Column: Casting Call For 'Obama: The Movie'

This story was written by Paresh Jha, The Daily Campus
Times have changed since the last casting call, ladies and gentlemen. This country elected the first black president ever. We only have to wait until Jan. 20 until he sets up shop at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and in the mean time, I am sure Hollywood is salivating at the chance of getting the movie rights for Barack Obama's rise to power. I mean, it really is only a matter of time until Warner Bros., Universal Studios or Fox lets loose an exorbitant amount of money just to translate his story onto film.

The film would have to be meticulously cast and have the depth and range of a movie like "Thirteen Days" to truly show Obama's struggle and eventual success. While I would bet that director Oliver Stone ("JFK") would love to make this film, perhaps someone more like Roger Donaldson ("Thirteen Days") is better suited for a film of this magnitude and sensitivity.

Barack Obama: Harry Lennix

In order for an actor to completely dissolve into the role of Obama, he needs to be more of an actor and less of a Hollywood star. Lennix is the perfect example of an actor whose fame has not yet reached a level where we know his name and face. This puts him in an ideal place to tackle the role of our nation's first black president. His roles in "The Matrix Revolutions," "24," "Stomp the Yard" and "Resurrecting the Champ" showcase his range as an actor and particularly shows his stature. That stature is what will make his performance all the more believable and tangible.

Runner up: Don Cheadle ("Hotel Rwanda")

Michelle Obama: Nona Gaye

Similar to the case behind Barack Obama, Michelle Obama would need to be adequately portrayed by an actress who could disappear into the role. So that means Halle Berry will have to be kicked to the curb for the strong, beautiful and talented Nona Gaye. For those who witnessed her small but impactful roles in "Ali," "Crash" and "The Gospel" will see why she can play the strong woman behind the man.

Runner up: Regina King ("Enemy of the State")

John McCain: Michael Caine

A British guy playing Sen. McCain?! Believe it, kids, because many people have forgotten Michael Caine's range as an actor. This would be the role that could really bring this Academy Award winner back into the winners circle (even though McCain lost). Every film needs an opponent for the protagonist and Caine would really bring out whatever would be needed to make the portrayal believable and accurate. Check out the movies "Quicksand" and "Secondhand Lions" to see exactly what I am talking about.

Runner up: Peter O'Toole ("Troy")

Joe Biden: Tom Hanks

Every movie needs somewhat of a big star and Tom Hanks would do an excellent job as vice presidential candidate Joe Biden. This supporting role would provide a backbone for a film that has an unknown as the lead. Biden was brought into the campaign to provide expertise and experience to an up and coming superstar. Tom Hanks would accurately play that on film and off for Harry Lennix himself. Check out "Charlie Wilson's War" to see how well Hanks can fit into a political film.

Runner up: Michael Keaton ("Game 6")

Hillary Clinton: Meryl Streep

Who better to play one of the most famous first ladies and senators of all time than Meryl Streep. She needs praise for her acting abilities because there are over 20 years of evidence in her films. Like Tom Hanks, she can bring a level of gravitas the backbone of this film would desperately need. She has the brains, stature, confidence and looks to accurately depict Clinton in some of those heated debates that were so pivotal for Obama's campaign.

Runner up: Kim Cattrall ("Sex and the City")

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