palin reading her own books to make the story as authentic as possible.
“(The voice recordings) added a whole other layer of empathy for me,” he said. “It actually added a few details. When she calls her son in Iraq in the middle of the election, it’s very moving.”
Actress Sarah Paulson, who plays Palin’s senior campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace, said she became more politically tuned in during that campaign.
“The story of this election was something that made me much more political than I had ever been in my life. The introduction of Sarah Palin to the national scene was something that did make me stand up and take notice,” Paulson said.
“I think the movie is less about Sarah Palin … (than) about our political system and the way we choose our candidates,” she said.
“I mean, we seem to be attracted again and again to kind of a personal charisma and a physical attractiveness and a movie star quality, and I personally don't think that those are traits our leaders need to have,” said Moore.
The senator’s wife, Cindy McCain, told CNN's Piers Morgan earlier this week that “I lived this, and from everything I've read and heard it doesn't even resemble what took place.”
She took issue with the movie’s reported portrayal of Palin.
“I think what happened to her is totally unfair. I am truly sorry if they have depicted her in any fashion other than a strong, independent woman,” she said.
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