Escape At Dannemora: Ben Stiller responds to Joyce Mitchell’s comments about Showtime series


Earlier this week, Joyce Mitchell, one of the real-life subjects of the Showtime series Escape At Dannemora had some unkind things to say about director/producer Ben Stiller.

In an interview with the New York Post, Mitchell called Stiller a “liar” and an “idiot” and claimed he falsified parts of her story.

Specifically, Mitchell was angry at the scenes in Escape At Dannemora that depicted her in a sexual relationship with Richard Matt and David Sweat — the prisoners she helped escape.

It should be noted that Mitchell also said she had never seen the Showtime series and only knows what her husband and the guards in the prison she is currently serving time in told her.

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Mitchell snuck in hacksaw blades and drill bits with the help of a prison guard to Matt and Sweat to help the two men escape. It all ended when Matt was killed in a shootout with police and Sweat ended up back in prison.

Escape At Dannemora was a huge success and Patricia Arquette is a frontrunner for an Emmy award for her portrayal of Mitchell.

Ben Stiller spoke to Deadline about Mitchell’s anger and her comments about him being a liar in his depiction of the story of the prison escape.

He denied lying about the alleged romantic relationship between Mitchell and the prisoners. As a matter of fact, Stiller said that it was the “story she has always told.”

Stiller said that they did a year’s worth of research into the case, including interviews, police reports, and discussions with the Inspector General’s Office.

He also pointed out that this is a movie representation of what happened and not a documentary. That is the most important part here.

Mitchell might not like how she was portrayed in the movie but it was based on information that Stiller and the filmmakers discovered and by interviews that she did with the police and the notes from the trial.

But, at the end of the day, all movies based on true stories have some embellishment which separates them from documentaries.

Despite all that, Ben Stiller said that he spoke to people in the tailor shop where the alleged sexual interaction took place and said that she was kicked out for “inappropriate conduct” and that she did go into the back room with David Sweat — the actions that Mitchell denied to the New York Post.

Whether it is a movie like Escape At Dannemora or 2018’s hit series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, these are movies meant to entertain and the filmmakers do the best to tell the stories as best they can compared to what happened.

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There will always be someone who does not agree with how they were portrayed. For Escape At Dannemora, it was Joyce Mitchell. For Ben Stiller, he isn’t sitting there and taking the beating, saying that despite her denials, at one time or another she reportedly admitted to everything that bothers her about the series.