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BBR woman's brother part of real 'Argo' story

By Mackenzie Wilson
Published On: Feb 25 2013 11:34:25 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Mackenzie Wilson sits down with a Black Butte Ranch woman who has a very special sibling connection with the movie Argo.

BLACK BUTTE RANCH, Ore. -

Beating out eight other movies, Argo snagged Best Picture Sunday at the Oscars. It was the award director Ben Affleck was waiting for.

"I thank anyone who worked on the movie, was in the movie or did anything on the movie -- they get thanked," Affleck jubilantly said, clutching the golden statuette.

Black Butte Ranch resident Ruth Peterson doesn't see many movies.

"I probably don't see more than three or four a year, and I have to be really sure that it's going to be good before I decide to go" Peterson said Monday.

But she has a very special reason for seeing Argo twice, and now owning the DVD. One of the main characters is based on her brother, Bob Anders.

In an interview with CNN about the movie, Anders said the movie was more exciting than the real thing, meaning his experience in the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979.

Anders was in his early 50s, working at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran when it was overtaken by militants.

"The beginning of the movie is so scary, with all those rebels screaming and holding their fists up like that," said Peterson. "But he (Anders) said, 'Well, it really was that way!'"

While dozens of embassy workers were taken hostage in a 444-day drama that gripped the world, Anders and five others quietly escaped and were taken in by Canadians for safekeeping.

Peterson says because of his age, her brother became a leader in the group. The CIA made him the "director" in the fake movie "Argo" they created in a surreal plot to get the Americans out of Iran.

"He wore a shirt with the buttons undone and his hair fluffed up!" Peterson said.

The plot was convincing enough to get the hostages on a plane back to the U.S. in 1980. While some real-life elements were heightened for the movie, the dramatic real-life details are what keeps bringing people to the theater to see it, now more than 20 years later.

"It's just a story that was very exciting in the beginning, and now it's even more exciting at the end," said Peterson.

By the way, she says if Argo didn't win best picture, she would have chosen Lincoln.

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