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Cast This! "Game Change" w/ Julianne Moore

The news of Julianne Moore's casting as Sarah Palin in HBO's Game Change, adapted from the best-selling tell-all about the 2008 Presidential Race, is spreading like wildfire. I haven't read a single piece on it yet (other than the opinion-free news bit from The Hollywood Reporter) but one imagines many Tina Fey references will be popping up. How can anyone outdo that particular crucifixion by spiritiually dead-on mimicry? Perhaps Juli has been considering the role for sometime and asked for pointers on the set of 30 Rock?

Here at the Film Experience we try never to think of Sarah Palin, a true blight on American culture (though perhaps the celebrity we most deserve as Americans given our national habit of treasuring stupidity). Given their diametrically opposed politics, we can only imagine Julianne Moore weeping when thinking of the Politertainer in real life. Though Julianne Moore's whole screen persona tilts toward the weepy so...

Speaking of weeping.

Here at The Film Experience we regularly weep knowing that the surest way for the truly great and imaginative screen actors (like Moore herself) to win prizes is to eschew their own imaginative gift for character creation and hone their technical ability to mimic other famous people instead. But since that's the world we live in, perhaps Julianne can finally win some hardware? At least a Globe? Though she's one of modern cinema's most acclaimed performers she's actually unpracticed at the art of acceptance speeches. Though she won an Daytime Emmy before hitting the movies, since she achieved fame she's won virtually nothing apart from untelevised critics prizes or "special" you're awesome type of career honors -- like the recent Hasty Puddings situation. Apart from a rare "Ensemble" or shared prize she has never won: an Oscar, a Golden Globe, Cannes, SAG, BAFTA, or a Primetime Emmy. She hasn't even managed an MTV tub o' popcorn or even a Saturn win! Her biggest "gets" were the Volvi cup in Venice, the Spirit Award and the "Critics Choice" all for  Far From Heaven (2002). And regarding the latter, had the BFCA been the organization in size, shape and tone that they are now back then, she wouldn't have even won that! And I say that as a (frustrated) voting member.

What do you make of this news? Excited to see her try mimicry for a change?

Since Julianne Moore is the only star announced thus far that leaves four major power couple roles uncast? Who would you have as (clockwise from top left: John & Elizabeth Edwards, Bill & Hilary, John and Cindy McCain, and Michelle and Barack Obama. And oops I forgot Joe Biden in the photo.

Who would YOU place in the other roles?

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Reader Comments (53)

Say what you will about John Travolta, he was great in Primary Colors. Is it wrong that I want him to "officially" play Bill this time around?

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Matt Damon & Minnie Driven as Edwards?(too obvious?)
Christian Bale & Annette Bening as Bill &Hillary?
Angela Bassett & Will Basset as Obama(i'm not original here)
Sharon Stone & Tommy Lee Jones as McCain(i'm punk here)

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpomme

Couldn't you see ole Marsha as Elizabeth Edwards? C'mon, this is my one shot here!!! And I want to get in a catfight w/ Daryl Hannah as Rielle Hunter!

I do like hte Julianne thing though. She's Sarah, but also isn't quite Sarah.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

So basically this is going to be Nicole Kidman vs. Julianne Moore for the Emmy, right?

It's Best Actress 2003 all over again LOL.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoJo

When I read the news all I could do was think of you. How exciting for Moore? She needs the attention after the easy shrug of shoulders the Academy has had for her two years straight.

I want Kathy Bates to play Elizabeth Edwards in the Aaron Sorkin film. Stay away Bates from this and go for that 2nd Best Actress nomination you’ve been denied twice.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtfu11

All I know is that Annette Bening must play Hilary Clinton.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwill

JoJo you are so right!! It's gonna be the 2003 battle again. So excited!! Kidman Vs Moore, who will win?

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJ.D

Will Kidman and Moore's projects be eligible for this year's Emmys or next? It would blow my mind if Winslet, Kidman and Moore were all nominated this year.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Dennis Quaid & Laura Linney = Edwards

Michael Douglas & Annette Bening = Bill Clinton and Hilary

Anthony Mackie & Taraji P. Henson = Obama and Michelle

Steve Martin & Kristin Chenoweth = John and Cindy McCain

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLouis

Amy Poehler as Cindy McCain.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

don cheadle and taraji p henson - obamas

kevin costner and mary mcdonnell - edwards

bill paxton and laura linney - clintons

bruce davison and jane lynch - mccains

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterremy

I want Meryl playing Hillary. Since she did it wrong in The Manchurian Candidate, she should make it better now. The Streep doesn't fail twice.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

