Former Secretary of State Clinton kicked off Hulu’s day at the Winter TCA press tour with a candid interview about the doc, alongside director Nanette Burstein, touching on how the film came about, what she hopes people learn from it as well as her thoughts on attending the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.
Clinton admitted that the film didn’t start off as it ended, it was originally set up as a more traditional campaign documentary but added that she was “very impressed” with Burstein, who told her that she wanted to create a “bigger story” that was “part of the arc of women’s history”.
Hillary is a four-part documentary from The Kid Stays In The Picture and Gringo director Burstein. Produced by Propagate, the doc series, which explores Clinton’s life and 2016 Presidential Campaign, launches on the streamer on March 6. You can watch the trailer above.
The film, which is launching at the Sundance Film Festival and then heading to Berlin, is an intimate portrait of a woman in the public eye, providing unprecedented personal access to the former First Lady and Secretary of State.
Executive produced by Burstein, Howard T. Owens and Ben Silverman for Propagate, the series gives viewers an up-close view of the woman who has permeated American culture for more than 30 years and her historic presidential run.
Featuring exclusive interviews with Clinton herself, her husband former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, staff, friends and journalists, the series offers revealing moments from never-before-seen 2016 campaign footage alongside biographical chapters of Clinton’s life and seeks to examine how she became at once one of the most admired and vilified women in the world.
Clinton said that she sat for around 35 hours of interviews for the series and Burstein said that she included a number of moments before the interview started properly as it felt “genuine”. The latter said that the “banter back and forth” was the same when the cameras were rolling or off.
Clinton touched on becoming a Rorschach Test for women and women’s roles and that she had had no understanding how it felt to be thrust on to the platform when her husband Bill began running for President. “When Bill asked me to lead efforts on universal healthcare, it felt pretty standard to me, little did I know that it would create the most extraordinary backlash,” she said.
Talking of watching the series, she said, “It’s really hard watching yourself for four hours. Thank god it was only four hours.”
Clinton added that by the time the film airs in March, it will be “right in the thick of Super Tuesday”. “You’ll have the first four contests behind. So maybe by that time the field has clarified. I think the most important message is… I am on the side of generous, open hearted country that faces up to the future. We’re in a real struggle with a form of politics that is incredibly negative, exclusive, mean spirited and it’s going to be up to every voter to recognise that this is no ordinary time. this is an election that will have such a profound impact. I want people to take their vote really. Lord knows what we’ll do if we don’t retire the current president and his henchmen.”
On attending Sundance, she said, “I’ve heard it is the most amazing experience and you can stay up for two weeks straight and see films from all over the world. I’m excited about it. I don’t know what to expect other than it’s supposed to be cold. I don’t know if I’ll have time to see any other films. It’s going to be a lot of fun.” She added that she is also excited to attend Berlin, “I love Berlin,” she added.
Unsurprisingly, for a former Secretary of State and former First Lady, there was no “scrum” after the TCA session. “I was sort of looking forward to a scrum,” she joked.