ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

The trailer for the movie Snowden came out today — and it couldn't be any more "based on true events," as the video states it. Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who revealed the extent of surveillance programs run by the NSA in 2013, fled the United States and is reportedly still hiding in Russia.

While he's been called alternatively a traitor and a hero, the debate he stirred on the privacy of our online data has never been more relevant. A movie about the revelations he made should clarify the events for those who weren't aware of the timeline yet, and hopefully help move the conversation forward. You can also read a recap here if you want to know more about what really happened.

So who's playing who in this ongoing story? Get a better idea of the main players of the Snowden case by looking at the cast below.

1. Edward Snowden – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

We've already introduced Snowden, but in the movie he's played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who you might know from movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You, Inception, 500 Days of Summer, or The Dark Knight Rises. Judging from the trailer, he seems like a good pick to play the complex role of Snowden.

2. Lindsay Mills – Shailene Woodley

Lindsay Mills is Snowden's girlfriend, a dancer and acrobat who wasn't aware Snowden was going to leak the information that he did — but reportedly has joined him in Russia.

The Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars actress Shailene Woodley will be by Gordon-Levitt's side in the film.

3. Trevor Timm – Scott Eastwood

Trevor Timm is a journalist who writes a column for The Guardian about privacy. He's also the co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Scott Eastwood, the son of Clint Eastwood, who's also highly anticipated for his role in the upcoming Suicide Squad, plays Timm in Snowden.

4. Glenn Greenwald – Zachary Quinto

Glenn Greenwald is one of the major players in the Snowden puzzle. His reporting on the classified information that was revealed by Snowden earned him the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, which was awarded to The Guardian and The Washington Post. He's also an editor of The Intercept with Laura Poitras (below), an online publication based on Snowden's revelations.

Zachary Quinto, who's best known for his roles in Heroes and Star Trek, will play the journalist on the big screen.

5. Laura Poitras – Melissa Leo

You probably know Laura Poitras as the director of Citizenfour, the documentary about Snowden which earned her an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. She also participated in the reporting about Snowden's findings, winning the 2013 George Polk Award for National Security Reporting.

Melissa Leo had her breakthrough in Homicide: Life on the Street in the '90s, and more recently played in The Fighter and The Big Short.

6. Ewen MacAskill – Tom Wilkinson

Ewen MacAskill is also a journalist for The Guardian, where he works as their defense and intelligence correspondent. He too was granted the 2013 George Polk Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2014 for his work on Snowden's findings.

You might know Tom Wilkinson, who's playing MacAskill in the film, from his Academy Award nominations for his roles in In the Bedroom and Michael Clayton.

Looking at the actors and the people involved in Snowden's story side by side shows the casting was quite accurate, as everyone seems to fit their character both in looks and in age. Let's hope the movie will be as faithful!

What do you think of the cast for 'Snowden'?

Sources: IMDb, U Interview, Wikipedia


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