Jon Hamm Leads All-Star Cast in Exclusive Clip for Audible Original's 'The Big Lie'
Jon Hamm's latest project takes podcast listeners back to one of the darkest periods in Hollywood history, the Blacklist during the Red Scare of the 1950s. Hamm and his Mad Men co-star John Slattery lead an all-star cast in the Audible Original dramatic series The Big Lie. PopCulture.com has an exclusive clip with Hamm and Bradley Whitford, ahead of the series premiere on June 16.
The Big Lie is about the making of the 1954 film Salt of the Earth, a movie made by Blacklisted talent outside the Hollywood studio system. Hamm plays FBI special agent Jack Bergin, who was assigned to investigate the men who made the movie, Oscar-winning writer Michael Wilson, producer Paul Jarrico, and director Herbert J. Biberman. The 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company in New Mexico inspired the trio to make a pro-union, pro-labor, and pro-feminist. Jack is convinced the movie is pure communist propaganda and could be used as a recruitment tool, so he does whatever he can to stop the film's production.
Whitford plays Wilson, Kirk Baltz voices Jarrico, and Lisa Edelstein voices Sylvia Jarrico. John Getz plays Biberman, while Kate Mara voices Honor Bergin. Troy Evans plays Gus Haines and Giancarlo Esposito was cast as Dr. Greco. Ana de la Reguera also stars. The Big Lie is a Fresh Produce Media production. The series was written by John Mankiewicz (House of Cards; Bosch; House, M.D.) and Jamie Napoli, with direction by Aaron Lipstadt (Bosch). David Mansfield wrote the score.
"Because this was such an important story of a dark, complicated time in a divided America, I've always felt I owed it to Paul Jarrico and all the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist to get it told in the best possible way," Mankiewicz said in a statement. "Audio was the perfect medium to bring The Big Lie to life, and Fresh Produce Media and Audible were the perfect team."
"When John and Aaron came to me with the idea for The Big Lie, it was an automatic yes," Hamm said. "Exploring the consequences of what happens when governments try to quiet the voices of the people — especially working people — is a theme that resonates with me deeply in 2022, so getting to both act in and executive produce this series was very rewarding. And getting to tell this story over audio, in a format that mirrors the way audiences might have actually heard it over the radio in the 1950s, made it all the more authentic."
Salt of the Earth featured mostly non-professional actors, as Wilson, Biberman, and Jarrico were influenced by the Neo-Realist movies made in Italy during the late 1940s. Rosaura Revueltas starred as the wife of one of the miners and was one of the few professional actors in the film. Salt of the Earth gained notoriety as the only movie blacklisted during the Hollywood Blackist, and Wilson, Biberman, and Jarrico were all blacklisted themselves. The film received a limited release in 1954 but is widely available today since it is in the public domain. Its production was previously dramatized in the movie One of the Hollywood Ten (2000), starring Jeff Goldblum as Biberman.
The Audible Original The Big Lie is now available for download only on Audible. For more on all your podcast and entertainment news, stay tuned to the latest from PopCulture.com.