My late father was a Cold War junkie, the kind of guy who lived and breathed geopolitics. To him, the price of oil didn’t just indicate how much it would cost to fill up your car.
It also had direct repercussions on how the United States’ long-running conflict with the Soviet Union might pan out. Such was life in the ’80s, a time where ferocious American pride met fears of nuclear war.
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that my dad loved Ronald Reagan. And though my old man is no longer with us, I think he’d be more than a little excited to learn that a new film about our 40th president will soon see the light of day.
For myself, I like pop culture more than politics, and the casting choice interests me as much as the subject. Fortunately, producer Mark Joseph (“Holes,” “Because of Winn Dixie”) seems to have an ideal actor for the role: Dennis Quaid.
In an interview on Megyn Kelly TODAY, Joseph confessed that he always wanted Quaid to have Reagan’s shoes. He even bought him a replica of Reagan’s famous cowboy hat and asked him to wear it.
The producer stated, “(Dennis) said, ‘Mark, that hat is just too big. It doesn’t fit.’
“And my heart sank, and I thought, ‘Ah, here we go, he can’t do it.’ And (then) he said, ‘But I think I can grow into it.’”
Quaid admitted to Kelly that he didn’t want to take the role initially. Why? It terrified him.
“There was this shiver of fear that went up my spine,” he said. “That’s usually, to me, a sign that I should do something … because it’s completely out of my comfort zone.”
You wouldn’t think that Quaid, who has enjoyed some 60 starring roles during his career, would find himself cowed by much. Yet he has personal reasons for wanting to see that Reagan gets a fair portrayal.
“He was my favorite president of my life,” the actor stated. “There’s so many things he did that changed my life and the world for the better.
“For one thing, ending the Cold War, and he brought back a sense of common sense. He stuck to his guns and his principles.”
However, Quaid explained to The Hollywood Reporter that the film should appeal to viewers of every stripe, saying, “Reagan was a fascinating and multifaceted human being and this movie captures his humanity. We’re making a movie for Republicans and Democrats alike since Reagan transcends politics.”
Indeed, the film should cover the entirety of Reagan’s life, everything from his childhood to his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. It will also address the president’s strong, if somewhat nebulous, faith.
Quaid seems to share some of his subject’s religious convictions, telling Kelly that “I do have a deep faith. I grew up in Sunday School in a Baptist church. …
“Music is also the language of God. It really is, because it’s universal.”
The film will begin shooting at the end of the year and should release in 2019. What do you think, Liftable readers? Do you plan to see it?
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