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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Movies

Sometimes we just get actors to play president


Many movies call for someone to act like they’re the president, and unfortunately Obama doesn’t answer most Hollywood agent’s phone calls, so the job ends up going to some well-dressed A-list celebrity. Most of the time they do a decent enough job — it’s not that hard, you just have to sit in a suit and act respectable — but sometimes an actor does such a good job you’d actually elect him if given the chance.

Although he doesn’t quite fit the so-called “normal” presidential guidelines, Terry Crews does a great job of playing the president in an insane world in “Idiocracy.” In a future where the average IQ rests firmly between 18 and 30, Crews walks into the House of Representatives with a machine gun and starts firing off rounds into the ceiling just to get everyone’s attention. Add to the fact that President Camacho’s middle name is Mountain Dew and you get a truly great (if fake) commander-in-chief.

Morgan Freeman excels at just about every movie he makes, and it’s no surprise that he’s an amazing president as well, even if it is in a terrible movie. Tasked with leading the country through an asteroid catastrophe in “Deep Impact,” Freeman does his job as every real president should — exuding strength, calmness and sincerity, while at the same time choosing which Americans will live and die.

In that same vein, Jack Nicholson makes quite a good president, even if he does drop the ball on the whole murderous aliens situation a bit. In “Mars Attacks!” Nicholson tries to take the diplomatic approach and reason with the alien invaders. Unfortunately, the aliens don’t want much more than to kill every human being, and eventually Nicholson ends up in the body count as well. Even though he very nearly caused Earth’s demise, he still looks pretty good playing a politician.

Michael Douglas always acts well, whether he’s being seduced by Sharon Stone or trying to single-handedly run the stock market. He embodies the president in many ways — he’s good-looking without being overtly attractive, he seems smart and he has great hair. He can also play a scumbag pretty well, so that gives him bonus points. In “The American President,” a young Douglas is trying to impress a girl, and of course he does; he looks like Michael Douglas and just happens to be the most powerful man in the world. How could he possibly lose?

The best fake president, however, goes to the man most fit for the job in real life. He’s flown starships, saved the world from Nazis and was thrown hundreds of feet in the air from a nuclear explosion — while being safely tucked inside a refrigerator. He is, of course, Harrison Ford and his terrorist-bashing ways only continue in “Air Force One.” Ford is one of those people who command attention the way rich 16-year-olds command their fathers — instantly and effortlessly. He only has to walk in a room and everyone’s eyes are already on him. That alone could probably get him elected in real life; it’s only a plus that he’s good with a submachine gun.

Although there have been a ton of fake presidents in every kind of situation imaginable, few stand out as much as these five do. And even if they weren’t real presidents, people still look to them (well, except perhaps Terry Crews) to embody the spirit of the presidency; in the end, that’s how they made the list.

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