The Washington Post
Valerie Plame Wilson’s red carpet blitz for “Fair Game”— with a side of nuclear proliferation talk
By The Reliable Source | October 19, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
If you had any doubts, Valerie Plame Wilson is making it clear this week: The ex-spy is more than happy with “Fair Game,” the movie based on her memoir. And from Cannes to L.A., she’s been getting out there more than the typical movie star to promote it.
After walking red carpets with doppelganger star Naomi Watts, Wilson kicked off the D.C. leg of the publicity campaign Monday, but with a predictably Washington twist: Instead of holing up in a Ritz-Carlton suite for a sound-bite session with journalists — that’s how the big-screen stars do it — the unmasked former covert operative delivered the keynote at a conference on the threat of nuclear terrorism for female political activists and aspiring candidates. “As I found during my time with the CIA, there are rogue individuals out there who are running black markets selling nuclear materials and technology to the highest bidder,” she told them, before calling for a total ban and lockdown on nuclear weapons worldwide.
Plame, right, with “Fair Game” star Naomi Watts at a New York screening earlier this month. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
No ordinary movie junket — but the two-day “Fair Game Summit” is no ordinary policy conference, either, sponsored by the film’s distributor and producer (Participant Media, the showbiz-activism folks behind “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman”), in conjunction with the White House Project, a nonprofit dedicated to getting more women in public office. The group’s founder, Marie C. Wilson, said it made sense to tie the wonk talk to popular entertainment: “Films, documentaries are where people learn.”
But there will be red carpets, too: Wilson and her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson are due to walk one at an AFI premiere Tuesday, one of (at least!) three screenings they’ll attend in D.C. this week.
Plame told us her induction into the movie-PR biz was an accident of schedules. “Naomi Watts is filming in Thailand; Sean [Penn, who plays her husband] as we know is very engaged in Haiti. … It is difficult for me to be in the public eye and Joe wasn’t too keen on it, either, but we want the movie to be successful.” She’s visited the District infrequently since moving three years ago to New Mexico; she last visited in August when her late father, a retired Air Force officer, was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. “We miss our friends,” she said, “but I don’t envision moving back here.”