Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Jon Voight: “Roe v. Wade” to “Tell All Sides of the Story,” Says He Wouldn’t Pursue Director Nick Loeb’s Real Life Legal Battle with Sofia Vergara


“Roe v. Wade” is a movie, alas. Oscar winning actor Jon Voight is in it, he plays Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, he told me before last night’s screening of the new HBO documentary “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.”

Voight has been in  New York for some time shooting “Ray Donovan,” the cable series for which he has four Emmy nominations. (Yesterday, as with all the Showtime series, “Ray Donovan” struck out with the Emmys.)

As such, Voight, always pleasant and thoughtful, has been seen a little more often in public than usual. Shooting all day in Queens or Brooklyn, it’s nice to come into Manhattan for a screening. And that can be a little weird since Voight is a notable Hollywood Republican with outspoken views. He even appeared at Donald Trump’s inaugural.

“Roe v. Wade” was considered a “secret” movie until recently, hiding under the name “1973.” Directed by Nick Loeb, heir to the famed Loeb banking and real estate family, and son of a former Ambassador, “Roe v. Wade” carries an unusual amount of baggage. The director has been in a very public and contentious legal tug of war with TV star Sofia Vergara over embryos they froze when they were dating. Vergara wants them destroyed. Loeb wants to turn them into his own heirs.

“He considers them fetuses,” Voight observed when I asked him about Loeb’s situation. I asked him what he, Voight, would do if he were in that situation. He hesitated. “I wouldn’t be in that situation,” he said at first. Then he added: “I wouldn’t want them.”

Voight is an interesting Republican. He won his Oscar for being in an anti-war movie, “Coming Home,” with Jane Fonda. In “Roe v. Wade,” he plays Justice Warren Burger, a noted conservative who voted with the majority opinion to give women the right to have an abortion.

“It’s an interesting movie,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know both sides of the story.”

Loeb, meantime, is said to be looking for $1 million to finish the film, which has a total budget of $3.5 million. Several actors and crew members left the shoot when they discovered what the whole film was about and how the screenplay positioned many “facts.” It remains to be seen if “Roe v. Wade” will be seen at all.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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