Many people probably feel like they’ve seen enough —perhaps too much— of Anthony Weiner after his infamous online sex scandal that cost him his Congressional seat and mayoral ambitions in 2013. Weiner, the new documentary that follows the fallen politician's pursuit of redemption, shows another side: a man fighting for a new beginning in the shadow of an embarrassing past. In an interview with Boston Public Radio Wednesday, Weiner co-directors and producers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg described how their unlimited access to the man behind the headlines humanized a villain and revealed deeper insight into American politics and society.

Margery: So, let’s start with how this whole thing started for you guys. How did this begin, this documentary on Congressman Weiner?

JK: I actually met Anthony when I was working in politics. I was his chief-of-staff for a couple of years when he was in Congress, years before his scandal and before his resignation. It was after he had his scandal and resigned from Congress that I was working with Elyse at that point in filmmaking and I started a conversation with him about the possibility of making a documentary, and it was something we actually talked about over a couple of years, and when he decided to run for mayor two years after he resigned, he let us in and we filmed from the day he announced he was running for mayor until the end of the election.

Jim: So Elyse, the expectation of Anthony Weiner was going to be his phoenix-like rise from the dead and in fact we learn that early on in the mayoral race, which was obviously won by Bill DeBlasio, Anthony Weiner was actually leading in polling, correct?

ES: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. You know, when we started out making this film, we didn’t know what would happen, but we knew it would be exciting, and at one point, six weeks into the campaign, he was at the top of the polls, and we thought we had a remarkable comeback story. But then of course, new revelations came out and our film changed direction. But, you know,

When we set off to make this film, our intention was to take somebody who had just been reduced to a caricature and a punchline and offer a more human, multi-faceted look, and that actually only intensified after that scandal broke.

Margery: Well, I’m wondering what you guys thought of his political skills, because there were times when I was watching this documentary when you have him speaking in Congress and when he had the rainbow gay flag at the gay pride parade, I mean, he struck me as an electric politician. What did you think about his political skills?

JK: I think most people, whether they like him or not, recognize that he has remarkable talent, he has got a political gift, that really set him apart in terms of how he connects with voters and how he also understands kind of the rhythms of the press; one of the ways that he became a really successful and persuasive voice for the progressive left before his scandal was that he had to speak in the language of the press in a way that really worked. You know, our movie begins with a shot of him actually screaming on the floor of Congress in a way that went viral, it was that kind of thing that he was really quite good at.

Jim: Josh, for you, you have a relationship with him, because you were his chief-of-staff; did he set any conditions, again this is before the second wave of package photos or whatever you want to call them were disclosed, whatever they were, were there any pre-conditions, did he say to you, Josh, and then Elyse, that ‘well, of course you’re going to talk about the texting scandal, you’re also going to focus on my political campaign big time,’ were there any pre-conditions at all, or no?

JK: Well, I mean, one of the real ground rules going in was that if there ever were a time when he wanted me to turn off the camera or leave the room, and you know, I did the bulk of the shooting by myself, you know I would obviously respect those boundaries, and you can see some of those moments in the film itself and how there’s certainly a dynamic throughout the four months of shooting. Our intention going in was really to, you know, take someone who I had gotten to know as a full human being, and he had very much been reduced to a punch-line in the course of the scandal, and we wanted to show him as a full person and I think he had a similar hope for the film.

To hear more about the making of the film, click on audio link above.