Boston Globe reporter sees himself in “Spotlight”
Michael Rezendes talks about the new film, Mark Ruffalo, and life as an investigative journalist
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Michael Rezendes is a reporter for the Boston Globe who works on the investigative team known as Spotlight. Michael is portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in Tom McCarthy’s new film “Spotlight,” which shows how the journalists uncovered the clergy sex abuse scandal.
Q: Are you still a member of the Spotlight team?
A: I am still on the Spotlight team.
Q: Are any of the team members present during the story on clergy sex abuse still on the Spotlight team?
A: No, I am the only one still on the Spotlight team, however two of my other colleagues who were on the team still work at the Globe.
Q: Are there any other stories released by the Spotlight team that you think have an impact close to that of the clergy sex abuse story?
A: I don’t believe there has been any journalism ever that has had the same impact as our investigation of the Catholic church, with the possible exception of the Watergate investigation by the Washington Post.
Q: Are there any other stories you think had a major impact on the Boston area?
A: Well, last year I did an expose on three mental health patients who died at Bridgewater State Hospital. One of them was killed by guards and, because of my stories, there have been many reforms as well as a several guards being indicted.
Q: Do you think the actors in Spotlight accurately portrayed their roles?
A: Yes, I do. I think the actors were incredible. I think they did a fantastic job of capturing every detail of our personalities and mannerisms. I thought the whole thing was uncanny.
Q: What do you think or want the impact of “Spotlight” to have on the Boston area or around the world in general?
A:Well I think the movie makes two points that really sink in. One is the importance of investigative journalism. Newspapers are having a hard time financially these days, many of these newspapers are cutting back on investigative teams and I’m hoping the movie persuades everyone that we need investigative reporters in order to keep powerful institutions honest and hold them to their actions. The other message that the movie sends is that people still need to be concerned about clergy sex abuse in the Catholic church. The church has taken some steps in the right direction, but they still have a long way to go.
Q: Is there anything you would have changed about the movie?
A: No, there is nothing I would do differently. I am amazed at how accurate the movie is. I think it captures both the substance and the spirit of what we did.
Q: Did hearing the stories the victims of clergy sex abuse had to tell have an emotional toll on you or any of the other reporters on the Spotlight team?
A: Yes it did. I think it had an emotional toll on all of us. These were incredibly sad stories and we kept meeting more people who had difficult stories to tell about how their lives had been destroyed by the sexual abuse that they had suffered. I think all of us had felt a sort of battle fatigue after hearing about some of those stories, but I also think the stories we heard really motivated us to get to the truth.
–Nov. 5, 2015–
Aidan Sullivan is a member of the Raider Times staff.