This sounds like a disaster. I like the idea of Moore as Palin, but if they go for big stars in the main roles, they'll hijack the film. It'll be more about those stars in these famous roles than the actual storyline.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

We all seem to be forgetting that next year ALL all TV acting awards will be won by Kate Winslet via "Mildred Pierce". I want Julianne to stay in movies (good ones), so I'm not terribly excited about this. Cindy McCain totally looks like Nina Hartley, btw.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpony

Also don't forget Diane Lane in the 2003 redux, she has "Cinema Verite". So maybe the next EMMY/Globes/SAG lineup for Best Leading Actress in a Miniserie, Movie or Special for TV would be:

-Taraji P. Henson: Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
-Nicole Kidman: Hemingway & Gellhorn
-Diane Lane: Cinema Verite
-Julianne Moore: Game Change
-Kate Winslet: Mildred Pierce

That would be excellent

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I didn't forget, Pony. See above :)

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Bit of trivia: Julianne Moore was originally going to play Hillary Clinton in The Special Relationship, but pulled out and Hope Davis played her. Wonder if this is a better move for her

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

Regina King *has* to play Michelle Obama!

I have to come up with something special for day when I finally see Julianne make an acceptance speech on a live televised event...

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfbh

If they could get Denzel Washington to play Obama, I think this film would crush every potential competitor in it's path, including Winslet's Mildred Pierce and the Kidman/Owen Hemingway film.

Getting Denzel back on TV would be such a massive coup, that I think it'd sweep the Emmy's, Globes, SAGS etc in almost every category. And Julianne Moore's chances of sweeping the Best Actress awards would increase significantly. Unfortunately, I can't see Denzel doing TV again right now (even for HBO). But the dude just won a Tony award, so maybe someone could point out that he'd be pretty damned close to an EGOT, if he did this (one spoken word grammy away from the ultimate showbiz prize).

As things stand, I wouldn't be surprised if Harry Lennix ended up as Obama. Low star wattage, and a solid (but not great) actor, who probably bears the strongest physical resemblance to Obama of any known African-American actor. The physical similarity between Lennix and Obama is enough to put Lennix in the running....casting bigger star names like Julianne Moore in other parts, may be to offset the fact that HBO will cast a relatively minor name like Lennix as Obama.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrond

I'm pretty sure Winslet wouldn't compete with Kidman and Moore for the Emmy considering Mildred Pierce premieres later this month. Hemingway & Gellhorn isn't even done shooting until May and Game Change probably will just begin shooting then.

I don't know when either is supposed to premiere, though.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoJo

I think Tim Russ or some other lesser-known should play Obama.

Julianne as Palin is... odd. But I can kind of see it. Hope she could put an interesting dramatic spin on the divatude/sociopathic tendencies.

And why has no one mentioned JOAN ALLEN as CINDY McCAIN!!! I've longed for this for YEARS. It must happen. Absolute perfection. She's already mastered the conservative political wife once, and she's a dead ringer for Cindy. I would die if she gets to play her.

Annette Bening as Hillary Clinton would be very interesting... the voice is there. She'd need to gain some weight (or at least fake weight) and get a good dyejob/wig. She's been quite twiggy at all the award shows lately.

Candice Bergen could be VERY good as Hillary too.

I hope they get creative with it and don't just go with all big stars. The actors should really fit the roles and not have their own personas get in the way. But Joan Allen is too perfect, and I'm rooting hard for her to get cast in this.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Keller

Kerry Washington would be perfect for Michelle in 10 years. Too bad she's still pretty young.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Keller

Wow classic gay bashing of Palin....I'm not exactly sure how she qualifies as a "blight" on American culture but apparently you're the "Expert"

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Whoopi Goldberg as Michelle Obama. Just for a laugh.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew R.

We all seem to be forgetting that next year ALL all TV acting awards will be won by Kate Winslet via "Mildred Pierce".

Moore would presumably be in the "supporting" category, not the lead, since Palin is only one of a bunch of major characters, and wouldn't play a significant role in the story until the GE period.

I definitely support Annette Bening as Hillary; in TKAAR I was continually struck by how much she reminded me of Hillary in some shots. Bill's a hard role to cast, given his very distinctive face.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSC

As John and Elizabeth Edwards, Dennis Quaid and Amy Madigan. Quaid could slowly work his way through the entire Democratic party on HBO, and Madigan would get a good role.

As the Clintons, Tim Allen and Cybill Shepherd. Truth be told, I think Allen is an underrated actor. Don't know if he can do the accent, but I'd love to see him try. As for Cybill Shepherd, Lord she would just own this part, and she could play it with that perfect mix of feminist heroine and dastardly sea-witch, thus pleasing both parties.

