Take this to the bank: a movie or two WILL be made about the Trump presidency. A few will nibble at the periphery of the experience, capturing the graft and the grift. Some will try to capture its essence economically but that won’t satisfy. One really had to experience the overwhelming “everyday” of it — the relentless, sometimes narcotizing fire hose of awfulness that got locked into the “on” position — to appreciate “it”. This story could never fit into a feature film no matter the length. This is streaming TV territory that audiences will want to both binge and purge at the very same time. That’s why we should make the casting process as democratic as possible. We’re invested in getting the best performances we can.
We’ve already seen a few actors play Trump — Alec Baldwin on SNL of course (which shouldn’t put him out of the running though I suspect he’d want to add a little nuance to the part if he gets the nod) and Brendan Gleason in Showtime’s “The Comey Rule” adaptation. Late night hosts (Jimmy Fallon) and comedians (Bob DiBuono) have played Trump but they haven’t “inhabited” Trump the way we’ll need our actor to inhabit the part.
Quick casting note: having personally cast a lot of actors over my career, I can assure you: we never cast actors to “act”. We cast them to “be”. We cast actors to, essentially, play a version of themselves (with a different name and wardrobe) as honestly as they possibly can. If they act the emotions, it won’t work. The camera will see it and we’ll hate the actors as a result. Much better that they just “open a vein” emotionally and let their hearts flow. So — as you look at the roles, don’t think so much “who can ‘act’ this part, think “who already inhabits it in a way” because of who they are. There’s a reason actors get so close associated with the parts they play. They’re not playing anything. They’re just “being”.
Back when I first threw down this post in the early years of Trump’s presidency, the story was smaller and simpler (if you can remember back that far). It was corruption and Russia and a desperate attempt to make it to 2018 when (as we did) we could reassert control of the House at least and try to inject a little oversight into the toxic mix. Since then… geez — what hasn’t happened? This — is it a limited series even? — could go on for years as it’s still playing out in real time.
This will always be celebration of wishful thinking — not the TV series itself — casting the damned thing as if we could stay ahead of the story. The Trump Age was brutal to people who write fiction for a living. How could fiction possibly stand up to the reality we all lived through? If a writer tried to sell what we all lived as a novel or script, they’d have been told to stop writing, period. Way too over the top. Way too crazy. Way too everything.
This post invites your contributions! It’s an “open casting call” meaning everyone’s open to making a few casting calls.
Donald Trump Woody Harrelson, Alec Baldwin, Brendan Gleeson, Sarah Cooper
Woody Harrelson as Trump?
Alec Baldwin as Trump?
Brendan Gleeson as Trump?
Sarah Cooper as Trump?
Mike Pence as Mike Pence
SNL’s Beck Bennett as Mike Pence?
Coronavirus as Coronavirus
Bubonic Plague as Coronavirus?
Spanish Flue of 1918 as Coronavirus?
Jim Carrey as Joe Biden?
Nancy Pelosi as Nancy Pelosi
Meryl Streep as Nancy Pelosi
Helen Mirren as Nancy Pelosi?
Mitch McConnell as Treason McTurtleface
Rudy as Rudy
Kate McKinnon as Rudy? Kate can play whoever she wants!
Ted Cruz as Ted Cruz
Josh Hawley as Josh
Roger Stone as Roger
Michael Flynn as Michael Flynn
The Proud Boys
The Proud Boys as Themselves
Nazis — as The Proud Boys dream of themselves
Bill Barr as Bill Barr as the Worst AG in American History
Mike Pompeo as Mike Pompeo
Lindsey Graham as the most haunted, hunted man in America
Kevin McCarthy as The Guy Who KNEW Trump Was Getting Paid By Putin
Merrick Garland as The Guy Who Will End It All For The Republicans
Steve Bannon Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte, John Goodman, John Howard
Steve Bannon as Steve Bannon (for comparison’s sake)
Jeff Bridges as Steve Bannon?
John Howard as Steve Bannon?
Ivanka Scarlet Johanson
Ivanka as Ivanka
Scarlet Johansson as Ivanka?
Amanda Seyfried as Ivanka?
Donald Trump, Jr.
Vlad Putin Mark Ivanir, Mads Mikkelsen
Vlad Putin as Vlad Putin
Mark Ivanir as Vlad Putin?
Robert Mueller Chris Noth, George Clooney
Don McGahn Andrew McCarthy
Sarah Sanders Rosie O’Donnell, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Robert Mercer Greg Kinnear, Noah Emmerich
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Now let’s move on to a few new roles — JARED KUSHNER…
Couple of thoughts — first — NICK JONAS —
I know – Nick Jonas is 24, Jared is mid 30’s BUT — I think Nick’s youth works for the part because it will READ as such — and one thing Jared is most notable for IS BEING TOO YOUNG for pretty much everything he’s been tasked to do. Too young and too fucking stupid…
Second thought — CHRISTIAN BALE — at 43, he’s a little old for the part but the guy’s versatile as hell. And he’s got the tools to bring out all the passive aggressive, weak-link-in-a-weak-chain nuances that make Jared so Jared…
The obvious choice — because she INHABITS the character so hauntingly — is KATE MCKINNON.
