"Big Miracle" premieres in Washington with political buzz

Hollywood and political star power alike hit the red carpet at the D.C. premiere of "Big Miracle," a film on the effort to save trapped whales in the Arctic Circle.

The film's star Drew Barrymore told CBSNews.com that she appreciated that the movie was about more than just the whale rescue. "It was about oil companies and environmentalists and politicians and the national guard putting down their ideals and agendas and working together to do something, when at every turn it seemed like the smartest thing to do would be give up," she said.

Cindy Lowry, whom Barrymore's character is based on, said she spent a lot of time with Barrymore in California and Alaska. "She's really passionate about the things she cares about, and I think she had an appreciation for why I am so passionate about whales and oceans," she said.

Barrymore raved about her time spent with Lowry and her ability to promote her cause. "When you can articulate your point and do it with flair, I think that's the best way to try to win an argument."

Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, also attended the premiere in support of their home state movie.

"I'm excited that Alaska has the opportunity to showcase a little bit of our history," said Murkowski, dressed in "Alaska casual" attire on the red carpet. "This is just a good, feel-good type of movie."

"Any time you go to a movie and you can sit in the audience and you can say, 'I know that building,' or 'I know that person,' that just gives you an incredible feeling of pride for the great state of Alaska," Begich told CBSNews.com.

"We understand the value of our environment, but we also understand the balance," Begich said about managing environmental causes with the federal budget. "We have so much federal land up there and so we want to make sure the federal government puts the right resources there to ensure federal land is managed properly."

The film not only has strong ties to Alaska, but also to the White House.

Bonnie Collins played a key role in "Operation Breakthrough," an attempt to save three grey whales that involved an international effort, when she was an Executive Assistant for Cabinet Affairs in the Reagan administration. Collins is the inspiration behind Vinessa Shaw's character in the movie. Today, Collins is the founder and president of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in Washington, D.C.

"There is so much you can do by being a staffer," Shaw told CBSNews.com of playing Collins. "It would be very exciting to be on the front lines of change."

  • Jacqueline Corba

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