'The Report': Annette Bening, Adam Driver and Jon Hamm on how their CIA torture drama depicts 'embarrassing' chapter in American history

The Report won’t leave many Americans beaming with patriotic pride. The film, written and directed by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!), details the U.S. Senate's investigation into the CIA's systematic use of torture techniques (or "enhanced interrogation techniques") against suspected terrorism prisoners under the Bush-Cheney administration in the wake of 9/11 — practices that have since been deemed as ineffective as they were immoral and contrary to the Geneva Conventions.

"I think that this particular issue, the fact that we did this, the fact that it's documented, the fact that it happened, is embarrassing for a lot of people," said Jon Hamm, who plays Denis McDonough, chief of staff under President Barack Obama, whose administration isn't left off the hook in a drama that strives to be nonpartisan (watch above). "Especially if we consider America to be this paragon of virtue and democracy and truth. So a lot of people would much rather forget this happened, or ignore that this happened."

Adam Driver stars as Daniel Jones, a senate staffer who worked with California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) and headed up the largest investigative review in Senate history, working for years — sometimes alone, other times facing threats — to whittle down 6.3 million pages of classified documents into the 6,700 page document that became known as "The Torture Report."

"When the report came out, there wasn't a person that could be the face of it," explained Driver. "Senator Feinstein didn't speak about it, Dan Jones couldn't as a senate staffer, but there were plenty of people who were in the opposition that were more willing to say that it was a partisan issue or that it was inaccurate. So it got print coverage pretty well but there was no visible thing that people could look at as a frame of reference. So this seemed to be an exciting opportunity to maybe start that conversation, maybe."

Said Bening, who has drawn early Oscar buzz for her measured portrayal of Feinstein: "It's really about the facts and the events, and I thought the script was very taut and well told, so I thought we had an opportunity to remind people what had happened."

The Report opens Friday. Watch the trailer:

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