foxnews– Michael Keaton portrays real-life attorney and renowned mediator Kenneth Feinberg in the new film “Worth.”
Based on Feinberg’s memoir, “What is Life Worth?” the Netflix film tells the true story of the man who headed the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and had to determine how much money would be given to the families of each victim.
“9/11 changed everyone’s lives even if you don’t know that it did, and it meant a lot to me to tell the story,” Keaton told Fox News while promoting the film.
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“During 9/11… empathy was really visceral, and you saw nothing but empathy,” he noted. “[Today] it’s like we’re getting more and more removed from it.”
Keaton admitted he didn’t know anything about the compensation fund before reading the script but was intrigued when it came across his desk a while ago.
“I couldn’t quite figure out how to make it exactly, and then I think years past, actually, and I reread it and I thought, I have to make this movie,” Keaton explained in reference to approaching 20 years since the terrorist attacks.
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“[The writer] had made some adjustments and we put it together with the right elements. I just really wanted to tell the story. It’s a story that people think they understand, but they really don’t,” he continued.
The “Spotlight” actor praised Feinberg’s commitment to getting the job done.
Over a 33-month period, Feinberg worked to finalize details of the original VCF, meeting with more than 1,500 family members personally. The average award for claimants at this time was $2 million.
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“He didn’t have a choice. He was an attorney who had to pull this off, but at some point, your professionalism has to give way to empathy,” reasoned Keaton.