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Tony Mendez talks to Arch Campbell about the Oscars

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ABC7’s Arch Campbell is on the red carpet and getting a behind the scenes look at “Argo”, a film nominated for Best Picture.

Tony Mendez, left, sits with Arch Campbell.
Ben Affleck, right, a cast member and director of the film "Argo," poses with former C.I.A. agent Tony Mendez, whom he portrays in the film, backstage at the 16th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. AP Photo.

The film chronicles a covert rescue operation involving six American diplomats taking refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis.

U.S. government agent Tony Mendez was the real-life mastermind behind their plan of escape. He’s portrayed by Ben Affleck in the film.

“Ben is a good looking guy,” joked Mendez. “But he’s not quite good looking enough to play me.”

During the crisis, Mendez hatched a plan that was made up of a fake production company, allowing the Americans to scout locations in Iran. While in Hollywood and just days before the 85th Oscars, Arch Campbell asked him about the creativity behind the idea that eventually saved their lives.

“Check your gut now then and that way you can stay out of trouble, said Mendez. “If it feels right, it is right.”

After records of the incident were declassified in 2007, a screenplay was developed and the rest is Hollywood history.

Campbell joked with Mendez about the CIA being part of this year's Oscars.

“Somebody said that the real CIA is coming in on Thursday and the rest of this is all for public consumption,” Mendez laughed. “What do you think?”

The 85th Academy Awards airs this Sunday at 7pm right here on ABC7. Be sure to watch this weekend for Arch Campbell’s live red carpet reports.

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