A year ago, Gosnell: America’s Biggest Serial Killer was wrapping up some of its final scenes, and included among the cast was journalist Scottie Nell Hughes as herself. Afterward I caught up with Hughes for some insight on the production, especially for her perspective as a media figure who had seen the news of Gosnell’s crimes against women and children first come to light. Now that Gosnell has been screened at the Values Voter Summit and its release is anticipated this year, it’s fitting to share my email interview with Hughes, current political editor at RightAlerts.com.
Amanda Read: What do you remember about your role in the media when the Kermit Gosnell story broke?
Scottie Nell Hughes: Being a Conservative woman in the media, it has always been obvious that I am pro-life. Just prior to the story breaking, I had been targeted by several pro-abortion groups because of an edited segment done by Current TV on rape and abortion and had received death/rape/physical threats not only on my life but also on my very young daughter. The venom from the pro-choice crowd was unreal but if people did not have a conscience or respect enough to appreciate an unborn life, then why should they be any different in treating another human?
When the story broke, it only confirmed what we in the movement had been hearing for years. We knew of filthy butcher houses and horror stories of women who were treated there. I actually tried to go back and find my original tweets from that day where I was pessimistic anything was going to be done because I was skeptical the media was going to give it any sort of attention. I wrote my stories, talked on social media — but it was not until I saw Kirsten Powers (a predominantly left wing commentator) on Fox News pick up the story, did I actually have hope that something was going to be done. After Kirsten picked up the story, others hopped on board; and for me, it wasn’t about who specifically got the credit — it was more importantly about the light finally being shown on the dark evil known as abortion.
AR: How did your role in the movie capture your real-life experience?
SNH: I am just a part of the final courtroom scene at the very end of the movie but what I loved was talking to the various pro-life activists who had auditioned to be a part of the movie not because they were actors but because they believe in the movement. I loved chatting with them in between takes and finding out how they were fighting for the lives of babies and how they had dealt with various leftist groups protesting them.
I was proud to see the pro-life movement using pop culture to help tell the truth of what goes on in an abortion, and it’s not just some easy procedure as many in Hollywood try and portray.
AR: When did you learn that you had a part in this film?
SNH: 48 hours before I flew out. The producers apologized because they thought someone else had already contacted me but realized the mistake with one week left of filming. Within minutes, my bosses at TPNN approved the travel request as they also are strong believers in the pro-life movement and wanted to support the film any way possible.
AR: Was this your first appearance in narrative film?
SNH: It was. My daddy was an actor and appeared in a few films. My mother was a drama major originally and seeing my young love of the theatre after appearing in several musicals in Community Theatre and school, she knew she had to channel my love for telling a story into a career path and broadcasting was perfect.
AR: Did you meet many of the actors in Gosnell: America’s Biggest Serial Killer?
SNH: Absolutely! I was not going to leave the set without meeting Dean Cain. Every generation has a Superman and Dean was mine. Being an aspiring Lois Lane, my ultimate teen crush was Mr. Cain. The funny thing was how do I not look like a total geek and introduce myself, after he passed by me several times, with the fear of looking like a 6th grade girl at a One Direction concert?
Thanks to the power of Twitter… I tweeted out some line about where do you think I would rather be… at the Presidential debate being held that evening or sitting next to Dean Cain and used his Twitter handle. That got his attention (as my Twitter followers rock), and he looked up and over at me and started laughing when my followers started sending in their answers.
AlfonZo Rachel and I had met via Twitter but never in person as we never were booked on Red Eye at the same time. He was very humble and he and I spent one of the breaks chatting about his love for music.
Of course, I met the rest of the cast and had the pleasure of sitting behind Nick Searcy for the majority of my scene which allowed me to try and make him laugh at various points of the day.
AR: What was it like working with director Nick Searcy (who has worked on such productions as Cast Away and The West Wing)?
SNH: He is an incredible actor. All of the actors were fantastic but I was amazed at how quickly he could memorize and never made a mistake. He always found a way to loosen things up as well when it was getting late into the night and you could tell frustrations were growing.
AR: What do you think the Gosnell film might do for the national conversation about abortion?
SNH: I pray this starts conversations nationally but more importantly at the kitchen table. One thing this movie will show is that these are moving, breathing babies which are being killed. Whether it’s in a clean, sterile office or a dimly lit, disgusting, run-down building. These are lives which are being ended way to soon.
Photo of Nick Searcy, Scottie Nell Hughes, and Dean Cain is from Scottie Nell Hughes’ Twitter page.
10/31/2016 (3:23 P.M. CST) UPDATE by author: This article previously stated the Gosnell movie was being screened in select locations. It was screened at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. this past September.