The President of the United States is one of the most powerful individuals on the planet and the “leader of the free world,” and consequently it is a role that is frequently written into films and TV shows. There have been many fantastic fictional presidents who have had to face issues such as alien invasions, asteroids hurling towards Earth, nuclear war, personal tragedy, assassination attempts and much more. Some have been heroic and noble with bags full of charisma, whilst there have also been a few less admirable presidents who would not get our vote, but are no less entertaining and intriguing. These are 12 examples of the former.
12. President Andrew Shepherd – The American President
Before there was Jed Bartlet, there was President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) in Rob Reiner’s The American President. The romantic comedy sees widowed Shepherd become the first bachelor President of the United States, effectively making him the most eligible bachelor in the world. He sets his sights on an environmental lobbyist, Sydney Ellen Wade (Annette Bening), and they soon fall for each other. Much of the humor from the film comes from seeing the president attempt to romance Wade from his position of incredible power, such as trying to have an intimate moment whilst surrounded by security and paparazzi. The film was a hit at the box office and deemed a critical success, and this is certainly helped by Michael Douglas’s portrayal of the likeable president. Writer Aaron Sorkin also wrote The West Wing and the film’s influence can clearly be seen throughout the popular TV show.