Director Oliver Stone opened up about the presidential election and revealed that while he was “shocked” about Donald Trump’s victory, the President-elect is “not necessarily all bad news.”
At the Gotham Independent Film Awards Monday night, the Snowden director told Variety that before the election, he had told his friends and acquanitances in Europe that they were being “paranoid” about a potential Trump win.
“It’s just not going to happen,” Stone said he had predicted. “It shows you I’m not really in touch with how strong a reaction globalism has gotten, as well as Hillary Clinton was not liked. You accept it and move on. So far, his appointments have been very hardcore.”
Stone — who was honored with the evening’s Film Tribute Award — revealed that he cast a “symbolic” vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, though he would have preferred Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was ousted by Clinton in the Democratic primary.
“There’s no Peace Party in the United States,” Stone said. “The Democrats are no longer the Democrats that I grew up with.”
In September, Stone said the election came down to a vote between ‘a warmonger and a madman.” But now it appears the Oscar-winner has softened his position on Trump.
“I think Trump can be influenced and it’s not necessarily all bad news,” Stone told Variety. “There have been thoughts on working on the infrastructure of the United States. That would be great. I think he would make a lot of friends.”
“His intentions, at least as stated, are not to make enemies or interfere in other people’s affairs, which has always been the problem with our country. I don’t know what the CIA guy is going to do,” Stone said of Mike Pompeo, Trump’s appointment as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. “He’s a hardcore guy. Whether he’s going to go out and mess with other country’s internal process is a big question mark.”
During his speech at Monday night’s event, Stone speculated as to what U.S. national security might look like on Trump’s watch.
“Mr. Snowden said very clearly that the mechanism is in place now so that when there is another terror attack, which inevitably there probably will be in this country, the next president, whoever he may be, will have the authority to close down the system in a way that is much more oppressive than it’s ever been,” Stone said. “The surveillance state, ‘1984,’ cyberwarfare, drone warfare is with us.”
Stone’s biopic Snowden stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular hero/traitor, who fled to Russia in 2013 and is currently facing espionage charges from the United States government.