Four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore has been tapped to play former Alaskan governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, in the HBO movie “Game Change.” The film focuses on Senator, and then presidential hopeful, John McCain choosing Palin to join him on the Republican ticket, and their subsequent loss to Barrack Obama and Joe Biden. Are there other actresses who have played political forces that Moore can look to for inspiration? You betcha!
Julia Roberts was the epitome of Texan conservatism in her role as Joanne Herring in 2007s “Charlie Wilson’s War.” While not the star of the film, Roberts’ character played a central part as the Houston socialite and political activist who sets the congressman on his way to diverting money to fund Afghan freedom fighters to take on the Soviet Union.
“Erin Brockovich” (2000) is the film that won Roberts a Best Actress Oscar. While not strictly a political flick, Brockovich (Roberts) is a nobody who takes on a utility giant and wins a class action suit. While Palin didn’t win the election, it did thrust her and her down-home colloquialisms onto the national stage. That similarity alone should make the film worth pursuing for Moore.
Hilary Swank took on the starring role of Alice Paul, American suffragette and activist, in HBO Films’ “Iron Jawed Angels” (2004). The film depicts Paul’s determination for women to be granted the right to vote. It touches on her decision to form the National Woman’s Party and imprisonment for the feminist cause. Her revolutionary deeds culminated in the 19th Amendment.
Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her character Queen Elizabeth II, in 2006s “The Queen.” The film begins with the aftermath of Princess Diana’s sudden death and concentrates on how the Queen struggles with private tradition and Prime Minister Tony Blair. The British actress had the difficulty of playing the current reigning monarch, much as Moore will be portraying Palin, who is still very much a political player.
No list of actresses in political roles would be complete without Meryl Streep. The two-time Oscar winner has acted in several political films that Moore could reference. These include “The Seduction of Joe Tynan” (1979), “Plenty” (1985), “The Manchurian Candidate” (2004), “Rendition” (2007), and “Lions for Lambs” (2007).
Streep also plays former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “Iron Lady.” The film focuses on Thatcher and the 17 days leading up to the Balkan War. The film has yet to be released, but is expected to be later in the year or early 2012.