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Tuesday, August 25, 1998 Published at 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK

Primary Colors premiered

Primary Colors tale of sleaze and cover up

BBC Arts Correspondent Nick Higham attended the UK premiere of Primary Colors and caught up with two of the film's stars:

BBC Arts Correspondent Nick Higham on Primary Colors
He sounds like Bill Clinton, he looks like Bill Clinton and as Governor Jack Stanton, John Travolta behaves like Bill Clinton, with the same charm, with the same political savvy, with the same weakness for women.

Primary Colors' tale of sleaze and cover up mirrors the real Clinton struggle to handle Gennifer Flowers' claims before his election about their relationship. Monica Lewinsky has made it more timely than ever.

At the UK première in Edinburgh, two of the British stars, Adrian Lester, who is the young political campaigner, and Emma Thompson as the Hilary Clinton figure, desperately trying to keep her man on the straight and narrow, were there.

Making the film gave them both an insight into the political process.

[ image: Thompson  gained an insight into the political process]
Thompson gained an insight into the political process
For Emma Thompson the marketing of films bore a resemblance to the mechanics of American politics

"If, as I suspect, this interview will be used, it will be used in four second bites. Now that's what happens in politics - now that's all right if it is an actress selling a movie but it is not all right if it is a politician selling a policy that is going to affect thousands of people's lives."

Primary Colors is convincing partly because it acknowledges not just the sleaze but the sheer fun of the political process and the idealism that somehow survives the cynicism.

[ image: Lester :
Lester : "That is what politicians deal with all the time."
Adrian Lester said: "We are talking about real people here, we're talking about a real situation and that is what politicians deal with all the time. It is very, very interesting talking about it.".

With the Monica Lewinsky scandal gathering seemingly unstoppable momentum, the timing of Primary Colors' release in Britain couldn't be better, even if it is overshadowed by another wild Hollywood satire, Wag the Dog.

In that film, a fictional American president starts a foreign war to divert attention from an adulterous affair. Now that couldn't happen in reality, could it?.

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