Bill Murray playing Franklin Roosevelt — mass hysteria!


Above is a first look at Bill Murray as President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson. Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Venus), the movie focuses on the president and first lady meeting King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in upstate New York. Murray’s Rushmore co-star Olivia Williams plays Eleanor Roosevelt, and Laura Linney plays FDR’s distant cousin Daisy, with whom FDR had an affair. Murray kept in contact with actual polio patients and learned to walk with calipers in order to better embody the former president.

Had the image of Murray as FDR come out sooner, you’d probably see some variation of it at the Bill Murray art show at Gallery 1988.

Time for some useless presidential film trivia. Apart from President Obama, cursory research revealed that only four U.S. presidents have NOT been portrayed by an actor in a theatrically released feature film: John Tyler, James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, and Herbert Hoover. It should come as no surprise that these four men are some of America’s crappiest presidents.

My grandmother had a run in with Franklin Roosevelt many years ago, which I’ll share after the jump.

[Via Collider, USA Today]

So back in 1938, my paternal grandmother was walking through her village in the Philippines when FDR pulled up to her in a Plymouth PA Phaeton convertible. He asked my grandmother if she had a light. My grandmother said yeah and handed over some matches.

FDR stuffed a Gauloise into a cigarette holder, lit it, and then handed back the matches. Nodding as he took a long drag, FDR smiled at her and said, “No one will ever believe you,” and then drove away.

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.