Jeff Daniels on what it was like to step into James Comey’s shoes in ‘The Comey Rule’

The actor discusses what it was like to play the former FBI director.
7:19 | 09/25/20

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Transcript for Jeff Daniels on what it was like to step into James Comey’s shoes in ‘The Comey Rule’
So this series has been compared to the horror film "Get out." And I get it. We are all still living this nightmare. How did it feel to step into Comey's shoes and recreate those magical moments and how does Comey feel about it, do you It was -- I do. It was -- he is a complicated character in very difficulty circumstances. That is the first thing you learn. Basically all we know about him is what we saw on social media and a lot of us in October 2016 when the investigation was reopened it was what is he my god. And then the movie shows you what he was thinking. He shows you how he was so often between a rock and a hard place. He was trying to do the right thing and as one person says in the movie, Jim thinks being right will save him. And in the old days, you know, joy, that used to save you. Barry Goldwater and the Republicans waited and waited and waited during watergate and when Nixon broke the law, Barry and the Republicans marched up to the white house and said, Mr. Nixon, Mr. President, you have to resign. We don't have that now. We don't have the respect for the rule of law now. In a lot of ways Jim was one of the early ones to hang on to something bigger than us which is the rule of law. Jeff, did you have any hesitation -- To think that -- go ahead. Go ahead. Joy Behar, you do it. What do you need to ask? Go ahead. To think I couldn't stand Barry Goldwater and now I think he is great! Go ahead, Sara. The times are a changing, yeah. Jeff, did you have any Hess stations about releasing something so politically charged and focused on the sitting president in the throes of the election? No. I wanted this -- and I think everyone involved including many at showtime and CBS wanted this to be a part of the national conversation. If you pay attention at all politically -- and not everyone does -- you realize what is going on. And this is the time for everyone to be more informed than we were in October of 2026. -- 2014. The Comey rule will help that. It certainly will be aimed at the 20% in the middle if they still exist. And it's a great contrast between someone who is trying to live in a way that is honest, decent, fair, and true, and someone who is the opposite of that. I just loved the series. I actually wanted more. I saw it last night. But Jim Comey managed to become both a hero and public enemy number one on to people on both sides of the aisles in 2016. In the series he is described as a showboat. How did Jim react to the series? He will disagree with the showboat thing. And I looked for it. And what I think might be interpreted as showboating or being self-righteous was someone who believed in something that was bigger than he was and you should too. Rule of law, justice, truth, the institutions that make up America and the integrity of the those are all like a religion. They are bigger than he is. And if that came off as being self-righteous, that is what I found, someone who is devoted to that. He saw it and was emotional. He was sitting there when we -- that clip you just showed, Jim Comey was sitting off camera. That was the day I met him, two months into shooting. He came around the corner and said, well, you brought it all back, the emotions, the uncomfortableness, the inappropriateness of what I was being confronted with and how I was going to respond and I felt a bit nauseous. When you tell an actor their performance made you nauseous, it's not a good thing but in this case, it was. Jeff, Brendan Gleeson was masterful in his performance and portrayal of trump. Now he is Irish. He lives in Ireland so he is an ocean away. I thought his resemblance was uncanny and his voice was uncanning. You're in the United States and in the same time zone. Do you care if you get blowback from trump or his supporters or are you looking for a mean tweet? It doesn't require reading, it's a movie so it might be a little easier for him to digest. Well, there is a possibility that he'll be too busy not preparing for the debate to even watch it. But I -- no, I'm not. You know? This is a time to speak up. People who are not pro-trump, certainly Democrats, have always been compassionate and generous and try to find the good in others and Republicans who do too. Not many, but they are out this is not a time to be nice and hope people come around. This is a time to -- this is a political war, and people need to wake up. They need to wake up. If you care about your country, if you care about decency and truth and justice and having a leader who can -- you can trust to do what is right for everyone, then this is a time to get involved, and so, you know, if he responds to the show and all, then it's, you know, it's good for us and the president of the United States should be doing a lot of other things other than tweeting at an actor. You know, nothing less than democracy is at stake here. I wonder if people understand the severity of the situation that we are in. I want to talk to you about Michigan. You still live in your hometown of Chelsea, Michigan, which I find interesting in and of itself because you're such a big star and you don't live in Hollywood or New York. Now in 2016, trump won Michigan by less than 11,000 votes and that helped to put him over and it clenched the election for him. Many people say do you think trump is going to win Michigan again? Please say no. How were you feeling about it? I don't think anything is I think people need to vote. One of the most -- and this affects Michigan. I think one of the most important events in the past four years -- this is the show to talk about it -- was the women's March the day after he was inaugurated. I remember seeing that going. There it is. There is the energy. Hell hath have no fury like women being scorned and you have care at all about that. If that matters to you at all, get out the vote. Take your outrage for whatever you're angry about and there is plenty to be angry about in this country, take that outrage and get the vote out. Help people that can't get to the precinct get their vote and lock it in. Do it! That's what you need to do. That is what is at stake.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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