For obvious reasons, Tuesday’s rollout of director David Gordon Green’s film was more subdued than most movie premieres, but cameras still clicked away as actors Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Bauman, and Tatiana Maslany, who plays Bauman’s then-girlfriend Erin Hurley, walked the red carpet.
Bauman and Hurley attended the screening, as did the director, screenwriter John Pollono, Police Commissioner William Evans, Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley, and random other VIPs, including singer James Taylor, Celtics Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, former Miss Universe Amelia Vega, Lenny Clarke, who plays Bauman’s uncle in the movie, Spaulding staff, and hospital namesake Joe Spaulding.
The film, which opens Sept. 22, doesn’t dwell on the bombing or the search for those responsible, but instead on the grueling aftermath for Bauman, who lost both of his legs in the blast, and how the events of April 15, 2013, affected his already complicated relationship with Hurley. (The couple married but have since separated.)
Hurley said she likes the movie, which she saw for the first time in June, calling it “beautiful.” But, she acknowledged, it was wrenching to see the chaotic first days after the bombing portrayed on the big screen.
“It was the worst day of my life. . . . But I can’t say enough about Tatiana,” she said. “She’s such a mature and thoughtful actress. She took the time to understand me.”
Hurley said she particularly appreciates the film’s honesty in portraying the real-life characters as they are, not as they might be romanticized by the media.
“I think Jeff was put up on a pedestal and there were a lot of things going on that no one knew about, and I think the movie reveals a lot of that,” she said
Gyllenhaal and Bauman, who became friends during filming, stuck together on the red carpet Tuesday, talking in tandem to each member of the media.
Gyllenhaal said it was “like a dream” to have the premiere at the Spaulding facility in Charlestown, which is where Bauman and 31 others who were injured in the blast were treated. Producers have said they wanted to premiere the movie at the hospital because it seemed like a good way to thank the staff and others who helped the cast and crew when they filmed there.
Bauman said he had dinner with Gyllenhaal and the director in the North End two years ago and instantly liked — and trusted — them.
Gyllenhaal called Bauman “lovable and appealing as a human being,” and said that was clear in the script when he read it for the first time.
“Jeff’s sense of humor was the biggest thing for me because that’s what got him through,” Gyllenhaal said. “Jeff gives us the idea, the hope, that no matter those moments when you feel scared, you can get through it.”