Bakersfield actress Cindy Lee Garcia -- infamous for her unsuspecting role in an anti-Muslim film that caused global headlines -- is featured prominently in a new Vanity Fair article that details the chaotic movie shoot, and her allegations of death threats and plans for an upcoming book.
The long feature describes a comicly unorganized movie set in which no one -- director, crew or cast, Garcia included -- appeared to know what was going on. The director is accused of knowingly having his cast read a nonsensical and ever-changing script only to later overdub the scenes with anti-Muslim messages without the knowledge of the cast.
The end result, a video titled "The Innocence of Muslims," was blamed for triggering unrest in the Middle East last year, and placed Garcia in the global media spotlight.
Vanity Fair interviewed Garcia in Bakersfield, where she described unspecified death threats, the pending release of a book titled "The Innocence of Cindy Garcia" and 24-7 personal security.
In one passage, Vanity Fair's Michael Joseph Gross wrote of Garcia:
"She says that a private security firm is now providing 24-hour protection for her, pro bono.
I ask, "Are they watching us now?"
"Ohhh, yes," she answers. In addition to what she calls "my fatwa," Garcia says, she has received "many death threats."
"What kind of death threats?"
"By e-mail, phone, letter, or--?"
Of her book, the magazine said Garcia had spent a month working with a writer and two editors. Her goal is to clear her name, something she said that U.S. officials have shown no interest in doing. Of that, Gross wrote:
"She says that she has called the F.B.I. 'more than once,' and that 'they ignored me. And that is wrong. I want to know why my government is not defending Cindy Garcia.' "
Here's a video featuring part of The Bakersfield Californian's separate interview with Garcia last year, during which she maintains her innocence: