Ten Best: Actors to portray Bush

by Brian Clarey

Will Ferrell

News surfaced last week that Oliver Stone, he of JFK, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Nixon and, uh, Any Given Sunday, would be directing a biopic on President George W. Bush, and that Josh Brolin was already attached as the lead. Too bad, because we would have liked some input in the casting of our 43rd president. Our first choice is Will Ferrell, whose impersonation of the president wil always be our favorite. “Presidenting is hard” indeed.

Larry the Cable Guy

Maybe this is kind of a cheap shot, but the president does have something of a Texas drawl, especially considering he was born in New Haven, Conn. Larry the Cable guy has made his living off the kind of folksy, Bob’s-yer-uncle demeanor that attracted Bush voters who wanted to sit down and have a beer with him. And we would be surprised to learn that Bush never uttered the catchphrase, “Git ‘er done.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

We’re not sure who’s representing the Governator these days, but whomever it is better get on the horn toots suite and land this part for the muscle-bound Republican. Let’s face it, Ah-nold hasn’t had a good role since True Lies. And this is likely as close as he’ll ever get to the American presidency.

George Clooney

Sure, the salt-and-pepper hunk’s attitude towards the POTUS is well documented – the Sexiest Man Alive called Bush “dim” in an interview with GQ last year – but this could actually work. Clooney would bring a level of gravitas and believability to the role, something that the president, according to the latest polls, could stand to use a bit of himself.

Gary Busey

Or we could go another way with this. Think about it: Busey’s a Texan, and he already has trouble fitting his mouth around words because of his giant teeth (and also years of amphetamine abuse). He did a convincing job portraying Buddy Holly in 1978’s The Buddy Holly Story (though, admittedly, a lot of water has gone over the dam since then). He also, presumably, understands the mindset of addiction, something to which Bush admits. And say what you want about the psycho, but he’s done a hell of a lot of movies.

Harrison Ford

If George W. Bush were to cast the role himself, he might be considering someone like Harrison Ford, a proven and tested commodity even in the fickle circles of Hollywood. He’s played a swashbuckling archaeologist running loose in the Arab world, a wisecracking space cowboy, a beleaguered government operative and a guy who very nearly, but never quite, gets caught. Inspired casting.

Matthew McConaughey

McConaughey, another fellow Texan, is a natch to play the young party-boy Bush fresh out of Yale, zipped to the gills on cocaine and squirming his way out of Texas Air National Guard duties. Kind of like Top Gun meets Animal House. We’ve just got to figure out a plot point where it would make sense for McConaughey to remove his shirt. Volleyball game, anyone?

Richard Dreyfuss

Okay, maybe this one doesn’t work for you, but I personally would love to see Richard Dreyfuss’ interpretation of George W. Bush. Only I want him to base it on Dave Whiteman, his character from Down and Out in Beverly Hills who made his millions in the coat hanger industry. You don’t like hangers? It’s hangers that clothe you, and it’s hangers that feed you! Man., I love that movie.

An actual monkey

We are definitely not the first to make the comparison between the 43rd president of the United States and a lesser primate, but allow us to be the first to suggest this as a stylistic note: Imagine a monkey in a suit sitting at a desk in the Oval Office, scratching his head and picking nits from his fur and eating them while Philip Seymour Hoffman as Karl Rove and Cheney (played by, I don’t know, Fred Thompson) fabricate reasons for invading Iraq. Classic.

Cate Blanchett

After her gender-bending performance as Bob Dylan in the biopic I’m Not There the wispy actress has proven her ability to play a man whose circumstances and peculiar talents shaped his destiny. Dylan, an able songwriter and poet, reluctantly became the voice of his generation. Bush, who was good at giving nicknames to his frat brothers, reluctantly became the most unpopular president in history.