It’s President’s Day, and you know what that means: A day off for government employees and no mail! Yaaaaay! But that’s boring as everloving heck, so to spice it up a bit, here’s who should play ten American Presidents. I am completely serious about all of these choices.
Channing Tatum as Abraham Lincoln
The last time Lincoln was played on-screen it was by Daniel Day-Lewis, and there’s really no way you can improve on that in terms of acting quality. The only thing to do for a follow-up biopic is to take things in a completely different direction and have Lincoln, who faked his own death, retire to Florida and discover a love of stripping.
Ryan Gosling as Rutherford B Hayes
Ahhh, the heartthrob President. Hayes wasn’t all that bangin’ by the time he was sworn in in 1877, unless you’re attracted to bushy beards and receding hairlines. In which case, by all means, do your thing. But when he was younger… yeah, Hayes was a looker. So who else should play our most male model of Presidents in his own origin story movie than Mr. Baby Goose?
Ron Swanson as Theodore Roosevelt
No, not Nick Offerman. Ron Swanson. As in, the character. They’re both the manliest of manly government employees. His successor William Howard Taft, also his lifelong friend/political rival (frival) has to be…
The Rock as William Howard Taft
ONE. You know The Rock would get stuck in a bathtub. TWO. Imagine Ron Swanson and The Rock, as Roosevelt and Taft, in a buddy comedy where they go on a safari, solve mysteries, and arrest criminals. It would either be the best or the worst thing ever, and either way, I’m there.
Samuel L Jackson as Martin Van Buren
When it comes to picking the perfect actor to play Martin Van Buren, the most important question to ask is who does one want to see wearing the eighth President’s famous fluffy muttonchops? The answer to that question is, of course, Samuel L Jackson. As long as he keeps his bald head, too.
Nicolas Cage as Herbert Hoover
Hoover gets a bum rap; he’s one of our nation’s most unpopular Presidents, largely because his run coincided with the Great Depression and he was a big supporter of Prohibition. People love booze and being able to feed their families. Who knew? But, with hindsight, he really wasn’t the Source of All That Is Evil that people liked to think he was. Who else but Nic Cage?
Joe Pesci as Andrew Jackson
Ah, yes. Andrew Jackson, genocidal brawler. Guy’s a total asshole, what with the Trail of Tears, his support of slavery, and that time South Carolina didn’t want to pay a federal tariff so he threatened to invade them. But, yeah, mostly the forced removal of the Native Americans from their lands. He is (one of) the Evil Villains of American History, and you can’t get just anybody to play him. I humbly submit Goodfellas-era Joe Pesci. Sure, Old Hickory was born in the Carolinas and therefore would not have a New York accent, but you have to make sacrifices in pursuit of perfection.
Joseph Gordon Levitt as Thomas Jefferson
“Thomas Jefferson,” reads the official Monticello website, “had his own unique personal style of dress.” Understatement. Here are some of his outfits, described by those who actually saw them (emphasis mine): “He wore a blue coat, a thick grey-coloured hairy waistcoat with a red under-waistcoat lapped over it, green velveteen breeches with pearl buttons, yarn stockings and slippers down at the heel…”; “very sharp toed shoes, corduroy small-clothes, and red plush waistcoat, which have been laughed at till he might perhaps wisely have dismissed them”; and, my favorite, “Mr. Jefferson changed his fashion slowly hence doubtless was the origin of his leather red breeches so known to some in their day…” Sartorially speaking, dude was basically a hipster. And you know Gordon Levitt could rock some layered, primary-colored waistcoats and red leather breeches. Featuring a special appearance by Zooey Deschanel as Alexander Hamilton.
Hugh Jackman as John Adams
John Adams, as the titular HBO miniseries taught me, was a cranky bastard. And Paul Giamatti did an excellent job at playing that, but if we’re mixing it up a bit… who’s better at angry screaming than Hugh Jackman? Bonus: John Adams shirtless scene.
Lucy Liu as George Washington
No explanation needed.
Rebecca wants you to know that she is, in fact, completely serious about Lucy Liu.