“Scream” star and ’90s icon Jamie Kennedy plays abortion-rights advocate Larry Leder in the newly opened “Roe v. Wade,” Cathy Allyn and Nick Loeb’s anti-abortion propaganda film that unpacks the “conspiracy” that led to one of the most famous court cases of all time. Kennedy said he didn’t fully understand the film’s anti-abortion bent until production was under way. As he told The Daily Beast in a new interview, he was lured to the film because of its star power — namely, in the form of Jon Voight and Stacey Dash, among others.
“In Hollywood, a lot of people were talking about this movie, and first and foremost, I’m an actor. I act,” Kennedy said. “I’ve worked with Jon Voight twice before, and he’s one of the greatest actors ever. I thought it was an important story, and to be honest, I got offered the role. It was a more dramatic part and a real offer, and so I did some research. I knew there was a lot of stuff we were walking into but in other parts in Hollywood, I have to read, read, read, and this was a nice offer.”
He said that many crew members walked off the production once they became aware of the movie’s true intentions. “People would walk mid-fuckin’-stream and say, ‘I didn’t know it was going to be this,’ and that’s not good,” he said.
“It’s such a controversial subject. It’s so hard to comment on it as a man, you know, because we don’t conceive the baby. We help. Look, Cathy [Allyn] and Nick [Loeb], the directors, producers, and writers, they were like, ‘This is a movie, it’s gonna be about Roe v. Wade.’ They showed me all of these books. I was reading the script and like, ‘Did this happen?’ and they were like, ‘Here’s the quote,'” Kennedy said. “They introduced me to a lot of the history of Margaret Sanger, Larry Lader, and Planned Parenthood. I knew it was going to be a hot-button issue going in, but I saw what they were quoting from, and I was like, ‘That’s interesting. I didn’t know that.’ They said everything in this movie was taken from books. Whether they took some liberties, I don’t know. I didn’t fact-check everything.”
Kenney said he didn’t realize the film was backed by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, an organization that comes after any media that mocks the Catholic Church.
“I didn’t even know that, and to be real with you, there’s a lot of people that produced this, and… I didn’t even know that,” he said. “I didn’t know the Catholic League did that. I believe in free speech, too. I just thought it was a very cool role. Did I know how controversial it was going to be? No. Did I know Nick’s background enough? No. Was it directed by a woman? Yes. But she left, and another woman came in. I’m in the middle as a human being. I’m a centrist.
“Maybe you’re saying, ‘Hey Jamie, why didn’t you follow suit?’” he asked. “I guess because I just rode it out and wanted to see what the final product was.”