Well, The Inauguration day was last month. A day in which the 46th President of the United States Of America was sworn in the White House. After the turmoil and the events that happened earlier that month, it was a day with a special meaning. Not just for America, but the rest of the world. However, I’m got going to get political here in this post. There’s enough of that I feel. And most of all, I’m not qualified enough to discuss international politics. So, I figured it’s best to stick to what I know best. Movies, TV shows and kick-ass games. And also turn the inauguration day into content filled with fun fictional presidents. Because why not?
But first, I believe a word or two about one small related game is in order. The President. No not the President of USA. I’m talking about the actual game.
What’s The President All About?
Developed and published by Mario Scarfone, The President is a simulation/strategy game. About… You’ve guessed it. The President. You are Tom Reed, the youngest President of the Republic of Dora and the rising star of the Democratic Party. The future of the country is in your hands since now you have the power. Furthermore, during your career, you will have to make choices and tough decisions. So you must learn to live under pressure. You will also deal with all sorts of people. So it’s best to doubt everything. Sounds familiar?
And yes. We do have The President available for purchase here at IndieGala. But not only The President. Mr.President Prologue Episode is also in our inventory. Regardless of which game you pick, you’re going to have a field day of entertainment. Just click, take your pick and enjoy. We’d like to also briefly mention El Presidente from the Tropico games or Realpolitiks II, which are also revolving in the modern political gaming sphere.
Yes, those games are a good base for this post. But I’m actually here about the fictional TV and movie presidents. While some actual presidents have been portrayed on film/TV (for instance Richard Nixon), I’m going to focus solely on the fictional ones.
Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Bill Pullman
The Good And Bad Fictional President (s)
It’s go time. And while I’m more partial to the fictional movie presidents, I will also focus on the TV presidents. There will be plenty of names here on this list, and you’ve probably heard about most of them. However, a disclaimer is in order here as well. While I will name fictional US presidents, I will not focus solely on male presidents. Yes, the ladies will be featured here as well. And also this won’t be a list of heroic presidents. Here I will add flawed, corrupted and deeply troubled presidents too. Are you ready? I know I am. Oh, and I’d very much love to know your favorite fictional president. Let me know in the comment section.
Bill Pullman in Independence Day
Bill is President Thomas J. Whitmore in the disaster movie Independence Day. A former fighter pilot turned US president. And at the start of the movie, he will find himself in the middle of an alien invasion. Motivating his people won’t be easy, but there’s also a great inspirational speech near the end of the movie. And it’s one of the best speeches of the 90’s I might add. So, rightfully so, I’m starting with Bill Pullman on this list.
Fun Fact: (At around 1h 45 minutes) The President’s speech was filmed on August 6, 1995, in front of an old airplane hangar that once housed the Enola Gay. Which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima exactly fifty years earlier on August 6, 1945.
Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks
Same years as Independence day, and a very similar plot. But totally different president. Directed by Tim Burton, Mars Attacks is a star-studded disaster comedy movie. And the 3 times Oscar winner is U.S. President James Dale in this movie. At first, he’s very sure that the Martians are peaceful and kind but soon will find out their true intentions. So will the rest of the world in Mars Attacks really. Jack is fantastic here and so is the movie. I highly recommend it.
Fun Fact: Jack Nicholson accepted the role without reading the script since he had enjoyed working with Tim Burton on Batman (1989) and wanted to work with him again.
John Travolta in Primary Colors
Yes, I’m still in the ’90s with Primary Colors. And in it, John Travolta plays Jack Stanton. The governor of Arkansas later turned into President of the USA. But this movie has it all. A chaotic campaign trail, charismatic candidate and a lot of scandals. And yes, the ’90s were filled with all of these things. But this movie in particular has some great performances as well. And yes, a kick-ass script. But the acting is really incredible. First and foremost from Travolta. And then from Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton and of course the legendary Kathy Bates. She even won an Oscar nomination for this role.
Fun Fact: Then-President Bill Clinton enjoyed this movie so much that he even invited John Travolta to a party, on one condition, he must come as Governor Jack Stanton. Travolta declined.
Martin Sheen in The West Wing
Let’s mix things up now. Let’s transfer from the silver screen to the small screen. And let’s look at President Josiah Bartlet and the fabulous Martin Sheen in this role. Indeed, Martin portrayed President Bartlet in 7 seasons of the West Wing. And he was damn good at it, don’t you think? He had integrity and quick witticisms. Not to mention fierce intellect and compassionate stoicism. And to this day, he’s considered one of the finest fictional presidents ever.
Fun Fact: Martin Sheen was originally only scheduled to appear in four episodes per season. It was only after the pilot was filmed that it was decided to make him a regular cast member.
Kevin Spacey In House Of Cards
From a good president, I’m moving on to the other side of the spectrum. Not so good, decent and kind president. And you can safely say that Frank Underwood is the exact opposite of Bartlett. Brilliantly portrayed by Kevin Spacey, Underwood is a cunning, ruthless politician who rises through the ranks with treachery, deception and murder. And he has plenty of aids in his political endeavor, nearly all of whom are as ruthless as him. Most notably his loyal wife, Claire (Robin Wright). But love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Frank Underwood did leave a mark on modern pop culture. He’s one for the books, and he’s unapologetic for it.
Fun Fact: During an interview on Inside the Actors Studio, Kevin Spacey was asked: “What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?” His answer was, “Politics.”
Michael Douglas In The American President
Let’s Go Back to the ’90s, and another Aaron Sorkin work. The American President. Yes, Michael Douglas has the titular role here. That of President Andrew Shepherd. A popular but lonely widowed president and a single father to a teenage girl. However, his approval and public image will get tarnished when he’ll get mixed up with a political activist (Annette Bening). The movie also stars Martin Sheen, but this time in a non-presidential role, and it’s a really good movie. I would also recommend it.
Fun Fact: President Bill Clinton and his staff granted permission for the cast and production design team to visit the White House on five occasions.
Mary McDonald in Battlestar Galactica
The only female president on this list, although there are plenty of more to name. For instance, Geena Davis in Commander In Chief was a good female president too. But President Laura Roslin is the person of interest here. She’s President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol and a damn fine good president too. She’s a fierce and capable leader, despite the personal hardships she endured. And of course, Mary McDonald portrayed her beautifully until the end.
Fun Fact: When Laura Roslin goes to the doctors and finds out she has cancer, the ship from Joss Whedon’s series “Firefly” can be seen landing through the main windows.
Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact
Morgan Freeman portrayed presidents in several movies. From real-life presidents like Nelson Mandela to fictitious ones. Such as President Allan Trumbull in Angel Has Fallen. But his best presidential role is in the disaster movie Deep Impact. He’s President Tim Beck in Deep Impact and he’s amazing in this role. He’s calm and collected amid the destruction. But I figured, why not end this list with a 90’s movie? Since I started it with a 90’s movie.
Fun Fact: Morgan Freeman wanted his character (President Beck) to be wearing an earring. Director Mimi Leder turned him down. Later, we see the President addressing the nation from the oval office. His sleeves are rolled up, and one of Freeman’s tattoos is showing. The director liked this. She felt it gave the President an everyman look.
Which President(s) Would You Add On This List?
Which fictional president is your favorite? Whom would you add to this list? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to know all about them.