Adam McKay, writer-director of the Dick Cheney biopic Vice, isn't fazed that Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, left their screening early

By Maura Hohman
January 17, 2019 02:22 PM
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Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images; Annapurna Pictures

Adam McKay, writer-director of the Dick Cheney biopic Vice, isn’t fazed by the various reactions the film is inspiring.

In fact, when he discovered that two prominent members of Donald Trump‘s administration, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, walked out early from their screening last month, he laughed.

On the latest episode of Entertainment Weekly’s The Awardist podcast, the Oscar winner, 50, said that the news of their exit, which PEOPLE first reported last week, was “one of the least surprising things I’ve ever heard.”

“It felt like a scene we would actually shoot for Vice, where you would show the audience at one point and see Jared and Ivanka get up and walk out,” McKay continued. “We actually at one point toyed with showing shots of the actual audience, and that would have been something we would have done. Yeah, that’s pretty remarkable.”

Last month, Kushner and Ivanka, both 37, stepped out of her father’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, where they spent part of the holidays, to catch a screening of Vice — which has attracted awards attention, polarized reviews and criticism from the Cheney family.

A witness told PEOPLE that the senior White House aides went to a West Palm Beach theater for a showing of McKay’s acidic retelling of the life and rise of Cheney, a former vice president and tremendously consequential figure in the political party that Ivanka’s father now leads.

Partway through the showing, she and Kushner and their Secret Service detail got up and left, the witness said.

It remains unclear what prompted the exit, though the witness described it as abrupt.

Christian Bale (right) as Dick Cheney in Vice
| Credit: Annapurna Pictures; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

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Following its Christmas Day release, Vice earned plaudits from the Golden Globes, where star Christian Bale won for his portrayal of the former Halliburton CEO.

In his acceptance speech, Bale, 44, thanked “Satan for giving me inspiration” for his performance.

In response, Cheney’s daughter, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted out a decade-old article about Bale being detained for an alleged altercation with his mom and sister before the London premiere of The Dark Knight in 2008. The actor was never charged and vehemently denied the accusation, which was later dismissed by police due to “insufficient evidence.”

“Satan probably inspired him to do this, too,” Liz wrote in her tweet.