Jon Stewart on 'Rosewater,' Springsteen and 'Sexual Tension' With Bill O'Reilly
The 'Daily Show' host on directing his first film, Colbert and the right-wing TV machine
By Andy Greene | November 11, 2014
Jon Stewart has a week off from The Daily Show, but as he walks into a tiny conference room at the show's midtown Manhattan headquarters late on a Monday afternoon, it's clear he's completely exhausted. He slumps in a chair and admits he's spent the entire day doing press for his new movie,Rosewater, and is beginning to grow hoarse. But he's determined to promote his passion project, and soon enough he perks up. Writing and directing Rosewater is unlike anything Stewart has attempted in his career. It's the true story of Maziar Bahari, an Iranian Newsweek reporter, who was interviewed by Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones in 2009. During the show, Bahari joked around that he was a spy; the Iranian government didn't see the humor and believed Bahari was working for the CIA. He was detained and tortured for 118 days by the police in Iran.
After he was freed, Bahari came to New York and struck up a friendship with Stewart. "He told me he was going to write a book and then turn it into a movie," says Stewart. "He asked if I'd be interested in helping. Having never done that before, I said, 'Of course!'"