Video Interview: The Big Cigar’s Alessandro Nivola & P.J. Byrne

Premiering on Apple TV+ this week, The Big Cigar brings to the screen the audacious tale of how a Hollywood producer used a fake movie to try to help Huey P. Newton, the founder of the Black Panther Party, elude the FBI.

Facing a murder charge, Newton turned to producer Bert Schneider for aid in plotting his escape to Cuba. Schneider and his producing partner Steve Blauner conjured up a fake movie and cover names to foil the FBI amid Newton’s round-the-clock surveillance. The stranger-than-fiction tale arrives on Apple TV+ on May 17, with new episodes following every Friday through June 14.


In this video interview, Alessandro Nivola and P.J. Byrne, who play producers Schneider and Blauner, respectively, talk about portraying real people in this epic escape story.