Check out the first trailer for the new documentary Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn, scheduled to debut June 19 on HBO.
The film takes an unflinching look at the life and death of infamous, closeted anti-gay attorney, Roy Cohn.
The documentary draws on unearthed archival material and audiotapes to paint a portrait of Cohn’s life from the late 1950s as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy, through to the 1980s when he embedded himself in the Reagan White House as a “rabid anti-homosexuality activist and political mentor” to current U.S. President Donald Trump before dying of AIDS in 1986.
Interviewees include John Waters, Cindy Adams, Alan Dershowitz, Nathan Lane, and Tony Kushner, whose 2018 Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning revival of Angels In America featured Lane as Cohn.
“Roy Cohn made his name prosecuting and pushing for the execution of my grandparents Ethel and Julius Rosenberg,” said director Ivy Meeropol. “Many years later he became Donald Trump’s lawyer, mentor, and close friend. If there was ever a time to reflect on how we got here it is now. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share the film with HBO audiences.”
“One thing I didn’t know until 1988 was that Cohn was gay and had succumbed to AIDS. Learning this about him made me want to know more about this man and the secret life he led. This clash of feelings, hating a man and believing he was evil while simultaneously feeling empathy for that same man who no doubt suffered in the closet, drove my approach in making this film.”