Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapping: Televised autobiography and Lifetime movie to premiere

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart is pleased with how a Lifetime movie and documentary she helped produce about her harrowing ordeal turned out. But she said her visit to the movie set brought back terrible memories when she saw actor Skeet Ulrich looking so similar to the man who abducted her.

In advance of the movie premiere on Lifetime Saturday, A&E will feature Smart’s autobiography in a two-part documentary Sunday and Monday nights.

L-R: Alana Boden, Elizabeth Smart. This image released by Lifetime shows Boden with Smart on the set of “I Am Elizabeth Smart,” premiering on Lifetime Saturday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 6 p.m. MT. Photo by Sergei Bachlako/ Lifetime via AP, St. George News

The upcoming film, “I Am Elizabeth Smart,” follows the nine months after Smart, then 14, was kidnapped by Brian Mitchell from her bedroom in her Salt Lake City home in 2002 and was raped daily by her captor, the Deseret News reported.

Police finally found her in Sandy with the help of two couples who recognized Mitchell from media reports as a suspect in Smart’s kidnapping.

Mitchell was convicted and is serving a life sentence for the crime.

The movie features newcomer Alana Boden as Smart, Deirdre Lovejoy — who portrays Mitchell’s estranged wife Wanda Barzee, who aided in the kidnapping — and Ulrich as Mitchell.

Smart was on the set for part of the filming, narrated the movie and gave feedback to executive producers Joseph Freed and Allison Berkley.

This image released by Lifetime shows Alana Boden as Elizabeth Smart in a scene from, “I Am Elizabeth Smart,” premiering on Lifetime Saturday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 6 p.m. MT. Photo by Sergei Bachlako/ Lifetime via AP, St. George News

She especially wanted to help them find a balance between keeping the integrity of her gruesome experience and not being too graphic.

“Certainly a lot of very bad things happen, and I thought, ‘How could you possibly show that without it either coming off as dark and terrible and give you nightmares at night,’ or sugar-coating everything and making it seem like, ‘Oh, this terrible thing happened but it really wasn’t that bad, and then a miracle happened?'” she said.

While she enjoyed meeting the actors, Smart said in an interview with Deseret News that she felt uncomfortable when they asked her to take a photo with them.

“It was just this weird experience because I was sitting there like, ‘They’re lovely people, but I don’t know if I should smile because they don’t look like lovely people,'” she said. “They look like my worst nightmare.”

Broadcast details

  • The movie will premiere on Lifetime Saturday, Nov. 18, at 6 and 10 p.m. MST, 8 p.m. EST/PST.
  • A two-part documentary titled “Elizabeth Smart: Autobiography,” in which Smart shares more details about the horrific situation she survived, her rescue and what her life is like now, will be premiered on A&E Sunday and Monday, Nov. 12-13, at 8:30 and 7 p.m. MST, respectively, in advance of Saturday’s movie premiere.
This July 2017 file photo shows, from L-R: Skeet Ulrich, Elizabeth Smart and Alana Boden attend the “I am Elizabeth Smart” panel during the A&E portion of the 2017 Summer TCA’s at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, July 28, 2017 | Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision via AP, St. George News

Written by The Associated Press.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • jaybird November 13, 2017 at 10:42 am

    She’s really capitalized on this.

    • Icomments2 November 13, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      As she well deserves to!!! What a horses a## you are!!! Do you think she wanted to be taken out of her bedroom that night, tortured and raped at 14 every day and night til she was freed!!! I think not, so until you walked in her shoes you dont have a right to say a damn thing on weather she capitalized or capitalizes on her horrific experience or not!!! POS!!! So good for her to get something good out of a bad deal in life!!!

      • ladybugavenger November 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm

        Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I’m feeling some anger here.

        Unfortunately, not every kidnap gets a lifetime movie. Some kids never recover. May she be there inspiration to overcome the darkness.

        Jaybird, 5 words with no emotion triggered the venom out of comments sister lcomments2.

        I better go set my DVR.

  • comments November 13, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Yeah, I think if anyone deserves to capitalize on their story its Elizabeth Smart. She’s also very good at public speaking. I respect her.

  • Ladyk November 15, 2017 at 2:26 am

    What an amazing woman. This will be seen by so many and although it is a dark subject I believe it will help someone. If it helps just one person survive or do better because Elizabeth has been willing to share what she went through then it will all be worth it. She deserves any positive thing that comes out of it all. I wish her all the best. Thanks Elizabeth for being such an amazing example.

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