The character you portray in the film is a composite of sorts, based on several different people but no single one. How did you approach playing Kevin Connolly?
Kevin's significantly different than all the other clerks – he's not part of that upper class, Ivy League elite. The more I learned about what was going on for young people at the time politically, what was going on culturally, the easier it became to understand this guy. It's no mistake that he's the long-haired clerk. And that he, in some ways, has a stronger moral compass. The more I could learn about the music, and the draft, and the youthful understanding of Vietnam, the more I could understand Kevin Connolly.
You speak about the character's moral compass. There's a point in the film where he says to Justice Harlan, "It won't write." What is he trying to convey in that moment?
He's saying, practically, to put down in words what he's being told to put down – it doesn't make sense. If Harlan is really asking him to pay attention to the law and only the law, then what they're doing is making a mistake. He's also saying, in terms of the pages of history, we'll look back on this and see that we have done a wrong. He's willing to ruin his own career by doing so.
In the film's production, you were working with some true heavyweights. How do you approach coming to the table to work with the likes of Christopher Plummer and Frank Langella? Is it like any other project?