The cast of Wormwood, a new Netflix docudrama thriller, celebrated the series’ launch Tuesday night at The Campbell.
Wormwood features the harrowing true story of Frank Olson, who fell from a hotel room window to his death in 1953. Strewn throughout the reenactments of Frank Olson’s life and death are true interviews with his son Eric, who has devoted his life to finding out the truth about what happened to his father. Director Errol Morris pieces together Eric’s story and tasks viewers to take the uncovering of the truth into their own hands.
“It just miraculously came together,” Morris said of Wormwood. “I had a great cast, a great group of people to work with, and it happened.”
Errol Morris, famous for his Oscar-winning documentaries like The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War, was a deal-making name for Christian Camargo, who plays one of the military scientists involved in a separate government cover-up.
“To anyone who watches his films, you’d be an idiot not to want to do anything. I said to them, I said, I’ll do catering. I don’t care what it is,” Camargo joked.
“Talk about exploding the genre-myth. There’s no genre here; it’s not a documentary, it’s not a narrative thing, it’s its own piece,” Camargo continued. “And to be part of the beginning of that, because it’s going to be a trend, I’m excited to see where movies and television go based on this kind of formula, which is the non-formula.”
Sarsgaard discussed the importance of Netflix stepping up to take over Morris’ project. He found it “incredibly supportive” as most other Hollywood producers would back down from a dark depiction of the government. For him, working with Netflix was working with a “certain caliber of creative.” He said, “I think it is becoming increasingly difficult to make movies of substance, and to be able to cast whoever you want to cast. Otherwise, we just see the same actors in all the movies of substance all the time, and that gets pretty dull. So, I appreciate that about them, being able to take the risk on something like this.”
“Great pieces of art come at a time when it’s necessary,” Camargo said. “And the artist doesn’t necessarily know it’s the time, but it is the time.”
Wormwood stars Peter Sarsgaard (Shattered Glass, Garden State), Molly Parker (Kissed, Trigger), Christian Camargo (Dexter, Penny Dreadful), Scott Shepherd (Bridge of Spies, Jason Bourne), and Michael Chernus (Orange is the New Black, Captain Phillips). The six-episode miniseries debuts on Netflix and in some select theaters on Dec. 15. Watch the trailer below:
Elizabeth Taylor contributed reporting.