Former Vice President Al Gore recently talked with Redbox about An Inconvenient Sequel, the follow-up to his Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
It’s not often that a documentary gets a sequel, but An Inconvenient Truth was the eleventh-highest-grossing film in its genre on top of its Oscar win, and Gore believes that it “did a lot of good” in sparking discussion and changing minds.
Redbox: What is your most vivid memory of Oscar night?
Gore: It was thrilling. I really enjoyed the bit I did with Leonardo DiCaprio where he pretended to goad me into announcing another run for the presidency. That was a lot of fun. My daughter is a screenwriter and she helped write the gag where I reached into my pocket for a speech to read, but the orchestra plays me off. During rehearsal, they played the music sort of light. I told the orchestra leader, “No, man, you’ve got to come in hard and fast. Otherwise I’m out there making an announcement I’m not ready to make.”
Redbox: Why wait 10 years for a follow-up?
Gore: The 10th anniversary seemed like a good time to [update] what’s new. As it turns out, there have been two huge changes in the last decade. One is that extreme weather events are more frequent and destructive.
The second is that the solutions are here. A decade ago they were visible on the horizon. But now, here we are with the price of electricity from solar and wind dipping below the cost of electricity from burning fossil fuels. It’s getting much harder for deniers to say, in the words of the old country song, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”
Redbox: Along with the dramatic footage of extreme weather events, Sequel does seem to offer more hope than the original.
Gore: We’re going to win this struggle. There’s no question in my mind. Georgetown, Texas [a conservative town Gore visits in the film] — along with a lot of other cities — has become 100% renewable. Significantly, thousands of business leaders have gone 100% percent renewable and are taking other steps to reduce emissions. But there is the remaining question of whether we will win in time to avoid crossing a point of no return with some of the dangerous uncertainties of triggering a more rapid melting of ice and causing other changes that the scientists have warned us we shouldn’t be toying with.
Redbox: An Inconvenient Sequel has a built-in audience of those who liked the first film and share your views on climate change. How would you pitch the movie to those who don’t?
Gore: Happily, we have had an incredible amount of feedback from conservative Republicans who saw the movie in theaters and who have written me to say it changed their minds. This affects all of us. We have to work together. We cannot afford to let this be portrayed as a partisan issue.
Redbox: So will there be a third film?
Gore: I hope 10 years from now we are so far along in our solutions for the climate crisis that there will be no need for a third movie.
Redbox: We’d like to wrap up by asking if you would share some of your favorite movies?
Gore: I loved Hidden Figures and Spotlight. With the rise of authoritarianism in parts of the world, I’m still profoundly affected by a movie from several years ago called The Lives of Others. And I should mention The Fugitive, starring my college roommate and dear friend Tommy Lee Jones, a great, great actor. And The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which he directed.
Redbox: One last question: if someone were to make a movie about your life, who should play you?
Gore: [Laughs.] I don’t think anybody is going to make a movie about [my life].
Redbox: But if they did . . . who should play you?
Gore: One of my favorites is Ryan Reynolds. In my mind, I’m younger and better looking with black hair, and I think Ryan would really be great for it. [Laughs.]
Redbox: Thank you for speaking with us, Mr. Gore. Ryan Reynolds better get his agent on the case!