Roach has described "Game Change" as a dramatization, hewing in large portions to Palin's public statements but with some private moments extrapolated from the book. Occasionally during the shoot, Moore felt she couldn't imagine how Palin would have delivered a line. So she asked to substitute in one of Palin's public statements. "She reverted to the actual dialogue she had heard Sarah give in public," Roach said, "and the results were so much better."
The actress, who at 51 is three years older than Palin, also felt the script had unnecessarily truncated a key scene. Palin trashed candidate Barack Obama for his association with onetime radical Bill Ayers. Moore persuaded Strong and Roach to extend the scene to the climactic moment, when Palin whips the crowd into chants of "USA! USA!" "To me," Moore said, "that was so emblematic of how successful she was in galvanizing a crowd."
The actress doesn't accept every interpretation from the book "Game Change." It gives an account of Palin breezing into a hotel room after a shower, wearing a towel around her and on her head, as she prepared to meet with senior advisors.
Moore noted that Palin denied the episode (not included in the movie.) Even if it happened, she said, it seems that a few men may have projected the idea that the episode was oddball or sexual.
"I mean, she was wearing a towel," Moore said with a slight roll of the eyes. "She wasn't wearing a washcloth. You know?"
The actress voted for Obama but nevertheless said she could see Palin's appeal. "She represented a swath of the population that felt like they weren't recognized, that they were unseen," Moore said.
The most controversial scenes depict the candidate as supposedly ignorant of the Federal Reserve system and unaware that the queen does not head the British government. Seven current and former Palin aides rejected the account in a recent conference call, charging that Schmidt and other McCain campaign staffers were trying to deflect blame for their failed election strategy.
Overshadowed in the furor have been several scenes that the governor's most faithful fans might find gratifying. They depict Palin as a caring mother and an inspiration — particularly to families with special needs children who flocked to see her. Palin's son, Trig, has Down syndrome.
Moore said she felt she understood the tremendous stress Palin must have been under — serving as governor and the mother of five children, including a pregnant teenage daughter and a son headed to war. "Then she is thrust on the national stage and subsequently asked not to be herself, to do it somebody else's way," Moore said. "How hard would that be?"
Not that Moore is preparing a Sarah Palin endorsement or considers her somebody who was qualified to be vice president. Roach and his star agreed that both political parties have sometimes reached for candidates of more charisma than substance.
"I hope the film will entertain the audience," the director said, "but I also hope it raises questions, and maybe adds some pressure to remove the reality-show, professional-wrestling-style fake drama from the process, and encourages people to ask for deeper conversation, total transparency and basic wisdom in selecting our leaders."