HBO’s summer political satire The Brink follows three disparate and desperate men – a U.S. Secretary of State (Tim Robbins), a low-ranking foreign service officer (Jack Black) and a Navy pilot (Pablo Schreiber) – who must find a way to prevent World War III amidst chaos.
After the Pakistan embassy’s press attaché slammed how his country was portrayed in Showtime’s Homeland, critics questioned The Brink creators and cast about whether their series would also offend the country, which features in certain scenes.
Playfully evading the question, The Brink EP Jerry Weintraub quipped, “Offend who? Showtime?”
Black, who apparently hadn’t heard the latest headlines about Homeland and Pakistan, asked the reporters: “Are you sure Pakistan was offended by Homeland? I think there’s a little gossip going on back there with you reporters.”
EP Roberto Benabib then assured the room, “We took great pains to make sure our portrayal of Pakistan was accurate. We saved the satire for our war-hungry generals, but the Pakistani people who are caught in the middle of the global crisis are portrayed very sympathetically.”
Benabib, who created the show with Kim Benabib, specified that show even hired Urdu and Pashto linguistic consultants to work with the actors.
The Benabibs sparked to the idea for The Brink after visiting the Stanley Kubrick museum retrospective at LACMA last year.
“We realized that there weren’t any great political comedies in our day and age like Dr. Strangelove,” Robert Benabib said. Most of the political comedies were intimate and smaller. There was a broadness to Dr. Strangelove, but we decided to make a comedy that was set in a more real world.”
Weintraub said he was so wowed by the Benabibs’ script, “I bought it 10 minutes after I read it. Then I sold it to HBO 10 minutes after that.”