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How to Write a More Realistic Espionage Story

As Ben Affleck‘s Argo opens today, we caught up with the real life CIA agent behind the movie–getting advice for writing a more realistic espionage story.

We spoke with former CIA agent Antonio Mendez about his book, Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History. Mendez explained how he assembled a team of agents to rescue stranded diplomats in Iran at the height of a hostage situation that erupted in 1979.

Press play below to listen to the interview, but here’s an excerpt: “We get the question quite often, ‘what is the difference between a CIA officer and James Bond?’ The answer is the espionage agent doesn’t burn up the building and blow up the surroundings on their way out. James always comes out in a flamboyant way. You want to do something that’s innocuous and not so attention-getting. In this case, we created a story that would deflect interest, that would be non-alerting.”

Argo was also inspired by a Wired magazine article about the incident. Follow this link to read that story.

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