Sydney Sweeney stars as a real-life whistleblower in director Tina Satter’s forthcoming drama Reality.
Sweeney stars in the film as Reality Winner, who pleaded guilty following her June 2017 arrest for leaking a U.S. intelligence report that detailed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The HBO Films project hits streaming service Max on May 29 after premiering earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival.
With a script from Satter and James Paul Dallas, the movie adapts Winner’s FBI interrogation transcript. Satter previously staged the transcript as the play Is This a Room, which landed a Broadway run in 2021. Reality’s cast includes Marchánt Davis and Josh Hamilton.
The tense trailer shows Winner, a former enlisted member of the U.S. Air Force, getting interrogated at her home in Georgia. “I’m trying to deploy,” Sweeney says in the footage. “I’m not trying to be a whistleblower. That’s crazy.”
In his review of Reality for , chief film critic David Rooney praised Sweeney’s “remarkable performance in the title role,” in addition to Satter’s “unfaltering command of the medium.”
During a recent interview with THR, the Euphoria actress explained her hopes for how the movie would impact perception of Winner: “I think that the film has such a unique approach by telling Reality’s story in such an emotional and human way, and I hope that instead of reducing her to just a headline, or interpreting the case through a partisan lens, that this movie can offer a window into what this woman went through on that day, and what she had to endure for her own decisions.”