He Was a Troubled Soul
by Mark Daniell | Toronto Sun | March 5, 2020
Billions star Damian Lewis plays the late Rob Ford in the new political thriller Run This Town. But down the line from the U.K. to promote the film, he wants to make it clear that it isn’t a straight biopic of the former crack-smoking Toronto mayor.
“This is a film about the younger generation around him in Toronto,” Lewis says. “It’s about the younger millennials who were affected by working for someone like Rob Ford.”
Written and directed by Ricky Tollman, the film pools together ambitious journalists and editors alongside social-climbing political aides as it dramatizes the scandal that plagued Ford’s steward as Toronto mayor.
In reality, it was Globe & Mail columnist (then a reporter at the Toronto Star) Robyn Doolittle who broke the story. Tollman’s film gender-swaps the character, casting Ben Platt (Netflix’s The Politician) as a struggling reporter who chases the infamous crack video in a bid to get out of writing top 10 lists.
Aladdin star Mena Massoud and Nina Dobrev play two assistants to the mayor, desperately trying to keep Ford’s behaviour under control.
“The film is mostly interested in the aftermath and trauma of being so close to a human wrecking ball like that,” Lewis, 49, says. “What does it do to you when you work for someone who behaves that way? That’s what the film is about. Of course, the film is a thriller, too, because everyone is trying to find out exactly what went on, which is why I loved it.”