Who Is Fletcher Chace In 'Trust'? John Paul Getty III's Kidnapping Brought The Ex-CIA Agent Into The Picture
Brendan Fraser's Fletcher Chace only made a brief appearance in the premiere episode of Trust, but now that J. Paul Getty's grandson has been kidnapped, he's about to play a much bigger part. Fletcher Chace in Trust will be a familiar character to anyone who saw All The Money In The World since it was the role that Mark Wahlberg played. Yet, even though the FX series and film both cover the real-life story of the abduction of J. Paul Getty III (referred to as "Paul" for the remainder of this article), there are differences in the projects. And one of those differences is how Chace is portrayed. Since Trust is based on history, spoilers follow.
First off, the way Chace's name is spelled appears to be an area of contention. FX has him as James Fletcher Chace (he apparently drops his first initial of J. just like Getty men), but many publications and the film All The Money In The World use the spelling of Chase and often refer to his first name as Fletcher — excluding the James entirely. While Vanity Fair reported that Chace was a real person, it's unclear as to which spelling of his last name is correct. But for the sake of consistency, this article will use Chace to match Trust.
As for who he was, in an interview with Paul, Rolling Stone referred to Chace as an "aide" to the Getty family. The publication also described him as a "tall, silver-haired and distinguished, a pipe-smoking ex-CIA man who didn't want to be photographed." Vanity Fair reported he was sent to Rome five weeks after Paul was kidnapped to investigate the matter and assist Paul's mom Gail (played by Hilary Swank in the show). The publication also noted that in the book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty, author John Pearson alleged that Chace was fed information that the kidnapping was allegedly a hoax. And that's something that Trust is seemingly exploring since it already claimed that Paul allegedly knew his kidnappers. In the end, Chace was the one who ended up organizing the ransom drop-off to the kidnappers.
Paul's sister Ariadne Getty disagrees with Trust's portrayal of her brother's kidnapping. In a letter to FX, obtained by Deadline, she claimed, "It is ironic that you have titled your television series Trust. More fitting titles would be Lies or Mistrust, since the defamatory story it tells about the Gettys colluding in the kidnapping is false and misleading, and viewers rightly ought to mistrust it." FX did not respond to Bustle's request for comment.
In the first episode of Trust, Chace is shown to be employed by Getty even before his grandson is kidnapped as a sort of fixer. After Getty's son George kills himself under the influence of drugs in "The House of Getty," Sutherland's Getty tells Fraser's Chace, "No, I will not have suicide. I will not have that." And Chace with his Texas drawl says, "Yes, sir. Leave it with me." At George's funeral, there's no mention of suicide. And in an article about George, Vanity Fair noted that what exactly occurred during his death is still a mystery.
Variety reported that at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January 2018, Trust writer and executive producer Simon Beaufoy discussed the differences between the TV series and All The Money In The World — including the portrayal of Chace. As Variety noted, Fraser's version is a bit more of a character than Wahlberg's version as Fraser wears a cowboy hat and uses Bible quotes in his negotiating. And in the second episode of Trust, "Lone Star," much more of Chace's personality will be shown as he directly addresses the camera. But Beaufoy also noted that Trust's version of Chase strives to show that the former spy truly cared about the Getty family.
"He's a man with a textured past. He's on a journey of redemption. He wants to rescue this kid for personal reasons outside of being beholden to his boss, the richest man in the world," Beaufoy said. "I wanted to show that he really cares, that he cares about the family, he cares about Gail. He's not just an employee of this Midas character."
So while Fraser wasn't a main fixture of the premiere episode of Trust, expect to see much more of this cowboy in Rome in future episodes of this series about this tragic American dynasty.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.