Robert Redford's star-studded period drama "The Conspirator" is out on DVD this week and for the non-history buffs who might have missed it in the theaters, there's more than a few reasons to check out the story of Mary Surratt, the first woman in the U.S. to receive the death penalty.
The film, which is inspired by a true story, stars Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Kevin Kline and Evan Rachel Wood, with whom MTV News recently spoke about the significance of the film.
MTV News: What was the most interesting aspect of the production as an actress?
Evan Rachel Wood: I learned a lot. I grew up kind of learning about conspiracy theories. My dad is really into them and writes books about them and thinks like that, so I actually grew up with a replica of John Wilkes Booth’s gun in my house, so it was amazing to me to learn about the Surratt family, and especially Mary’s character, because it’s a big deal in history that she was the first woman ever executed. I think it’s interesting that nobody ever talks about that or even knows about it, the trial surrounding her execution, which some people really think was not justified and unlawful, and so I found that pretty fascinating.
MTV: Have you heard any feedback from schools or teachers on incorporating it in their curriculum or anything like that?
Wood: I haven’t heard yet, but hopefully now that it’s on DVD that will start happening, but hopefully it will be allowed.
MTV: What are the kind of big 'Aha' moments for you in the film?
Wood: I thought the way that the whole trial was handled is pretty amazing, and how somebody can be put to death for just maybe being involved with the plotting of a crime. That’s just insane to me and I think it’s important that we remember certain things like this that are a part of our history, so that we can learn from this, and not pretend like it didn’t happen.
MTV: What do you think is the film’s watermark in the genre?
Wood: Wow, the whole thing really. It’s a story that hasn’t been told, involving a president that is one of the most famous, American icons, ever. So if you want to know about America, then I would definitely check it out.
Check out "The Conspirator," available now on Blu-Ray and DVD.
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