HBO Filming Movie About the 2000 Recount

November 7, 2007 at 4:15 pm 1 comment

HBO Filming Movie About the 2000 RecountLaura Dern wore a cowboy hat, boots, a super-tight blue T-shirt, equally tight jeans, brunette wig and plenty of makeup as she rode a horse through downtown Monday afternoon. The character she was portraying was immediately recognizable: Katherine Harris.

The actress is part of the cast of the HBO movie “Recount” being filmed in the capital seven years after the election that for five weeks left the world wondering who would take over the White House. Harris was the secretary of state who certified President Bush’s 537-vote victory. She was also the butt of many makeup jokes.

“It looked like her,” lobbyist Trey Price, who was a political consultant summoned to Tallahassee during the recount, said as Dern passed by on a saddle.
“With makeup, anybody looks like Katherine,” quipped state Rep. Ron Saunders, a Democrat from Key West.

Harris didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment.

The movie also stars Kevin Spacey, John Hurt, Denis Leary, Bob Balaban and Ed Begley Jr. It will attempt to show what happened behind the scenes from Election Day though the U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended Vice President Al Gore’s challenge and handed Bush the presidency.

Much of the film is being shot in Jacksonville, but the crew is in Tallahassee shooting scenes this week. Their arrival stirred memories of the recount for many of the people who lived through it.

“I remember it very well. The night she certified the returns I was sitting up in that conference room watching it on TV,” said lobbyist Mac Stipanovich. “I was helping Katherine, who had no significant experience with things of this magnitude and politics on this level, just generally being an adviser and helping her out.”

At the time, Tallahassee was filled with tension as hundreds of lawyers, strategists and reporters converged on the capital, which is usually known for its easygoing Southern pace. HBO was trying to re-create some of the frenzy, filming Spacey as Gore’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, walking up a brick-paved street leading to the Capitol.

“Are you really going to contest the election?” a woman cast as a reporter shouted at Spacey as a mob of extras with pens, pads and cameras surrounded him.

In the background, people waved signs like “Hail to the Thief” and “Veterans for Bush say no more Gore.”

“It was unbelievable. We were the center of the world with all the hanging chads, and the recounts. In one way it was quite embarrassing because of all the jokes on the late night talk shows about how Florida can’t count,” said Tim Barry, a National Weather Service meteorologist. He’s an extra in the movie, playing a photographer.

Most of the people stopping downtown to watch the filming were smiling or joking about the recount a far cry from seven years ago.

“It’s more of a curiosity now than a current pang in anyone’s heart, other than maybe the Nobel Prize winner,” said Stipanovich, referring to Gore, who recently was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to raise awareness about climate change. “It’s probably a characteristic of American society that seven years ago is like a century ago.”



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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. hboseries  |  December 2, 2007 at 3:26 am

    Knock yourself out fellas:


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