A year ago, one-time movie maker Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told an arts gathering that he was disappointed that state incentives to the motion picture industry were being cut. “I am disappointed that we are not the film capital of the United States,” Patrick said at the Contemporary Art Museum in Austin. “We’re going to fund it.” When the state budget came out of the Senate over which he presides, the program had been cut to zero. It was only partially restored at the end of the legislative session at the insistence of Governor Greg Abbott, who oversees the program.
Even if Patrick says he wants Texas to be the nation’s “film capital,” he told the Texas Public Policy Foundation on Thursday that there is one movie he plans to thwart as much as possible: Sandra Bullock’s proposed docudrama, Let Her Speak, about former state senator Wendy Davis and her 2013 filibuster against Patrick’s legislation to restrict abortions. Women filled the Senate gallery and the Capitol rotunda during the debate, shouting encouragement to Davis and other Democrats fighting against the bill.
“Sandra Bullock has agreed to play Wendy Davis in a movie called Let Her Speak,” Patrick told his audience. “If I have anything to do with it, I’m not going to let them use the Senate chamber to shoot, because they’ve already disgraced it once. I’m not going to let them do it a second time.”
Although he made a joke of it, Patrick continued in a manner that showed himself as thin-skinned.
“Guess who the villain is,” he said. “Me. I have not read the script, but it was sent to me. I’m curious about this. I don’t curse. I’m sure I have a time or two. And they had me walk over to Donna Campbell, of all people, and call Wendy Davis a bad name.”
Patrick continued, “What really offended me is they described Senator Dan Patrick, the blow-hard, pro-life conservative, as having the hair of a TV preacher.”
Patrick said since Bullock was going to play Davis, he asked his wife who should portray him. “George Clooney, Brad Pitt? Without missing a beat, she said, ‘Dan Aykroyd.'”