This weekend brings Hollywood's biggest night, the Academy Awards, but this year at MCC, we've got a favorite horse in the race, thanks in great part to a visit to our campus by the real-life hero of the movie Argo.
Retired CIA spy Tony Mendez visited MCC to tell the story behind his role in the freeing of six American diplomats caught up in the Iran hostage crisis in November, 1979. Posing as a Canadian film crew, Mendez led the "Canadian caper," wherein he helped rescue the citizens by pretending to be using them in the filming of a fake movie, Argo.
On the big screen, Mendez was portrayed by Boston hometown favorite Ben Affleck, who also directed the flick.
On Sunday, Argo goes up aganist some stiff Oscar competition in the best picture department. But our spies tell us it's the hands-down favorite to win at least on MCC's campuses, after the crowd of more than 300 listened to the stories told by Mendez and his wife, Jonna, who was also a CIA officer, and interviewed him during his Bedford visit.
Here's Mendez, his wife, and the MCC team of Argo-Nuts that brought him to campus on behalf of the Student Activities department
Mendez and MCC student emcee Paul Hadley of Billerica
And here's an interesting tidbit - Mendez' CIA code name was Kevin Harkins, which also happens to be the name of the local photographer who shot the MCC visit for the college. An International Man of Mystery in his own right, Harkins says his code name is - what else? - Tony Mendez. Here's both of the spies caught on film together.
Two thumbs up for Argo!