As the Obamas, Harry Lennix and Sanaa Lathan. I like Lennix personally, and the resemblance is scary, as rond pointed out. Lathan, meanwhile, has the looks and the talent.

The McCains, who I hear are the leads, are harder to cast. Steve Martin looks like McCain, but I can't imagine him doing it. Jon Voight I can see playing the role, but only if it was a film in praise of the senator. You know who's too tall but I think would be great? Alan Alda. Cindy McCain stumped me. For a moment I thought Laura Linney, but as soon as I read Adam Keller's Joan Allen suggestion, it was like DUH. Alan Alda and Joan Allen in: GAME CHANGE.

And of course there's Joe Biden, who should be played by either John Larroquette or Barry Bostwick.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWalter

Greg Kaneer and Elaine Brocco as the Edwards

Chris Cooper and Annete Benning as the Clintons

Will and Jada Smith as the Obamas

Joel Grey and Carrie Underwood as the McCains

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris Na Taraja

Louis -- WOW. I love the suggestion of Kristin Chenoweth

fbh -- regina king for michelle. they'd probably never think of that but that sounds just about perfect to me. she's so underrated.

Chris -- you are cracking me up. Joel Grey & Carrie Underwood. hee. That's practically Woody & Soon-Yi

rond -- Harry Lennix would work for me. and he is a solid actor

Katie -- TRUST that i'd hate Sarah Palin just as much if I were 100% heterosexual. She's everything that's wrong with politics. No facts, all personality, no follow through, completely self-serving, and nothing but lies lies lies lies lies and no awareness of anything outside of her own interests.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Off-topic, but re: the site - Who's on the masthead to the right of Whoopi? (The one Whoopi's rolling her eyes at?)

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Yeah, disliking Sarah Palin and being gay have nothing to do with each other. It's just being smart because if you can't see that she's dumb as fuck, you got problems. ;)

Sorry, I kinda can't stand her. Your daughter got pregnant as a teenager, yet you oppose sex education in school? Could you get any more dumb? Maybe if your daughter had learned something about abstinence, or at least a condom, things would've turned out differently. And that's only a MINOR point.

Anywho...let's not turn this into a political debate...

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Mike, I thinkkkk it might be Marilyn?

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Mike -- Philip, is right. It's Marilyn

March 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

SO excited to hear this news! I could definitely see Laura Linney and Annette Bening as Elizabeth and Hillary...

It's imperative, however, that none of this be eligible for this year's TV awardage. My dear Kate needs an Emmy.

And I hope this doesn't signify that Julianne is heading permanently to the small screen, "where great, middle-aged actresses go to die," or whatever Nat's right-on but depressing quote is. Don't retire from movies, Julianne!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Oops, on first glance I thought John Edwards was Entertainment Tonight's Mark Steines.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim B.

Pierce is a miniseries. It's been a year between filming and release. H&G is premiering in 2012. Who knows when the Palin movie will premiere but HBO put out the word about H&G around June of last year and it didn't start filming until the end of last month. So there's a more accurate timeline. A race between Moore Kidman and Winslet will not happen.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCity_Of_Lights

hilary: anette bening
bill: warren beatty

barak: jeffrey wright
michelle: viola davis

joe biden: bill murray

john mcc: james caan
cindy mcc: daryl hannah

john e.: sam rockwell
elizabeth e.: catherine keener

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel H.

I had no ideal that Juli has received so few awards thus far. (And, I remember those Daytime Emmys - the only time I ever watched them; I enjoyed a short As the World Turns fandom whilst Juli was on the show. Weird to think that the Daytime Emmys saw her greatness but the major film awarding bodies haven't.) I assumed that she'd racked up a lot more gilded and lucite door-stoppers and paperweights by this point.

I actually don't see Juli as She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (I just decided that's what I'll call her. Do you think she name-checks herself? is delighted every time a message pops up on her email that she's being referenced? I'm sure she does.) I have an easier time seeing Juli in the role of Elizabeth Edwards - there's got to be lots of weeping there. Supportive spouse, infidelity, breast cancer and looming death. Right up Juli's alley. But - Juli as a balls-out uber-ambitious she-wolf? I'm having a harder time seeing it.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

So, checking out eligibility for the Emmys:

June 1, 2010 - May 31, 2011

So I guess this one is Winslet to take, but next year will be Kidman v. Moore if everything goes as planned. Not sure about the SAG/GG though.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

I have always said Kerry Washington looks like Michelle Obama, so I would LOVE to see her in that role. I say give the Barack Obama role to someone who is not only talented but also bears some type of resemblance, which is why I would support someone like Peter Francis James instead of Denzel Washington. Plus, I just really like him as an actor.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H

My head's swimming over all the EMMYS this is going to win!

Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin? I'll take that I guess. Tina Fey probably isn't adept at drama, so this is as good a casting choice as any.

This TV Obama might be too small for Will Smith since he wouldn't be the main focus (he's waiting on that biopic to win him the Oscar). Maybe Anthony Mackie? Kerry Washington or Gabrielle Union would make a stunning Michelle Obama.

The Clintons? Dennis Quaid and Hope Davis. If it ain't broke . . .

The Edwards are going to be the trickiest. They'll have to find someone especially slick and smarmy for him. With the right hair and makeup, I think that Matthew McConaughey could pull that off. Laura Linney for the late Elizabeth Edwards.

The McCains? Kristin Chenoweth would make a great Cindy McCain. Not sure which old coot would work for John McCain. The best I got is maybe Alan Arkin. Where has he been lately? Hope he's still alive. You'd need a Joe Biden too though. Maybe Alan Dale or Bruce Davison.

This has all the makings of a winning film with the right cast. Don't blow it, HBO! But I loved "Recount," so I have faith.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDorian

DUDES, stop insulting Kristin Chenoweth by claiming she could do a realistic film portrayal of a 56-year-old woman. KChen is 41. Cindy is 56! That's the exact same age as (wait for it) JOAN ALLEN.

Yes, Cindy was a bit younger 2 years ago, but that's only 2 years. And everyone knows Hollywood actress years are different from normal human years. Joan Allen is perfect. Can I get some confirmation on this?

Hello, ACTUAL Game Change casting people? Don't let me down.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Keller

Joan Allen looks nothing like Cindy McCain and is too tall to play her anyway. Not to mention all that Joan Allen has done to her face in the past few years. There's nothing that would be convincing with that. Kristin Chenoweth has the looks, hair, and body type for the role, and it's not like the role's a big one. It'll be mostly eye candy, and I'm perfectly fine with Chenoweth for that. And there's plenty that can be done to make her look the right age.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterXL

Patricia Clarkson for Cindy McCain

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteryoonah

Katie-Straight male and a Palin hater. So there.

Getting back to the movie before this becomes a political debate...Cindy McCain looks like a man in that picture, but I suppose Amy Poehler would be a good choice.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew R.

To be honest, I think it's a credit to Cindy McCain that she could be played by a forty-year-old woman and have it be totally believable.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

"And I hope this doesn't signify that Julianne is heading permanently to the small screen, "where great, middle-aged actresses go to die," or whatever Nat's right-on but depressing quote is. Don't retire from movies, Julianne!"

Bryan, I so so so agree. On the one hand I'm happy for Moore being cast in such an attention-grabbing role, on the other hand I wish this would be for the big screen. Maybe she'd finally win that damn Oscar, or at least a damn movie Golden Globe, SAG or BAFTA. It makes me sick that she hasn't won any of those yet. And it would be terrible if she kept making movies for TV after that. Please no Glenn Close / Sally Field career move! I want her to get many more challenging roles in cinema...

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercinephile

the idea of mputting Palin out there some more sucks!!! She survives on s--- like this!!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Miranda Richardson for Cindy McCain!!!!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBenny

Katie: ASEXUAL and a Palin hater. And a conservative sexual politics hater in general. I am personally not interested in sex, but anyone who tries to tell anyone else that contraception, pre-marital sex and homosexuality are wrong and that, furthermore, repression is right, have some severe logic and history errors in their skulls. Why? Have you not heard of Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer!? These were cases, FAMOUS CASES, where sexually based repression caused huge mental scarring that led to SERIAL KILLING. Gein was, most likely, straight and Dahmer was a gay racist. To force everone to support and enforce conservative sexual politics is a SUICIDAL MOVE that will likely cause the murder rate to skyrocket (and isn't it bad enough?). And that's just the problems with the hardcore conservative view of sex, let alone religion, warfare, the economy or medicine.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I love Julianne. She doesn't strike me as the best choice for the role, but she is a great actress and it's a juicy part. HBO typically does high quality films, so it's unlikely that it will be bad.

I remember reading that she was shopping around for a TV show a year or so ago, so I am also worried that she might be making the transition to TV. For some reason I'm not worried about that with Kidman or Winslet, but with Moore ... I don't know. Frankly, I think it's too soon for her to make the leap. She's had a good past few years, film-wise. Now would seem the time to build on that momentum.

She seems less ambitious that Winslet and Kidman--more willing to take on "paycheck" dreck that never even looked good on paper. I know there's a lot of good work being done on TV, but I like seeing her in films ... and I want her to win an Oscar, dammit!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
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