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HFPA in Conversation: Nick Loeb’s Take on a Controversial Issue

Writer, director, producer, and actor Nick Loeb’s recent film Roe v. Wade shines a light on one of the most famous court cases in the United States. The film is a dramatization of the 1973 landmark decision of the same name, rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of the constitutionality of laws that criminalized or restricted access to abortions. Loeb tells HFPA journalist Michele Manelis that one of the reasons he made the movie is that the story hasn’t been told on screen before.

“I had been in Hollywood a long time and I couldn’t believe that nobody had actually made a feature film of Roe v. Wade, that was about the case. There was in 1989 a made-for-TV movie that was essentially really about one person who was barely involved in the case at all.”

Loeb stars as Bernard Nathanson, a gynecologist who co-founded the abortion rights organization National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws and later became an anti-abortion movement advocate. He admits that it was challenging to be behind and in front of the camera.

“It was quite difficult, especially since it was my first time directing. I think I was very lucky to have a co-director, Cathy Allyn, who directed a lot of the scenes when I was acting, so that helped out tremendously. But yeah, it was a challenge, especially in certain scenes that were extremely difficult for me, or it would be difficult for any actor, to make sure that I was getting what I wanted and try to leave it in the hands of Cathy after it was set up, so I could focus on the role.”

Loeb comes from a family of business owners, and diplomats. How did he end up in the entertainment business? “I had always wanted to be in entertainment. I started my life in school doing a ton of theater and then even writing and directing theater when I was in high school. And then I grew up in a world where no one ever told me that I could go to university and study film. I didn’t know that that was a thing, I was told you go in business, and you go to do English to become a lawyer or whatever it is. I was going in that direction, but I loved film and the arts a lot. When I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles and worked for Universal Studios in Motion Picture Finance.”

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