Shailene Woodley says biopic ‘Snowden’ is about ‘Ed the human’

Edward Snowden speaks at a conference via a monitor at the launch of a campaign calling on President Obama to pardon him before he leaves office on September 14, 2016 in New York City. Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI

NEW YORK, Sept. 16 (UPI) — Shailene Woodley says she thinks her “Snowden” character Lindsay Mills, Edward Snowden‘s longtime girlfriend, will help moviegoers see a more personal side of the controversial, National Security Agency whistleblower.

“It’s easy for the media to spin a story and to portray a certain narrative,” the 24-year-old actress said after a special screening of the film in New York Wednesday.

“Something that fascinated me about this screenplay to begin with was a lot of us know who Edward Snowden is or we thought we knew who he was, and a lot of people have a lot of strong judgements about Edward Snowden, but I feel like, until this movie, none of us actually knew the story of Ed the human.

Shailene Woodley attends the Toronto International Film Festival photocall for "Snowden" at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada, on September 10, 2016. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
Shailene Woodley attends the Toronto International Film Festival photocall for “Snowden” at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada, on September 10, 2016. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI

“We knew the story that the mainstream media had put out and the story that the government released, but we didn’t know his story.”

Director Oliver Stone agreed it was essential to include Ed and Lindsay’s occasionally rocky romance in the biopic, otherwise “you would have a hard, cold movie, which could almost look like a documentary, feel like one.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the Toronto International Film Festival photocall for "Snowden" at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada, on September 10, 2016. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the Toronto International Film Festival photocall for “Snowden” at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada, on September 10, 2016. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI

Set to open Friday, the film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and chronicles how Snowden disclosed to a British newspaper documents showing U.S. government surveillance on American citizens.

Snowden has acknowledged he broke federal law by stealing secret documents while employed as a contractor for the NSA, and this week said he is seeking a pardon from U.S. President Barack Obama.

Woodley is best known for her work in the TV series “Secret Life of the American Teenager,” and in the films “The Descendants,” “The Spectacular Now,” “The Fault in Our Stars” and the “Divergent” series.

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