Movies chronicling presidents' lives are not uncommon in Hollywood. As President Obama readies for the next four years, we wondered who would best portray him if a feature film were to go into production today.
As President Barack Obama begins his second term in the White House, a handful of cinematic events have already happened in his life. "Zero Dark Thirty" is one such testament, as the Oscar-nominated film chronicled governmental efforts to kill Osama bin Laden. While the film doesn't include Obama, we were wondering who would best play the president in the next feature film — perhaps in the president's own biopic?
Here are some of our ideas:
Last year, "Men in Black 3" star Will Smith expressed interest in portraying the president on film. "It’s about the ears," he told the BBC during an interview. "People see the ears, and Barack and I both have the ears, so I’m the most natural choice." If producers were to go with an actor who best knows the president, Smith may be the right choice. In October, Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, co-hosted a fundraiser for Obama’s presidential campaign at their home in Calabasas, Calif. Smith also shared his embarrassment after his son, Jaden, asked the president if aliens are real during a visit to the White House. If this family could get away asking Obama about Area 51, Smith may be the best candidate to get the inside scoop for the big screen.
According to Michelle Obama, Smith may have the edge with his ears, but Denzel Washington is another cute candidate the first lady wouldn’t mind playing her husband. When asked by PopSugar which stars she would like to see portray her love, Michelle replied, "You'd need to find someone pretty cute to play Barack. Will Smith or Denzel Washington might be able to pull it off." Recently speaking at the UK premiere of his movie, "Flight," Washington reportedly said he’d take the role "in a heartbeat." With Washington's good looks and too-cool presence on-screen, casting him might please not only the first lady but many moviegoers. Daniel Day-Lewis is a current Oscar nominee for his role in "Lincoln," so perhaps a nod for Washington in something called "Obama" isn't too far-fetched an idea for the future.
Canadian actor-turned-rapper Drake has also hoped for a leading role in an Obama biopic. In a July 2010 interview with Papermag, the "YOLO"-spitting artist said, "I hope somebody makes a movie about Obama's life soon because I could play him. That’s the goal." At the time, Drake said that he watched all the presidential addresses, never changing the channel, so that he could pay attention "to the inflections of [Obama's] voice." In acting, Drake is most known for his stint as Jimmy Brooks on the television series "Degrassi: The Next Generation." The Canadian teenage drama dealt with pregnancy, rape, homosexuality, and other issues, which are surprisingly not far from the issues the president often confronts while in office.
With "Saturday Night Live" as a weekly gig, it's fair to say that Pharoah has the most practice impersonating the commander in chief. Pharoah took over parodying Obama in September from "SNL"predecessor Fred Armisen, though the 25-year-old was famous for his take on Obama even before its network debut. A stand-up performance of his presidential imitation went viral on YouTube in 2009; the clip included Pharoah's impressions of Eddie Murphy, a spot-on Jay-Z, and Denzel Washington, too. While actors like Smith and Washington might have to start from scratch in perfecting Obama's demeanor, Pharoah has already nailed the pursed frown, croaky "uhhh" pauses, and pointed hand gestures of the presidential speeches.
Yes, Freeman is a bit of a stretch in age compared with the president, but depending on the release date of this fantasy biopic, even the president thinks Freeman might have his look. Back in April, Obama spoke at the White House Correspondents' Dinner and joked about aging since his first days as president. "Four years ago, I looked like this. Today, I look like this," Obama said referencing before and after photos. "And four years from now, I will look like this," the president said, an image of Freeman filling the screen. "It’s not even funny," Obama griped as the crowd laughed. The 75-year-old Freeman endorsed Obama, 51, in 2008 and his voice rang through TV rooms as narrator for an Obama campaign ad this past election. Seeing as Freeman has played roles ranging from "Batman" genius Lucius Fox to God (twice) in the past, we're pretty sure he can handle a presidential role with ease.
And last, but not least … Barack Obama?
We already know our president has an inclination toward entertainment from his various television stints and impromptu vocals. But at the end of it all, would Barack Obama ever consider playing himself in a feature film? We're less convinced of this casting option, although we have seen him prove his dramatic abilities in a small Spider-Man re-enactment last Halloween:
OK, those are our suggestions. Who did we miss? And who would play Michelle? How about Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton? Suggest away on the MSN News Facebook page.