The True Story Behind the HBO Movie Reality

Jun 1, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Time (by Megan McCluskey).

On June 3, 2017, 25-year-old American intelligence specialist Reality Leigh Winner arrived home to find two FBI agents waiting outside her house in Augusta, Ga. Over the next 104 minutes, Reality would face increasingly pressing questions about her suspected role in the mishandling of classified information related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Those 104 minutes are nearly the entirety of what plays out on screen in HBO’s new Reality movie, streaming May 29 on Max. Starring Sydney Sweeney as Winner, the film is based on writer-director Tina Satter’s acclaimed 2019 play “Is This a Room” and features dialogue pulled directly from the transcript of the FBI interrogation of Winner.

“I was drawn by how complex she was,” Sweeney told Variety of her decision to portray Winner. “There are so many contradicting layers of who she is, what it means to be a woman. And I feel that we were able to take a moment and truly humanize it, and not put any type of lens on it. It was just a real moment in time. It’s everything from the transcript. Nothing has changed. And I love that.”

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