Once Bush agreed to participate, he encouraged Weintraub's participation because "he didn't want to do it and have it put in a drawer," Weintraub said.
"Jerry was instrumental in what the showbiz types call the 'post' or 'post-production' phase — either convincing or blackmailing the good people at HBO into taking on the project," Bush said.
Bush comes across as a gentleman in the film, an old school politician who believes in service and in getting things done as opposed to getting into mortal combat. One of the most fascinating passages, however, came when Roth asked him about his 1992 election opponent Ross Perot.
"Can't talk about him," Bush said, his voice suddenly frosty. "Cost me the election and I don't like him. Other than that, I have nothing to say."
Roth began filming in 2009, with his final shots coming when President Obama awarded Bush the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. You can see the progression of age. Bush is seen walking around Walkers Point early, then he needs a cane and, finally, he is seen in a wheelchair as Parkinson's Disease weakens his legs.
Movingly, "41" ends in Kennebunkport.
"This is our anchor to the windward," the former president says. "This is where our memories are. This is where I've been coming all my life and will remain to our last days."
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