June 08, 2012

On Thursday’s Piers Morgan Tonight, Former President Bill Clinton was interviewed by guest host Harvey Weinstein about a variety of topics ranging from the economy to movies. While Clinton talked about his favorite movie (High Noon), Weinstein asked what Hollywood actor would President Clinton want to play him in a biopic about his life in and out of politics. After rejecting Weinstein’s suggestion of Brad Pitt (for being too good looking), President Clinton decided on, appropriately, famous ladies man George Clooney. President Clinton praised Clooney for his acting chops in last year’s The Descendants and laughed saying, “He’s good looking, but, you know, you could put bulbous things on his nose and you could do makeup with him.”

Former President Clinton has been portrayed several times on the small screen – once in the HBO movie The Special Relationship, and famously on Saturday Night Live through the dead-on impersonations of the late Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond. President Clinton’s life and political career are fraught with scandal, success, trials (literal and figurative), and triumphs. His famous and somewhat unconventional marriage to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been the source of countless articles, debates, and water cooler discussions.

This got me thinking: If I were casting a Clinton biopic, who would play him? As much as I would love to see Clooney fill the Former Commander In Chief’s shoes, his age would make it impossible for him to play a plausible college man, and thus, eliminating one of the best things about biopics – the largely unseen story of their rise to the top. Now, maybe it’s my bygone love of Pacey Whitter from Dawsons’s Creek or my current love of Peter Bishop from Fringe, but I feel like Joshua Jackson would fill the role of the Former President with ease. He’s one of those actors who can pull off suave without being creepy and is quite adept at making metaphor-laden dialog sound natural. As for Hillary, I think that Anna Chlumsky would be a compelling future First Lady. Anna has proven her political chops with the Armando Iannucci duo of In The Loop and Veep; and her relatively young age would couple well, like Jackson’s, with the notion that it’s much less distracting to see a young actor with aging makeup than an older actor trying to play young.

I can almost see the trailer now…


A 25-year-old bearded Bill Clinton walks through the Yale library in search of a book in the midst of a women’s poetry slam. He tries to go about his business, but cannot help but roll his eyes at what he considers terrible poetry. He audibly chuckles, catching the attention of a longhaired blonde leaning against the bookshelves. She gives him a “death stare.”

HILLARY:  Do you mind?

BILL:  You don’t actually buy into this stuff?

HILLARY:  If by stuff, you mean women’s rights, then yeah, I do.

BILL:  Ok, but thirty women without brassieres whining about oppression isn’t going to cut it. It’s a man’s world. But I’ll tell you what: You stick with me; I’ll show you how to get things done.

HILLARY:  And who are you, exactly?

BILL:  William Jefferson Clinton, but my friends call me Bill.

He offers her his hand. She shakes it, smiling.

HILLARY:  Hillary Rodham, my friends call me Hillary.

BILL:  So what can I call you?

HILLARY:  Buy me dinner and you’ll find out.

They smile.

Cut to clips of Clinton and Rodham at anti-Vietnam rallies over the Rolling Stones’s Gimme Shelter. Scenes of speeches in front of cornfields in Arkansas transition into speeches before the Democratic National Convention overlain with dialogue like “If you want more of the same then I have three words for you: ‘No new taxes.’” Thunderous applause bleeds into Clinton glad-handing beautiful women in low cut shirts. Frantic advisors bombarding Clinton with questions like “Is this true?” and “Who is Gennifer Flowers and can she hurt us?”

Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop fades in as President Clinton is sworn in and takes a seat in the Oval Office. A parade of beautiful aides lean over provocatively during his meetings, including Courtney Cox as Monica Lewinsky. They catch eyes. Dan Rather’s voice breaks the Lewinsky story. Hillary throws a vase against a wall in the Lincoln bedroom saying “Who is she?!”

Clinton and Rodham walk arm in arm to a state dinner as if nothing happened. Cut to President Clinton leaning toward the microphone at his impeachment trial saying, “That depends on what the meaning of ‘is,’ is.”

Smashcut of scenes showing soldiers marching through Kosovo, aides running down the hallways, Clinton yelling about the press, and ultimately saying something like “I am the President of the United States, dammit” before cutting to black, the last notes of Fleetwood Mac hanging in the air.

That’s just my version. Got another? Leave it in the comments!

I personally think a Bill Clinton biopic would be a great idea. It’s got everything – politics, scandal, and the highest office in the land. If they start working now, it could make a Fall 2014 release date without breaking a sweat. Let’s be honest: In this economy, Hollywood sure could use a sure thing!



Ashley Sims is a comedy writer and blogger from Atlanta, currently living in Brooklyn. She watches way too much TV and writes to support her brunch addiction. Follow her on twitter @ashsims


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