San Diego Anchor Has Cameo in ‘Nightcrawler,’ A Creepy Look at Local TV News

By Kevin Eck 

“Nighcrawler” is a new film starring Jake Gyllenhaal opening today.

Gyllenhaal plays a creepy overnight news stringer. Rene Russo is a news director who subscribes to the “if it bleeds it leads” philosophy.


Lisa Remillard, who anchors for San Diego independent station KUSI, is one of many local TV anchors with a cameo in the film. She told the San Diego Reader the film is interesting, but not all that accurate.

“It’s an interesting way of how others perceive it to be,” said Remillard. “When a stringer delivers video, we either use it or we don’t. It doesn’t make or break our newscast, and I have never worked in a shop where it does. Very rarely have I personally used a stringer video, particularly in the manner in which the film portrays it.”

Remillard told the Reader she wasn’t sure she’d make it in the film. “I thought for sure they would cut. Even though they were so nice, I had no hope that they were going to keep me in the movie.”

She read the script and was impressed “by the concept, something I hadn’t seen in a movie in a long time. I knew that Jake Gyllenhaal was attached and that he would make a great crazy person. A lot of L.A. anchors were already on board, so I figured if they were doing it, it would be cool if I could do it, too.”

Her bit was filmed in November 2013. “When I walked on set, [writer-director Tony Gilroy] came right over to me,” Remillard recalls. “He not only knew my first and last name, he knew how to say it properly — which rarely anybody does. He had seen my work and expressed his trust by asking me to tell him how the scene should look. He even let me write my own dialogue.”

The Los Angeles Times said, “‘Nightcrawler’ is pulp with a purpose. A smart, engaged film powered by an altogether remarkable performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, it is melodrama grounded in a disturbing reality, an extreme scenario that is troubling because it cuts close to the bone.”