On Sunday evening, the cast and crew of the hit film "Argo" celebrated atop tinsel town, basking in the glow of an Oscar trophy that crowned their movie the best of the year. Tonight, 48 hours later, Piers Morgan welcomed the people responsible for bringing the gritty real life tale to Hollywood's silver screen.
Having lived the story first hand as an officer, Tony Mendez went on to pen the book "Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled off the Most Audacious Rescue in History," on which the Ben Affleck-led project is based. Joining the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host in studio, he described his feelings while waiting to hear the results late Sunday night:
"It was beyond belief," admitted the author of four non-fiction books, who now works full-time as an artist. "It was an emotional reaction, it was amazing. Nothing I ever did in the service was as scary as that moment. But it also had the high as well as the low."
Seated alongside her husband, Jonna Mendez reflected on the emotions tied to nearly half a decade of work:
"It was five years pretty much from beginning to end," said Mendez, herself a former CIA agent as well. "At the end, we cried when we won. We cried when Chris Terrio [who wrote the screenplay] won. I think we cried the first time we saw the movie. The whole thing has just been an emotional roller coaster, but a good one. Can't wait to see it again and see if we just keep crying. It was something. It was unexpected."
In writing the book, Mendez joined with Matt Baglio, who adressed criticism regarding various historical inaccuracies within the film:
"It's a movie. I think people understand that. It's not a documentary. Hollywood movies tend to take liberty with the facts," he noted, speaking with Morgan via satellite. "One of the reasons why Tony and I wanted to write this book was because we wanted to get the real story out there. The movie focuses more on Tony's side of events. Real life, of course, the Canadians were instrumental in taking in the Americans when nobody else really would. That's also portrayed in the film. There are a couple things that are different in real life. But on the whole, I think emotionally, the tone of the film, I think they did a pretty good job."
Watch the clip, and listen to the interviews, for insight, context, and background about the real life story that turned itself into an Academy Award winner.
» Follow "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Twitter
» Follow "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Instagram