Top 5 Casting Dreams for Political Scandals
Gosh darn I love me some real-life political scandals—but the next best thing to hearing all of the juicy straight-out-of-DC details is watching a delightfully cheesy television movie based on the true story. I know that some heavy-hitting political movies have come out in the past few years, including Oliver Stone’s W and the George Clooney vehicle The Ides of March. But what I’m really craving is a popcorn-fest that might air on Lifetime or OWN depicting the scandals in an over-the-top fashion.
To help inspire any TV-movie directors who might be itching to make such a film, I’ve offered my casting dreams for five political scandal movies, in no particular order.
1. The Anthony Weiner Story
This would clearly be one of the best “based on a true story” movies, but could actually be too hot for Lifetime. If Cinemax or another “sexting-friendly” channel would be interested in picking up Weiner’s bio, I’d recommend two different actors—one as Weiner the politician, and one as Carlos Danger, the penis-texter.
The Weiner role could go to Adrien Brody, and the Carlos Danger part would be played by Screech, also known as Dustin Diamond of Saved by the Bell. For Weiner’s long-suffering wife Huma Abedin, I’d love to see Archie Panjabi, who already has a head-start on the role since she’s been exposed to political scandal backgrounds on The Good Wife.
2. Edward Snowden’s Situation
The infamous “NSA leaker” is already young and handsome, so there are scores of actors who could play the role, but I feel like Aaron Paul could do it the most justice. He’s already proven that he can ably toe the line and be a likeable criminal based on his Breaking Bad background, so he’s got this part in the bag.
Glenn Greenwald—the UK Guardian reporter who blew the lid off of the Snowden story—is also a camera-friendly guy in real life, and I get a real David Duchovny feel from him, so I vote for Duchovny to take this role. Snowden’s girlfriend Lindsay Mills could be depicted by Miley Cyrus, since all of Mills’ photos indicate she’s okay with being scantily clad while dancing.
3. The John Edwards Case
Because John Edwards’s political and personal scandals encompass so many people, this one is the most fun to cast. For Edwards himself, there’s no one more perfect than Kevin Costner to play the scandal-ridden politician—both have perfect hair and that “Aww come on, trust me” smile that’s both appealing and smarmy.
I’d love to see Ina Garten as Elizabeth Edwards because they remind me so much of one another. I know Garten is a chef and not an actor—but we’re talking Lifetime Movies here, not something that’s going to play on the West End. As the wildly unpredictable mistress Rielle Hunter, there’s no one better than Anne Heche to encompass the “free spirited” young mom who can bring the crazy when necessary.
Wentworth Miller would be amazing as Andrew Young, who ultimately betrayed his former boss with a tell-all book, and Sarah Michelle Gellar would be fantastic as his wife Cheri Young.
4. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Scandal
Sure, he’s an actor in his own right, but he’s also a politician who suffered a doozy of a scandal when it was revealed that the former governor fathered a child with his family’s housekeeper. Even more amazingly, the housekeeper had continued to work for Schwarzenegger, his wife Maria Shriver, and their family long after the child was born, without Shriver knowing the baby’s paternity for over a decade.
I’d love to see Til Schweiger—who is most famously known as Hugo Stiglitz in Inglorious Basterds, play Schwarzenegger, because he’s brawny and German. For Maria Shriver, let’s go with Cheryl Hines—she has the teeth, and she’s familiar with the Kennedy family, having dated Robert Kennedy Jr. And how about Kathleen Turner for Mildred Baena, the housekeeper? Give her a brunette rinse and she’s a shoo-in for Arnold’s babymama.
5. The General Petraeus Drama
There’s nothing quite like a married Army General who also happens to be the CIA director with a jealous girlfriend on the side. So jealous, in fact, that she threatens a Florida-based woman who is also in contact with Petraeus, breaking open a political scandal that could qualify for more than a movie of the week—this scandal is a full miniseries in the making.
General Petraeus looks almost exactly like an older version of Jack McBrayer, who played Kenneth on 30 Rock—but we probably need someone more age-appropriate to play the CIA director. Therefore, I’d love to see Ed Harris for the role of the general.
As Paula Broadwell, Lauren Graham would be a great choice for Petraeus’s mistress, and Kim Delaney could draw on her soap opera roots to give a fun bit of necessary melodrama to the role of Jill Kelley, the Florida “socialite” who inadvertently broke open the case. Jacki Weaver—who was so great as the mom in Silver Linings Playbook—would be perfect to play Petraeus’s wife Holly.
As for the shirtless FBI agent who sent provocative pictures to Kelley, the obvious choice is Matt Bomer. Not because he looks like anything like the FBI agent, but just because who doesn’t want to watch a movie where Matt Bomer is wandering around shirtless?
Images courtesy of Warner Brothers, RCR Distribution, Legendary Pictures, WireImage.com, ABC, Summit Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and USA Network.