Nicole Rocklin ’01

In the Spotlight

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Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

It’s just a short time after winning an Oscar, but life isn’t all that different for Nicole Rocklin ’01 (second from right).

“I woke up and had to make my kid breakfast and sweep the floor,” Rocklin says. “Day-to-day life doesn’t change that much.”

Yes, many things remain the same, but there is a bit more of a spotlight, thanks to the movie Spotlight. Rocklin was one of the producers of the film, which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in February. Spotlight, starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Liev Schreiber, tells the story of the Boston Globe journalists who uncovered sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. The movie received six Oscar nominations and also won for Best Original Screenplay.

Rocklin grew up in California and graduated with honors, double- majoring in history and Afro-American studies.

“My college experience was one of the highlights of my life. It’s the only time in life [when] you have that much freedom to explore so many things,” she says. “I miss it.”

After graduation, Rocklin moved back to California. She knew she wanted to work in entertainment but wasn’t quite sure in what way. After working for an entertainment law firm, she took a job with Jerry Bruckheimer Films. She then started her own production studio and partnered with fellow producer Blye Faust.

“We’ve been focused on smaller sorts of projects,” Rocklin says. “Some people put twenty things out there. We don’t do that. It’s not who we are. We want to tell stories about real people.”

It took seven years to bring Spotlight to the screen. “It was never a question of whether we were going to tell the story,” she says. “We had to tell the story.”

In an era of shrinking newsrooms, Rocklin hopes the movie reminds people of the importance of journalism. She sees the Flint water crisis as another example of why good journalism is necessary and says that the best thing people can do is buy their local newspaper.

“If the Boston Globe didn’t have an investigation team, we might not know the story. As we all know, knowledge is power. This story spread throughout the world,” Rocklin says. “There are still so many stories to tell. If we don’t have reporters investigating, who is going to tell them?”

Published in the Summer 2016 issue

Tags: Alumni, Awards, Film

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