Johansson, Chastain in running to play Hillary Clinton
Issued on: Modified:
Some of Hollywood’s most popular actresses, including Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, and Reese Witherspoon, are vying to play Hillary Clinton in a biopic that will cover her days as a young lawyer and her courtship with Bill Clinton.
Actor Josh Brolin played former US President George W. Bush on the big screen in Oliver Stone’s “W.” (2008).
Julianne Moore won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of former vice presidential candidate and governor of Alaska Sarah Palin in a high-profile TV movie called “Game Change” (2012).
Now some of Hollywood’s most popular actresses are vying for the chance to play one of the most prominent figures – both loved and loathed -- in recent American political history: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Amanda Seyfried (recently seen as Cosette in Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables”) and Jessica Chastain (an Oscar nominee for her portrayal of the steely CIA agent in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty”), pictured right, are among the frontrunners to play the former secretary of state, presidential candidate, US senator, and first lady.
The biopic, provisionally entitled “Rodham”, will begin during Clinton’s years as a talented student at Yale Law School, and go on to chronicle her work as a 26-year-old lawyer advising Congress during the Watergate investigation, a period that is, in retrospect, considered the beginning of her political career. The film will end with former President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
Screenplay portrays early passion between Bill and Hillary
James Ponsoldt is set to direct the film, after his two previous movies, “Smashed” (2012) and “The Spectacular Now” (2013), premiered to a warm critical reception at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Regardless of people’s political affiliation or how they feel about Hillary Clinton, you don’t find people who question the quality of her intelligence or her drive,” Ponsoldt told British daily The Independent. “I want a wonderful actress who could embody that.”
Earlier this month, US news and opinion site the Daily Beast got its hands on a copy of the screenplay of “Rodham” (written by Young-Il Kim) -- which reportedly includes the courtship and first sexual encounters between Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton, at that point a young law professor with a burgeoning political career in Arkansas.
The reigning power couple of American politics has already been brought to the big screen by director Mike Nichols, whose “Primary Colors” (1998) portrayed thinly veiled versions of Bill and Hillary Clinton played by John Travolta and Emma Thompson.
More recently, Dennis Quaid and Hope Davis played the Clintons in HBO movie “The Special Relationship”, which focused on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s friendships with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
“Rodham” is expected to hit US movie theatres in autumn 2016 – when many are expecting Hillary Clinton to be elected America’s first woman president.