The Apprentice director thinks Donald Trump would not ‘dislike’ film

The Apprentice director Ali Abbasi has said he thinks that former US President Donald Trump would not “dislike” his film about Trump’s real estate dealings in the 1980s.

The politician and businessman’s re-election campaign has called the movie “pure fiction” and vowed legal action following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

At a Cannes press conference, Abbasi, 43, was asked about the reaction by Mr Trump’s representatives.

He replied saying: “I don’t necessarily think that this is a movie that he would dislike. I don’t necessarily think he would like it.

77th Cannes Film Festival
Martin Donovan, Maria Bakalova, Ali Abbasi and Sebastian Stan attend “The Apprentice” photocall during the 77th Cannes Film Festival (Doug Peters/PA)

“I think he would be surprised, and I would be happy – I would offer him to go and meet him wherever he wants and talk about the context of the movie, have a screening, and have a chat afterwards.”

The movie is described as a “biographical film”, which “delves into Donald Trump’s younger years” and it portrays his relationship with lawyer Roy Cohn as he rose as a businessman in New York.

Captain American star Sebastian Stan portrays the famous business mogul in the film, while Succession actor Jeremy Strong plays Mr Cohn, who died in 1986 at the age of 59.

Reflecting on playing Mr Trump, Stan, 41, said: “It was a 24/7 emersion process of basically living with him, to some extent, in my headphones and on my phone and YouTube”, he said.

He later added: “I think there’s a lot to learn from the film.”

77th Cannes Film Festival
Maria Bakalova, Ali Abbasi, Sebastian Stan and Amy Baer attend the ‘The Apprentice’ premiere (Doug Peters/PA)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm star Maria Bakalova, 27, plays Mr Trump’s former wife Ivana Trump and Tenet star Martin Donovan takes on the role of the politician’s father Fred Trump.

Bakalova said she fell in love with Ivana, who died in 2022 aged 73, during filming and described her as a “legend”.

“I feel grateful to have a chance to portray a character like Ivana because the more I got to know about her, the more I fell in love with her”, she said.

“She has been a woman that has been way too much ahead of her time, and it’s inspiring to see somebody pursuing their dreams/ambitions driven by the idea of just achieving it… I think she has been a legend.”

The film’s premiere unfolded while Mr Trump’s trial continues in New York.