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Don’t expect to see Barack and Michelle Obama strolling the red carpet Feb. 9 at the Oscar ceremony.
Although documentary American Factory marks the first project from the couple’s Higher Ground production company, co-directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar tell The Hollywood Reporter that chances of a sighting of the former president and first lady inside the Dolby Theatre are slim to none. “Everything has to be checked out by Secret Service — they have many, many SUVs traveling with them, they don’t just casually go anywhere,” Reichert told THR at the DGA Awards Jan. 25, where the film took home another win for best documentary.
Adds Bognar, “They’re very mindful that if they go somewhere it becomes a big deal, and they’re great about: The spotlight should not be on them, it should be on the people in the stories.”
The hit film follows a working-class city in Ohio as a Chinese company opens a factory in an abandoned General Motors plant, colliding Chinese and American culture. For now, Oscars and Obama lovers will have to settle for rewatching the 2013 YouTube clip of Michelle Obama presenting Argo with best picture — from the White House.
A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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