The Apprentice, the movie and Donald Trump’s anger over a scathing film about his younger days | premiere in Cannes | Sebastian Stan | WORLD

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It’s not that Trump doesn’t like seeing himself reflected on screen. Before arriving at the White House, he was already a celebrity and was even the host of the successful TV show “The Apprentice” for 14 seasons. She had also appeared under her own name in legendary series and movies. Director Chris Columbus (“Home Alone 2″) and actor Matt Damon revealed the reason years ago. According to them, the former president asked the directors who filmed on his properties to have a small role as a condition. What seems to anger the Republican candidate now is that the portrait of him is unflattering.

In the New York of the 80s where money and power are in the air, “The Apprentice” – which is presented as inspired by real events – shows Trump (Sebastian Stan) as a young man in his twenties who aspires to greatness while spending his days collecting rent from his father’s tenants. He dreams of having his own luxury hotel and being part of the city’s elite from a good position in the real estate sector. Lawyer Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong) becomes an essential figure in his rise and becomes his mentor. “Deny everything” and “attack, attack, attack” are the mantras with which the young Trump is acquiring despotic and abusive behavior.

Donald Trump, seated next to attorneys Emil Bove (left) and Todd Blanche, attends his trial for allegedly covering up hush payments to Stormy Daniels. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP).


The most controversial scene is the one that shows Trump sexually abusing his first wife, Ivana (played by Maria Bakalova), after she belittled him for gaining weight and going bald. In real life, Ivana accused Trump of raping her during her divorce deposition, but she later backtracked and said she had felt violated. She passed away in July 2022.

The director’s invitation

Details of the lawsuit that is planned against the authors of the film are not known. The communications director for Trump’s team, Steven Cheung, limited himself to saying that the film was “pure fiction with a scandal of lies that have been debunked quite some time ago.”

Maria Bakalova and Sebastian Stan flank the film’s director, Dane of Iranian origin Ali Abbasi. (AP)

/ Scott Garfitt

Meanwhile, the director of the film, the Dane of Iranian origin Ali Abbasi, seemed unconcerned. “Everyone talks about Trump suing a lot of people, although they don’t talk about his success rate, you know?” he said this week in Cannes and offered to screen “The Apprentice” for the mogul and talk about it.

“Donald’s team should wait to see the movie before they start suing us,” said Abbasi, who believes he doesn’t necessarily dislike the movie. “I would offer to go meet him wherever he wants and talk about the context of the film, have a screening and a talk afterwards,” he said.

Abbasi is not afraid to talk about politics. His previous film, “Holy Spider,” showed a serial killer killing women in Iran. Therefore, he was not surprised when, after the premiere of “The Apprentice”, stated that “there is no good metaphorical way to deal with the rising tide of fascism” and that “it is time to make movies relevant. It’s time to make films political again.”



“Home Alone 2” (1992)


Donald Trump appears in the opening part of the classic Christmas film when he gives Kevin information about locating him at the Plaza Hotel in New York.



“Celebrity” (1998)


The tycoon plays himself in this film by director Woody Allen in which the protagonist meets famous people.



“Zoolander” (2001)


In this comedy starring and directed by Ben Stiller, Trump is interviewed during an awards gala. Next to him was his wife Melania.



“The Prince of Rap” (1990)


Trump was a guest on the show starring Will Smith in 1994. “Everyone blames me for everything,” he said during the episode.



“The Babysitter” (1993)


The tycoon appeared in an episode broadcast in 1996 of the series starring Fran Drescher, when he arrived at Mr. Sheffield’s house after having invited the nanny to a party.



“Sex in the City” (1998)


In the episode titled “The Man, the Myth, the Viagra,” the Republican leader watches as his 70-year-old friend did everything possible to seduce Samantha.

It is a fact that the film will have greater attention and relevance in the electoral context. According to “Variety”, Dan Snyder, former owner of the Washington Commanders and one of the financiers of the work, supposedly already tried to thwart its premiere after seeing a first version.

Abbasi reacts to the issue with humor. “We have an upcoming promotional event called the US elections, which will help us a lot with the film,” he said and even suggested that the film could be released around the date of the second debate between Biden and Trump in mid-September.

The film does not yet have a buyer, but it could hit theaters in the coming months, especially if it wins the Palme d’Or, the highest award that is presented this Sunday the 25th in Cannes. Trump will surely be attentive to that result.


“These types of scandals do not affect him”

Maria Puerta Riera

Professor of Political Science at Valencia College, Orlando (Florida)

I am skeptical that anything could harm Donald Trump, because if there is one thing he has shown since his emergence into politics, it is that these types of scandals do not affect him. We have seen politicians caught with extramarital affairs and that ended their political careers, but nothing has happened with Trump. The timing is perfect for the producers and those involved in the film, but I highly doubt that the film will affect Trump’s electoral chances.

The film is not going to make more noise than the almost non-existent damage he has suffered from his trials for harassment, sexual abuse or that involving a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. On the contrary, a sector of public opinion and the electorate does not see these issues as something negative.

Trump is angered by the film on a personal level because it paints him in a negative light. Now, he has never been affected by being associated with adult film actresses or “Playboy” models. What affects him is a narrative about him that he considers negative, that does not position him as a strong man or as a man who has control over everything. That’s what affects you personally.

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