In fact, I can’t imagine anyone better. As far as I’m concerned, it’s hers.
MORE TO COME…
ROBERT MERCER (CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA and one of THE Big Money Guys the Republican party RELY on. He’s one of the reasons they pushed through a ‘tax bill’ that could completely bankrupt us with debt —
But SOMEONE will have to play him in “TRUMPOCALYPSE: THE MOVIE”. And April Lea — one of my readers on Twitter had this fabulous suggestion — GREG KINNEAR —
It’s like Greg was BORN to play the part, no…?
MORE CASTING TO FOLLOW…
“TRUMPOCALYPSE: THE MOVIE” — CASTING
I’m just trying to get ahead of the curve here. A MOVIE VERSION of this Moment In History is coming — not today of course and not tomorrow but — not too much longer after that.
As anyone in The Biz will tell you, casting is everything. Get it right — you’re Golden. Get it wrong — it doesn’t matter how good the script is, the direction, the design — you’re going down in flames colored purple by terrible acting.
Even a story as good as THIS — and stories will NEVER (I sure as hell hope) ever, ever, EVER get ‘better’ than this — could be undermined by bad casting. With that in mind, here are my thoughts about who in the current crop of actors we should ‘think about’ for ‘Our Movie’…
First up — OUR LEAD of course. Now, I know — first guy in everyone’s mind is Alec Baldwin —
And who doesn’t love when Alec Baldwin does his Trump (except perhaps for Donald himself — but then, he has no sense of humor — something our actors need to grasp and incorporate into their character). And I wouldn’t say ‘No’ to Mr Baldwin; in fact, I’d love to see Mr Baldwin come at the character from a more ‘actory’ point of view — from within. I’d want to talk about that for sure. Maybe get a screen test out of him…
It’d be worth it (for him).
Let’s say we like what he does — a lot — but don’t quite ‘love’ it. I have the ace card right here — the guy we should cast regardless of how good Mr Baldwin is because WOODY HARRELSON will be better — cos he can do just about anything.
His INTERIOR range is amazing — and we’re going to need an actor with incredible emotional range to play a character with VIRTUALLY NONE. It’s like getting an actor to sing off key. The ones who can actually sing will automatically do it better. They even know where off-key is.
So — think about it, folks — THIS GUY playing THIS GUY —
Can I sign him? Please?
Next up was going to be Robert Mueller but circumstances have forced us to consider casting THIS GUY now instead —
My first thought is JEFF BRIDGES. Bannon is like The Dude’s soul-less Evil Twin — with a side of Gin Blossoms…
Got some great suggestions on Twitter. Sorry, ‘Dude’, but you have competition. How about THIS GUY — NICK NOLTE…
…or JOHN GOODMAN…
See? Casting is harder than it looks! Keep the suggestions coming, folks
Okay — I WILL get to this guy but — he’s HARD…
In the meantime — IVANKA TRUMP —
My FIRST thought? SCARLETT JOHANSSON…
It’s almost too on the nose… I bet Scarlett would tear up the part though. Tear it up and have it for dinner…
This is a movie with multiple villains. And each villain is very different from the others and very interesting. But our Uber-Villain is THIS GUY — Vladimir…
Now, personally, I’d give it to my good friend MARK IVANIR (he played the Russian Spymaster a few seasons back on the BERLIN SEASON of HOMELAND). Mark’s Russian by birth but grew up in Israel. Knows his way around a villain while being an absolutely delightful person in the flesh…
But I know everyone’s a star-fucker so… I would also think about TCHEKY KARYO ( on the right — ‘La Femme Nikita’) or MADS MIKKELSEN ( on the left — ‘Hannibal’) while trying to talk you into my friend Mark —
Next up TWO THOUGHTS for ROBERT MUELLER) —
A great suggestion from Purple Mountains on my Twitter feed — CHRIS NOTH —
Rock solid idea. Another possibility? A guy with surprising emotional range who you just plain like the moment you see him —
Clooney — George Clooney… ya think?
Since she’s ‘up to bat’ — let’s try n cast Sarah Huckabee Sanders —
I’m thinking MARY LYNN RAJSKUB (24 among lots of other great credits) —
But PURPLE MOUNTAINS — on my Twitter feed had this very, VERY good idea — ROSIE O’DONNELL —
That’s gonna be a hard one. And we’ve only just started thinking about it… Next up —
JARED THE ‘K’…