Is The Apprentice Movie Based on the True Story of Donald Trump’s Real Life?

Viewers are wondering whether The Apprentice is based on a true story. Set in the ’80s, the movie focuses on the early career of Donald Trump (Sebastian Stan) as a real-estate developer and his relationship with his mentor Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong). Following its world premiere at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in May, The Apprentice garnered mostly positive reviews from critics. However, given its controversial subject matter, there are several question marks hanging over the film, including whether it is based on Donald Trump’s real life.

Here is what is known about the inspiration behind The Apprentice.

Is The Apprentice film based on a true story?

Though The Apprentice is officially labeled as “inspired” by true events, Trump and his team have refuted this.

As mentioned above, the main narrative of The Apprentice exclusively concentrates on Trump’s rise in New York’s real-estate scene and Cohn’s key role in it.

In the film’s press notes, director Ali Abbasi dismissed the notion that the film was a biopic. “We’re not interested in every detail of his life going from A to Z. We’re interested in telling a very specific story through his relationship with Roy [Cohn] and Roy’s relationship with him,” he added.

Is any of The Apprentice movie fiction and made up?

It is possible that The Apprentice is part fiction and part based on a true story. Certain things depicted in the movie have reportedly drawn a scathing rebuttal from Donald Trump’s team.

This includes a scene in which Trump sexually assaults his first wife Ivana (Maria Bakalova), who passed away in 2022. After the film’s premiere, Steven Cheung, the spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, claimed that the film makes “blatantly false assertions.”

Furthermore, Cheung implied that Ali Abbasi is a “pretend filmmaker.” He added, “This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalizes lies that have been long debunked.” In response, Abbasi said he would screen the film for Donald Trump if the former President and his team would attend it.

Speaking to the media at Cannes, the director elaborated, “I don’t necessarily think that this is a movie he would dislike. I don’t necessarily think he would like it. I think he would be surprised, you know? And like I’ve said before, I would offer to go and meet him wherever he wants and talk about the context of the movie, have a screening and have a chat afterwards, if that’s interesting to anyone at the Trump campaign.”


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