The nation watched as the Republican presidential candidates laid out their cases and tried to win over voters on Wednesday night.
But behind the scenes, many of their choices, their words, their gestures, even their outfits, were carefully overseen by shrewd strategists.
The influence of American political strategists can be felt throughout the world. In 2002, some of the top U.S. advisers traveled to Bolivia to lend a hand to struggling presidential candidates there. A documentary about that race serves loosely as the basis of the new film, "Our Brand is Crisis."
In it, Sandra Bullock plays Jane Bodeen, a cutthroat strategist inspired by flamboyant political operative James Carville. Jane is lured out of an early retirement when she hears about an opportunity to square off against a long time nemesis. Shortly after her arrival in South America, she encounters her rival, Pat Candy, played by Billy Bob Thornton, for the first time in years.
Bullock and Thornton recently sat down with host Alex Cohen to talk about their characters, and why anyone in politics would want to be behind the scenes instead of front and center at the podium.