Rose McGowan out of line, 'Fifty' backers say

Film's producers say they do not share her views on IRA

LONDON -- The producers of Toronto International Film Festival entry "Fifty Dead Men Walking" have taken the unusual step of distancing themselves from comments made by the film's star, Rose McGowan.

McGowan caused a widely reported controversy last week when she said that she would have joined the Irish Republican Army had she lived in Belfast during the Troubles. She said she could understand why people turned to violence during that time in Northern Ireland.

In a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter, producers said they oppose the comments made by McGowan during a Toronto news conference for the film.

The backers "regret any distress" that McGowan's comments may have caused "to people of Northern Ireland and particularly those who were victims of or caught up in the shocking events that existed during the conflict."

The statement goes on: "Ms. McGowan's views were private ones, and as such they greatly saddened the film's producers."

Her views, said backers HandMade Films International, Future Films and Brightlight Pictures, "are not shared nor endorsed by anybody associated with the production or creative elements of the film."

The movie, which also stars Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley, is about double agent Martin McGartland.

Guy Collins of HandMade said that he and the other producers "were surprised and disappointed by the comments made by McGowan."

Added director Kari Skogland: "Rose's personal opinions of Northern Ireland do not reflect the perspective of the film in any way. Our goal was to present an even, nonjudgmental point of view so the audience could follow the path of an informer with empathy no matter what the politics."

Handmade Films International is selling the film.