"Game Change" director defends HBO movie

Julianne Moore stars as Sarah Palin
Julianne Moore stars as Sarah Palin in HBO's "Game Change."

(CBS News) Sarah Palin's selection for Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008 was a decision that affected the race in a big way. That historic moment is at the center of a controversial new HBO movie, "Game Change," based on a 2009 book of the same name by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.

Palin's aides have describing its depictions of the former Alaska governor/vice presidential candidate on the 2008 campaign trail as "sick" and inaccurate. SarahPAC, Palin's political action committee, has labeled the movie fiction in a short video on their website.

Palin aides denounce HBO's "Game Change"

But Jay Roach, director and executive producer of "Game Change," defended his film on "CBS This Morning," saying it was well-researched and tells a true story. "The guys...who wrote the book interviewed everybody. The senior guys, too. We interviewed (them) ourselves. ... We learned to go to the sources directly. We went to the head guys who were there making the decisions. "I think it's a true story," he said. "I think it's a dramatization, but it's really compelling and it raises all the questions, I think, need to be raised about our political system."

When asked about what questions need to be raised about the political system, Roach said, "I think is win at all costs, is that the right strategy for every election? Might statesmanship, country first, might that be a better guide for how it goes."

The film, Gayle King remarked, humanizes Palin.

"I'm glad you felt that way," Roach said. "Because we were trying to humanize her, get past the iconography of whichever side you were on, whatever you thought about her was driven by the media impression. We felt there must be more going on under that. She was a very sympathetic person. She was, at the beginning of it, she was under incredible attack. She had a kid going off to Iraq. She had a 5-month-old baby with Down syndrome. Two daughters, one pregnant and she's thrown on to the national stage with very little time to prepare for that."

On "CBS This Morning," Monday, Arizona Sen. John McCain said he doesn't plan to see "Game Change."

(Watch his remarks in the video at left.)

"Because it's based on a book that is full of unattributed quotes, things that absolutely never happened," McCain said. "And if it's based on that book, which I was briefed on, then, of course, it can't be accurate."

"Game Change" premieres Saturday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

For Roach's full interview, watch the video in the player above.